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Cats Ecstatic To Land Markstrom

Big Swedish goalie picked by Panthers with 31st pick in 2008 NHL Draft

Saturday, 06.21.2008 / 10:20 AM ET / 2008 NHL Draft
Florida Panthers
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Cats Ecstatic To Land Markstrom
By Dave Joseph for

While being interviewed by Panther scouts Thursday here in Ottawa, 18-year-old goalie Jacob Markstrom was asked how he fared in games against former NHL curmudgeon Ed Belfour last season in the Swedish Elite League.

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Markstrom won them both, including a 2-0 shutout.

“Did you ask Ed to sign the puck,” one scout asked?

“No,” Markstrom said. “He wasn’t too happy.”

Not the case with the Panthers, who were ecstatic Saturday morning when they chose the 6-3 goalie here as their first selection (No. 31) at the NHL Entry.

“We got a guy projected as a franchise elite, No. 1 goalie,” said Scott Luce, the Panthers’ director of amateur scouting. “For him to slip to No. 31? It’s a good day for us.”

Markstrom, the No. 1 ranked European goalie by Central Scouting, led Sweden to its first-ever gold medal at the 2007 Under-18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial. He stopped 36 of 40 shots against Team Canada and stoned Steven Stamkos in overtime. He posted a 2.57 goals against and a .924 save percentage for Sweden’s national Under-17 team.

“We got a guy we love,” Luce said. “He’s a big, ,athletic goaltender who’s a real competitor. He was a leader on the national team, that speaks volumes for his character.”

A native of Gavle, Sweden, Markstrom’s father and brother were soccer goalies and his mother was a handball goalie. Luce said the Panthers listened to several “significant offers” overnight, “but we decided we wanted to keep the pick.” is the official Web site of the Florida Panthers. Florida Panthers and are trademarks of the Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks and NHL Draft name and logo are trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2016 Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.