The Ottawa Senators have signed another one of their 2019 draft picks, this time inking Mads Sogaard to a three-year entry-level contract. Sogaard spent this season back in Denmark competing professionally after being part of the Medicine Hat Tigers the last two years. GM Pierre Dorion released a short statement on his newest goaltender:
Mads’ development continued to strongly progress while playing overseas in 2020-21. He’s a big, athletic presence in the net and showcases a very competitive style. We’re anticipating a nice transition to North America next season.
“Big” is underselling it a bit, as the 6’7″ Sogaard often towers above even his own defensemen and fills a huge amount of the net even when down in his butterfly. Selected 37th overall in 2019—the third goaltender off the board—he posted a league-high .922 in 16 appearances for Esbjerg Energy this season in the top Danish league.
Though he has shown strong development this season, Sogaard is entering a crowded goaltending pipeline in Ottawa. Not only is the 26-year-old Matt Murray signed for the next three seasons as the team’s presumptive starter, but 24-year-old Joey Daccord has shown real NHL promise and 22-year-old Filip Gustavsson has a .946 save percentage through his first four appearances for Ottawa. Add in prospect Kevin Mandolese and 2020 third-round pick Leevi Merilainen and the Senators have a whole bushel of young goaltenders that can battle for the crease.
Sogaard isn’t one to overlook though, as he has found success everywhere he straps on the pads (except perhaps when he’s backstopping the overmatched Denmark WJC team). In two seasons with Medicine Hat, he had a .915 save percentage through 74 games, registering a 40-21-6 record with seven shutouts. He’ll now be able to come to North America and test his game in the AHL or ECHL for 2021-22.