24-Year-Old Goalie – Buffalo Sabres
Matt Hackett Contract Information:
Re-signed with the Sabres on a one-year, two-way deal in July of 2014. Contract is worth $750,000 at the NHL level.
Hackett (knee) took part in Wednesday's practice, John Vogl of the Buffalo News reports.
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Matt Hackett: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Hackett joined the Sabresí organization at the trade deadline last season, and finished the year at AHL Rochester, posting a 3-0 record and .955 save percentage. He signed a one-year deal in the offseason, and will have a chance to run with the starting position in Rochester for a full season. Hackett is a goaltender with upside, but his current road to a job in the big leagues is blocked by an entrenched tandem of Ryan Miller and Jhonas Enroth. Itís been speculated that Miller could be on the move and, if that occurs, Hackett will surely get his chance with the big club.
Hackett ended his first NHL season with a string of starts that saw him post a 1-6 record over seven appearances in late March. Don't be fooled by that, though -- the skills are there, but the luck just wasn't. Hackett bounced between Houston (AHL) and Minnesota last year, and figures to be in a similar situation again this season. He's at the top of the prospect food chain and has more upside than any of the Wildís other netminders. But his role is poorly defined -- who knows when he'll make the team as the back-up. But still, Minny starter Niklas Backstrom has become injury prone and Josh Harding has also been less than healthy at times. Hackettís worth a look in keeper leagues or stashing away as an insurance policy for the inevitable.
Upon completing parts of four seasons between the Windsor Spitfires and Plymouth Whalers of the OHL, Hackett turned pro in 2010-11 with AHL Houston, Minnesota's minor league affiliate. His rookie AHL campaign included a .916 save percentage, 2.37 goals-against average, and a record of 23-16-4. Hackett was drafted Ė third round, No. 77 overall Ė as recently as 2009, so it might be a few years before he ascends to the big stage of the NHL.
This third round pick in 2009 put up great numbers for the Plymouth Whalers (OHL) in 2008-2009. He started the season as a backup but ended the season as the teamís top goalie, posting a 34-15-3 record to go along with a 3.04 GAA.