Draft Interviews

Thatcher Bernstein Is an Interesting Prospect

Thatcher Bernstein is a ranked prospect. Central Scouting does have him 11th in North American goalies. At 17, he certainly could have had a better season, but he still has a lot of tools and I think there might be a team that would use a late-round pick to nab the Massachusetts-born netminder in the 2024 NHL Draft.   

He got a win in the All-American Game, and I get that it’s an All-Star game, and his save against Cole Eiserman was impressive.   

“He’s been shooting at me for 13 years. So, he may have scored on me a couple of times before that. You have to make sure you’re mentally ready,” Bernstein stated. “There’s a good chance he’s done this on me before. But I’m glad I got that one and not him.”  

Bernstein is a battler. I’ve had good and bad views, but he’s not on a great USHL team at the moment but he was on a better team early in the year. Stats aren’t everything especially when dealing with goaltenders.   

“For me, I’m getting so much better. It’s my first year in the league, “Bernstein added,  

Bernstein does look like he belongs when he’s playing up in competition. Bernstein made six of eight saves in the 2023 Hlinka Gretzky Cup. That’s not much to go on. But here’s what I think about this backstop.  

I think he has a good stick for clearing and directing the puck to his teammates. His reflexes are fast, and he makes fast pad saves. His covers are mostly fast and clean. I think he might bite too early on some fakes, but I feel that will improve over time. He’s 6’4”, 210 pounds and most teams are looking for a bigger goalie I would spend a late-rounder on him and wait for him to fully develop.  

He’s headed to Harvard, a school with a solid hockey program.  

“I really loved the conversations I had with the coaches and players there. It really felt like home to me. It’s close to home, which I like…It will be nice to come home and play a little bit. My family won’t have to travel.”  

He’s worked very hard this offseason. In his draft year that’s always a good time to ratchet it up.  

“I focused on strength and conditioning. Weights, skating, and off-ice stuff,” Bernstein revealed.   

I’ll be tracking this prospect and covering him out of the ECAC. 


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