The netminder for the Chicago Blackhawks’ ECHL affiliate has been named the league’s goaltender of the week. Matt Tomkins, a 2012 seventh-round pick by the Blackhawks, earned the honors by stopping 88 of 91 shots (.967 save percentage) in a pair of wins by the Indy Fuel.
The Blackhawks currently do not have Tomkins under an NHL contract even though he’s still a member of one of their affiliates. The 23-year-old signed an AHL deal with the Rockford IceHogs over the summer after finishing his senior year at Ohio State, where he posted a .909 save percentage in 22 games.
Tomkins is still little more than an intriguing long shot at the lowest rung of the organizational ladder, but you have to imagine the Hawks are keeping tabs on him given their need for long-term goaltending help. Sometimes goalies bloom late, even if there’s been little reason to expect much of Tomkins at the NHL level to this point.
Other than Tomkins, the Blackhawks have Collin Delia in the AHL, Ivan Nalimov in the KHL, and Wouter Peeters in the USHL in their prospect ranks. Unfortunately, none of those guys presently looks like the high-end goalie prospect that the organization could use to prop up its future beyond Corey Crawford.