Fresh off a 3-1 victory over the powerhouse Saskatoon Blades on Sunday, Brandon Wheat Kings’ netminder Ethan Kruger was named the Western Hockey League’s Goaltender of the Week spanning March 29 to April 4.
That win was Kruger’s third of the week that also saw lopsided victories over the Prince Albert Raiders and Regina Pats by way of a combined 14-3 score. Going 3-0-0 with a 1.33 goals against average and a .950 save percentage, the 19-year-old Alberta product was the WHL’s very best at his position.
Despite not earning a shutout during the week, Kruger’s 76 saves on the 80 total shots he faced was among the league’s top save percentage during that span of time. Since being named the Goaltender of the Week, Kruger has picked up yet another victory, as the Wheat Kings rallied from behind on Monday evening, beating the Prince Albert Raiders once again by way of a 3-2 score.
Currently sitting second in the league in wins (eight) behind Edmonton’s Sebastian Cossa (11), Kruger is also among the league’s best in terms of save percentage and goals against average on the season. He sits sixth in both shots faced and saves made, while posting a 8-1-1 record on the season, while now only having given up six goals in his past four outings. Kruger owns a .918 save percentage and a 2.29 goals against average on the year.
Drafted 109th overall in the fifth round of the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft, Kruger has taken over the reins as the Wheat Kings’ starting netminder after seeing Jiri Patera move on to the American Hockey League’s Henderson Silver Knights. Through his 56 career WHL regular season games, Kruger is 27-18-4-2 with a 3.01 goals against average, a .905 save percentage and has three shutouts to his name.
He was also named to the East Division’s Team of the Week, alongside teammate Ben McCartney (forward) and Winnipeg ICE defenceman Karter Prosofsky. Joining the three Manitoba-based players were St. Adolphe’s Owen Pickering, Clear Lake’s Tristen Robins and Regina’s star rookie forward Connor Bedard.