When I say a player is the next Brett Queener, one must assume I’m talking about a goalie who makes big saves, but can also run the field, spark transition, and drop the occasional assist, or goal. One has assumed correctly.
Hayden Walsh is a 2015 Canadian Keeper who plays for Edge Canada and he LOVES to push the ball upfield… at least that’s what his highlight tape says!
Walsh has good speed, and does a great job of moving to space, making a move (which usually involves a face dodge), and then usually finding the open man. If no one is open? Walsh is taking it to the rack! He drops an assist early in the tape, and it’s pretty.
Walsh seems to stop the ball pretty well, and on the tape, he doesn’t give up a lot of rebounds either. When players come around the cage, he follows their stick well, and matches finishing attempts nicely. He also gets his body behind low shots, and does a good job playing angles and probabilities. I love the portion of the tape at the 4:55 mark for that reason.
When he gets to college, I can definitely see his coaches reigning in his proclivity to ALWAYS push the ball himself, but I also believe that any coach who sees this tape will recognize the big upside there as well: you have a goalie who is VERY comfortable clearing the ball. The new rules reward transition play. This makes Walsh seem like an even more perfect fit for the modern college game. The quick play at the 3:38 mark also speaks volumes about Walsh, as he goes back behind the cage, calls for the ball from his defender, and then moves to transition immediately. It’s a small play, but one where a talented keeper also shows he is a quarterback of the defense, and running the show. His poles trust him, and that can translate to the next level.
My favorite portion of the tape is when Walsh picks the loose ball up with his hand and puts it in his stick. The refs blows it dead. I am going to assumer from this five second clip that Walsh also plays box goalie. That’s legal is box.
– If there is one thing I’d like to see more of, it is Walsh making a save, and then hitting a streaking midfielder, with a perfect outlet pass. There are a couple in there, but for the most part, Walsh is RUNNING after he makes a save. It’s not bad, just different.
– Walsh has great salad. His hair is ridiculous… ridiculously awesome. Well done, Hayden. Let it grow!
– He doesn’t use a bag in his stick. Maybe it’s just me, but I was impressed with how small Walsh’s pocket was. He wasn’t just running through people, he was evading them. There is a difference, and the latter is better!
I’m curious to see where Hayden Walsh ends up for college. He has an impressive GPA, and is playing some high level lacrosse. He may not be your prototypical goalie, but he definitely has some serious upside and potential. I’d love to see a goalie like this play at Albany, as I think their pace of play would benefit from it, but that’s still a couple years off.