Nathan Lieuwen has quickly moved up the Buffalo Sabres depth chart. With injuries to Jhonas Enroth and Michal Neuvirth, Lieuwen has stepped in and performed well for the Sabres.
Lieuwen was drafted by the Sabres in the 6th rd of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. He is a very lanky goalie (6-5) and thus covers the net well. So far with the Sabres, he is 0-1 with a 2.22 GAA and a .917 save percentage.
Lieuwen struggled with concussion issues in the early part of his career. This probably hurt in his development and his draft stock. However, he made his AHL debut during the 2012-2013 season with the Rochester Americans. He went 1-2 with a 2.65 GAA.
The Sabres organization has a plethora of goaltenders. Along with Lieuwen, they have Matt Hackett, Andrey Makarov and Connor Knapp. The Sabres turned to him first after Enroth and Lieuwen went down with injuries. He has played superbly better this year in Rochester. He has posted a 17-11-2 record with a 2.34 GAA. Rochester is currently 7th in their conference and is in the thick of the playoff race.
While this is his first taste in the NHL, this will certainly not be his last. Look for Lieuwen to make a push to be a full-time NHL goalie in years to come. The 22 yr-old will benefit from this experience and it will prepare him for the future.