Soo Greyhound rookie goaltender Matt Villalta was selected 72nd overall in the 2017 NHL Draft in the third round in Chicago by the Los Angeles Kings. The Godfrey, Ontario native was signed as a free agent after his appearance at the 2016 Greyhound Training and Development with the Soo.
In his rookie season in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, the 18 year old netminder finished the 2016 – 2017 season between the pipes with a 25 – 3 record with a goals against average of 2.41 and save percentage of 0.918 in 33 regular season games for the Soo. The 6’2” and 170 lbs goaltender was named the Greyhounds 2016 – 2017 Rookie of the Season after playing in two post – season games in 2017. Villata had a 4.20 goals against average along with a 0.841 save percentage behind veteran netminder Joseph Raaysmaker in 2017.
For the week ending November 20th, the Godfrey, Ontario native earned the CHL Vaughan Goaltender of the Week accolades with a GAA of 2.00 and SV% of 0.933 and a record of 2 – 0.