As reported on NHL.com today, goaltender Michael Houser who was invited to developmental camp has signed an entry level deal with the Florida Panthers. A great step forward for the young netminder who has battled through a birth defect which many felt would prevent him from playing hockey at all. We ran a story on Michael last week and if you click here you can read about his courageous efforts.
Houser who performed well in camp, was headed to Winnipeg to participate in theirs, but that won’t be necessary after signing today with the Panthers. After being passed over in three NHL drafts, this comes as quite an accomplishment for the youngster who is ready to continue his pursuit of an NHL career.
In three seasons of play in the OHL, Houser has a 93-38-7 record with a 2.90 GAA and a .912 save percentage. Numbers that can’t be ignored. As far as where he fits in right now, remains to be seen, yet you can never have enough good goaltenders, and Houser could emerge better than anyone expected. With Jacob Markstrom slated to be in San Antonio this season, he’ll likely be ready to compete as a number one in 2013. That leaves Brian Foster, and Sam Brittain as goaltenders that you can consider as prospects. Foster is 25, Brittain is 20 and Houser is 19.
This move not only adds depth to the organization, but will also create some healthy competition amongst the three. At some point down the road, one of them will have to emerge and work with Markstrom should Jacob become the top guy as planned.
Congrats to Michael Houser. His story is certainly one that you can get behind, and hope that he gets to live his dream.
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