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Damian Clara: The Trailblazing Italian Goaltender in NHL Draft


In a groundbreaking moment for Italian ice hockey, Damian Clara, hailing from Brunico, etched his name in history as the first-ever Italian-born goaltender to be selected in the NHL Draft. The Anaheim Ducks made a resounding statement by choosing Clara as the No. 60 overall pick in the highly anticipated 2023 Draft, solidifying his position among the talented Italian athletes in the league. Join us as we delve into the remarkable journey of Damian Clara, his rise to prominence, and the immense potential he brings to the ice.

A Passion Ignited:

Growing up in Brunico, Clara developed an unwavering passion for ice hockey despite its limited popularity in Italy. With unwavering dedication and innate skill, Clara caught the attention of scouts, leading to a remarkable opportunity to play for Färjestad BK in the prestigious Swedish J20 National League. It was here that Clara honed his craft and showcased his remarkable talents, paving the way for a promising future in the world of professional ice hockey.

Photo via hockeytime.net

Recognizing Global Talent:

Clara’s selection by the Anaheim Ducks stands as a testament to the NHL’s commitment to recognizing and nurturing global talent. At an impressive height of 6 feet, 6 inches, Clara brings an imposing presence to the goaltending position. His exceptional performance with Färjestad BK, boasting a commendable 17-17-0 record, a 2.79 goals-against average, and a .903 save percentage, illustrates his ability to thrive at the highest level of competition.

A Bright Future Ahead:

Joining the Anaheim Ducks provides Damian Clara with an unparalleled opportunity to further refine his skills while competing against the crème de la crème of NHL players. As he embarks on his professional career, Clara carries the aspirations of Italian ice hockey enthusiasts, embodying the relentless determination required to turn dreams into reality. The NHL community eagerly awaits Clara’s progress and the indelible impact he is poised to make while proudly representing Italy on the grandest stage of ice hockey.

Breaking Barriers on the Ice:

Damian Clara has consistently showcased his immense potential and remarkable talent in various international tournaments. His outstanding performances earned him the coveted title of Best Goaltender at both the U18 D1B and U20 D1B tournaments, solidifying his reputation as a rising star in the world of goaltending. Moreover, Clara played a pivotal role in Italy’s triumphant journey at the World Championship, winning bronze medals at both the U18 and U20 levels. He demonstrated his ability to rise to the occasion when his country needed him most, proving himself as a reliable and skilled goaltender.

Unveiling the Skill Set:

Clara’s achievements stand as a testament to his exceptional development and on-ice performance. His impeccable positioning skills, coupled with his effective use of size and reach, allow him to dominate the crease. By adeptly covering both the bottom and top portions of the net, Clara consistently makes critical saves and thwarts opponents’ scoring attempts.

Areas of Growth:

While Clara possesses immense potential, there are areas that warrant refinement and improvement. Enhancing his skating ability would provide him with a sharper reaction time during breakaway situations, further fortifying his defensive prowess. Additionally, focusing on rebound control will enable Clara to minimize second-chance opportunities for opponents, ensuring he remains a stalwart presence between the pipes.

The Path Ahead:

With a forthcoming opportunity to play in the prestigious Hockey Allsvenskan, Damian Clara continues to diligently refine his skills, ensuring he is primed for potential transition to North America. As Clara’s journey unfolds, the eyes of the hockey world will remain fixated on his progress, eagerly anticipating the extraordinary.

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