But another trait that could help Halverson is the ability to take criticism. In January, the Sault (Ont.) Star published a story in which its Greyhounds writer said the team’s top need next year was a veteran goalie, because Halverson wasn’t ready to take over as the No. 1 netminder once Matt Muray — a Pittsburgh Penguins 2012 third-round pick and OHL all-star — departs.
“I read that and I was like, ‘Wow,’” Halverson said. “It didn’t really get under my skin. It motivated me more than anything.”
As it turns out, not long after those comments, Halverson took off, earning CHL Goaltender of the Week honors in March.
He allowed just one goal in two victories that week against the Sarnia Sting and Windsor Spitfires for a goals-against-average of 0.50 and save percentage of .986.
The Greyhounds also appear to be OK with Halverson being the No. 1 goalie next year, selecting two much younger backstops in April’s OHL draft.
Halverson ended the season with a 12-6-1 record, 2.96 goals-against average and .904 save percentage. In March, Halverson was named the best puck-handling goaltender in the OHL Coaches Poll.
He’s rated as the 92nd overall prospect for the 2014 draft by the Red Line Report, and the sixth North American goaltender by NHL Central Scouting.
“I talked to my agent and my GM (with the Greyhounds) and they said I’ll be going at the highest in the third round,” Halverson said. “Most people I’ve heard have said between third and five. Anything could happen. I could go (in the) seventh. Either way, I’m going to be happy with it.”
He also expects to stay in Sault Ste. Marie next season.
He was also recently invited to tryouts for the United States’ World Junior team in August. Only four goalies were invited, and the team keeps three for the World Junior Championships in Toronto and Montreal.