Gardener ranked seventh among goaltending prospects in NHL Central Scouting final rankings

The accolades continue for Saskatoon Blades rookie goaltender Evan Gardner.

According to the team, the Fort St. John product was named seventh in NHL Central Scouting final rankings for goaltenders, released on April 16th.

Gardner was ranked 16th in the previous report released in January.

The 18-year-old compiled a 21-5-0-2 regular season record and a goals-against average (GAA) of 1.91, which led the Western Hockey League (WHL). Gardner also tied teammate Austin Elliot for second in the WHL with four shutouts and had a .927 save percentage.

Gardner’s effort in the net resulted in him being a WHL’s Eastern Division finalist for Rookie of the Year. He was also named League Rookie of the Week three times this season.

Gardner’s performances have also translated into the playoffs. The Blades have won every game Gardner has appeared in, losing just one game through the first two rounds.

In those games, Gardner has posted a 1.66 GAA and a save percentage of .928.

Currently, the Blades await their third-round opponent after sweeping the Red Deer Rebels in the second round.

Edward Hitchins, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,