The Florida Panthers have confirmed the rumors that have been going around for a few days that young goaltender Jacob Markstrom has officially been signed to an entry level deal with the club.
Markstrom who was the 31st overall pick in the 2008 NHL entry draft (second round), is expected to be in training camp with the big club in September, and is most likey headed for Rochester for the upcoming season.
Markstrom whom many feel is the Panthers top prospect as well as goaltender of the future is coming off an exceptional season in the Swedish Elite League where he posted a record of 21-10-10 with a 2.01 GAA and .927 save percentage. In addition he posted a 3-0 record in last month’s World Junior Championships in Germany as Sweden won the Bronze medal. Markstrom was 3-0-0 with a 1.33 GAA and one shutout.
For details about Markstrom’s contract you can them at Cap Geek.
What does this mean for the Panthers in net as we approach the draft and free agency? We’ll soon find out, but it appears that Tomas Vokoun’s days as a Panther could be numbered, which is really no surprise to anyone. Vokoun who last year had his best season as a Panther has a no trade clause as part of his deal, and enjoys Florida (who wouldn’t). He has indicated however that he’ll waive it as long as he has the opportunity to play with a legitiamate playoff contender. His deal which has one more year left at a $5.7 million dollar cap hit could be difficult to move. The Panther’s best option may require them to take a bad, or poor contract in return. Something that I’m sure new GM Dale Tallon has given quite alot of thought to.
With the draft approaching I’m sure we’ll hear lots of speculation about the next chapter in goal for Florida. If nothing else, it will be an interesting summer for a change.
In a couple of other notes, the player that I have referred to as The Crapper, or The Coffee Maker, Kamil Krups Kreps has apparently signed on with Karpat in Finland. Good luck or good riddance, either way, Kreps won’t be terribly missed. Another second round pick, although from 2003, Kreps had one decent year, 2008-2009, but has never materialized into anything more than a fourth line player, who sometimes was given second and third line minutes. In 232 games with the Panthers Kreps has 18 goals, 42 assists and 71 penalty minutes. You tell me, what’s to miss?
In Rochester (yes I’m reporting on the Minor League team) head coach Benoit Groulx has left the Rochester Amerks after being their head coach for the past two seasons. He will be returning to Gatineau Olympiques of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. This will allow new general manager Dale Tallon to again put his imprint on the club in a relatively short time.
Lastly, former Panther Captain and the instigator of rats being thrown out on the ice Scott Mellanby has been named as the new assistant coach for the St. Louis Blues. This will be Mellanby’s first coaching role since his retirement as a player when he was last with the Atlanta Thrashers. Best of luck Scott.
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