Only a handful of goaltenders in the NHL can be considered a Southpaw. That is, a goalie who catches with his right hand instead of his left. The Vegas Golden Knights have three in their system, Isiah Saville, Michael Hutchinson, and All-Star Logan Thompson. And there are only six active NHL goalies that fit this bill, Thompson, Yaroslav Askarov, Pavel Francouz, Charlie Lindgren, Karel Vejmelka, and Cal Petersen.
A fun fact at first glance, the impact of having a goalie that plays his position dissimilar to 99.3% of the rest of the league, is a huge advantage to the VGK.
"We are a rare breed. But I think it's all preference. I know Paul Stastny loves shooting on righties… I think it messes up a lot of the shooters because they're just so used to seeing no other-handed goalies. I think gives you just a quick advantage especially in a game when a player is used to shooting in a certain spot so many times. It throws them off for sure," said Thompson.
Thompson's right-handedness not only fools opponents but his own teammates as well in practices.
"It's weird, you grow up doing the same thing, and then all of a sudden there's kind of a plot twist and some of the openings there. It's the opposite, so it's there was a change for me for sure. I don't think I've ever really faced one of these," said Golden Knights forward Paul Cotter.
"Last year I had previously never had a right-handed goalie in practice. So I think that that was sort of a new experience. But now I think everyone's kind of used to it," added forward Jack Eichel.
With three goalies in the system as Southpaws, the Golden Knights are in a unique advantage to train on how to beat both handed goalies.
"It's different for sure… Maybe your shot is a high glove or high blocker but this just changes things up. Now if you ever see a right-handed goalie you are used to it more because we see it every day in practice," said forward Chandler Stephenson.
To throw some more statistics out there, 90% of people on Earth are right-handed, meaning they would do a thing such as throw a ball or use a hockey stick predominately with their right hand, using their left to catch in games such as baseball or softball.
Thompson mentioned that it was hard to find right-handed goalie gear growing up, mentioning that he had to order all of his gear online.
In the NHL, things are a little different, with 62.8% of players being left-handed and 37.2% right. Back when Henderson Silver Knights goaltender Hutchinson was in Toronto, he even considered joining the collective pool of left-handed catching goalies.
"There are definitely fewer now. When I was in Toronto, I talked to (Frederik) Andersen about switching hands because there have been so few lefty goalies lately that I wanted just to join the masses and start catching normal, so we had a little debate to see how long it would take to feel comfortable switching," Hutchinson told NHL.com in 2020. Thompson says he would never consider switching.
"I think the day I have to switch is the day I become a forward for the Vegas Golden Knights," said Thompson.
Despite their rarity, the NHL has produced some notable right-handed goalie alumni in Grant Fuhr, Tom Barrasso, Tony Esposito, and Tomas Vokoun.
Seeing Thompson at the NHL All-Star Game will be fun for many reasons. But an underlying factor will be that he will be going up against the best of the best players in the NHL in things like shootout competitions and save streaks, with some of them potentially just now learning Thompson's handiness.
We asked LT if he thought his happiness would be an advantage at the ASG. He responded, "Not against those players."