Related: Adam Gajan
It’s not easy sharing the net with Scott Ratzlaff, another 2023 eligible goalie prospect, but Milic has done enough head-turning already this season. The Canadian World Junior Championship star has a 20-3-1 record in WHL and WJC play this season and has a 5-0 record in starts since returning to the Thunderbirds. His six-foot frame is the biggest knock against Milic, but he is quick, athletic, and never gives up on a scoring chance. There’s enough raw talent to mold him into something tangible at the next level.
Size/Strength Below Average
Rebound Control Good
Glove Hand Great
Hockey Sense Good
1. High Compete level and Mental Toughness.
2. Shorter but really athletic goalie with good positioning and dynamic speed moving laterally.
3. Poised, dependable goalie, who plays with confidence most the time.
Areas For Improvement
1. Undersized for a modern NHL Goalie.
2. May take a while for him to develop.
After going undrafted in 2021, Thomas Milic put himself firmly on the map in 2021-22. With a career-high 47 starts and a 2.44 GAA and .912 SV% during the regular season and an eye-popping 2.29 GAA and .925 SV% along with two shutouts in the playoffs, he was everything and more for the Seattle Thunderbirds. In fact, he led them all the way to the WHL Final against the powerhouse Edmonton Oil Kings. Unfortunately, his team lost the Memorial Cup 4-2 in a hard-fought series, where he only allowed three or more goals once. After helping backstop Canada to the 2023 U20 WJC Gold medal, where he had a 1.76 GAA, and .932 SV% in 6 games. In the 2022-23 season with the Seattle Thunderbirds, Milic started had a 27-3-1 record with a 2.08 GAA, .928 SV%, and 4 Shutouts. So far in the playoffs, he has a 1.00 GAA and .958 SV% in 4 games. Milic is a strong, dependable gatekeeper between the pipes that usually play with confidence. He plays a tidy, technical game is self-aware and conscious when it comes to the position, and compensates for his size with quickness and aggressive positioning. Rarely locks onto an angle as he’s shifty and efficient on his feet. Shows strong lower body agility and is able to move his feet to adapt and give lower percentage looks at the net. Milic also possesses dynamic speed moving laterally and poise between the pipes. Standing at 6-foot-0, he is still one of the shortest goaltenders available, but that doesn’t mean he can’t succeed. Just look at Juuse Saros, who is under 6 foot and has become a start in net for the Nashville Predators. Having said that, his lack of height will be a hurdle that he will have to jump over throughout his career if he hopes to succeed as a starter. What will probably hold Milic back from becoming a starter in the NHL is his lack of height. That doesn’t mean he can’t succeed, it’s just that it will be tougher to do so. Luckily for him, he’s got other tools that could possibly make up for it in his competitive fire, positioning, and athleticism. Some scouts suggest his height might be a huge hurdle that is too tough to offset in the modern NHL, but if he can be anything like Juuse Saros, that would be outstanding. Projecting where an undersized goalie will go in the draft is tough; if Milic was 6’1-6’2, he would be a 2nd-round pick but because he is barely 6’0, he might fall to the 3rd or even 4th round.
Skill: A Smaller, athletic goalie with superb poise, mental toughness, and compete level
Style Comparison: Juuse Saros
NHL Potential: Starting Goalie