Jordan Binnington is the 6’1″, 25-year-old goaltender for the Western Conference Champion St. Louis Blues.
He is gearing up to lead his team against the Boston Bruins, champions of the National Hockey League’s Eastern Conference, in the biggest showdown in professional hockey, the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals. The series kicks off Monday, May 27, with the Bruins enjoying home ice advantage at the TD Garden in Boston.
Here’s what you need to know:
He Was Drafted in 2011 at Age 17
Binnington was born in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada, on July 11, 1993; he grew up in the greater Toronto area. According to hockeyDB.com, he spent his junior hockey years playing in the Ontario Hockey League for the Owen Sound Attack. After a standout 2010-11 season, in which he played 46 games and amassed an impressive 27-12-5 record, Binnington was drafted by the Blues in the third round, 88th overall, of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
Binnington played a single game for the Blues’ American Hockey league affiliate, the Peoria Rivermen, but spent most of the next season with Owen Sound. He split time in the 2013-14 season between St. Louis’ new AHL affiliate, the Chicago Wolves, and the team’s ECHL club, the Kalamazoo Wings.
Binnington spent the next three seasons in Chicago, save for a singleNHL appearance with the Blues during the 2015-16 season. St. Louis dropped the Wolves and had no AHL affiliate during the 2017-18 season, during which time Binnington was loaned to the Providence Bruins. He began the 2019-19 season with the Blues’ new AHL affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage, before being called up in December. He’s been with the team ever since, splitting starts with Jake Allen.
Binnington made his first NHL start back in January and recorded a shutout.
He Is 6’1″ Tall, Which Is Below Average for a Goalie in the NHL
Binnington’s Blues bio lists him at 6’1″, which is slightly below average for net-minders in the NHL. His fellow St. Louis goaltender, Allen, it taller by an inch. According to NHL.com Correspondent Kevin Woodley, the trend over the years seems to suggest that bigger is better.
“Twenty-six of the 213 goalies (12.2 percent) selected in the past 10 NHL drafts have been 6-foot or shorter, and the number drops to five of the 84 goalies (5.9 percent) selected during the past four NHL drafts, including one goalie in each of the past two,” reads the March 2018 report, in part.
Woodley said the average height among the top 12 goaltenders by games started was 6’3″. That’s the height of Binnington’s opponent at the other end of the ice, the Bruins’ veteran goaltender Tuukka Rask.
But, Woodley points out, there are goaltenders shorter than 6′ that are enjoying success in the NHL. Then-Bruins backup Anton Khudobin is 5’11”, as is the team’s current backup goaltender, Jaroslav Halak. Nashville Predators backup Juuse Saros is also listed as 5’11” on HockeyReference.com. The Detroit Red Wings’ Jonathan Bernier, the Buffalo Sabres’ Carter Hutton and the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Casey DeSmith are all listed at 6′ even.