Prince George prospect Holtvogt enjoying strong season with Mintos

Herald File Photo. Brady Holtvogt patrols the crease for the Prince Albert Mintos during a home game earlier this season.

It’s been a great season for Prince Albert Minto goalie Brady Holtvogt.

The 16-year-old netminder is making the most of his second full season in the Saskatchewan Male AAA Hockey League (SMAAAHL).

Holtvogt, who was drafted in the sixth round of the 2022 WHL Prospects Draft by the Prince George Cougars, has shown flashes of being an elite goaltender at the next level according to Minto head coach Tim Leonard.

“He’s a very driven and focused young man.” Leonard said about Holtvogt. “I think if he shows consistency with us the rest of the year out, and he’s going to have a really good shot in PG next year. I can see him being a top end goalie in the Western Hockey League when he’s 18-20.”

After his tandem mate Jayden Kraus made the jump to the WHL with the Victoria Royals, Holtvogt became the elder statesmen in the Minto crease after rookie Josh Henry joined the Mintos from the U18 AA ranks.

Leonard says Holtvogt has shown great leadership skills in the Minto dressing room.

“I think he’s just carried over his work habit. He puts a lot of time and effort in, and you can see he’s better than he was last year, and he’s going to be better again the year after. Holty learned from (Jayden) Kraus last year what it takes. Hank (Josh Henry), they’re the same age, but Henry played AA, and maybe not aware of the work ethic that has to be put into it. Holty is just a great leader in that department for Hank.”

Holtvogt says he learned a lot in his rookie season being a tandem mate alongside Jayden Kraus, who made the jump to the WHL.

“I need to focus on what I’m doing in practice every day (and) try to get one per cent better, because that’ll make the difference. I really looked at his compete level in practice and how he does everything off the ice as hard as he does on the ice.”

At the time of publication, Holtvogt sits third in the SMAAAHL with 10 victories, fifth with a 2.59 Goals Against Average and seventh with a .909 save percentage.

Leonard says Holtvogt will have a great chance to play in the WHL if he can stay consistent over the second half of the season.

“I think what those programs are looking for, and it’s no different than us, is consistency. As long as you give your team a chance to win every night, that’s all you can ask for is a goalie.

“I’m no goalie coach by any means, but I usually tell them stop all the ones that you should, a couple you got no business stopping and things will be fine with me.”