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Looking To Seize An Opportunity

Goaltending invitees look to have successful week at Camp and land a pro contract with Panthers.

Thursday, 07.5.2012 / 5:10 PM ET / News
By Glenn Odebralski  - FloridaPanthers.com
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Looking To Seize An Opportunity
University of Denver Goaltender Sam Brittain is the only prospect netminder in Development Camp.

Looking at the Development Camp list, one will see Panthers draft picks - especially high ones - dotted throughout the forward and defenseman positions.

But if you look closer at the goaltending position, you'll notice that just one player is a Panthers draft pick at camp at the JetBlue Practice Facility this week.

The Panthers have just seven goaltenders in their entire organization and with only 2010 fourth round pick (92nd overall) Sam Brittain in camp, Florida invited three netminders to the week-long experience. Brittain just completed an injury shortened sophomore season at the University of Denver which he went 8-4 with a 2.36 goals against average and a .932 save percentage.

"We've got a lot of prospects up front and on the back end," said Panthers Director of Scouting Scott Luce prior to Camp to the Star Phoenix. "Where we are thin, at the amateur level, is with our goalie prospects."

While undrafted, the three goalies invited do have some very good resumes to their credit.

Michael Hauser took home the OHL Player of the Year as well as CHL Goaltender of the Year awards in leading London to the Memorial Cup finals as OHL Champs with a 46-15-1 record and a 2.47 goals against average. Andrey Makarov was the Saskatoon Blades' MVP while posting a 29-21-2 record with a 3.01 GAA and Andrew Volkening had a 16-15-6 record but earned a 2.44 GAA in his last season with the Air Force Academy (2009-10).

For these trio, it's a chance to try to impress and try to land a professional contract with the Panthers.

"I think any time you come into a camp like this, there's two ways to approach it," said Panthers Goaltending Coach Robb Tallas. "Some guys come in looking at the experience of it and the awe and other guys come in to proving something. The guys that come in with that attitude of proving something, usually good things happen."

"It's an unbelievable organization. It's got everything for a hockey player," said Makarov, the 19-year old Kazan, Russia native who decided that North America was a better place for his game and came over in an Import Draft to the Lewiston MAINEiacs. "You (worry about) just play(ing) hockey. Just do your job. It's a lot of fun."

Although impressing in a Camp like this could be difficult...Or it could even be a break.

"For the position of goalie, sometimes camps you can really stand out," said Tallas. "It's almost easier. You have all the forwards on the ice and you're looking at them. Unless they get the pass and they're in the right position. For a goalie, if you happen to be on that team, you're the one getting all the shots and standing in and bringing your game and standing on your head, you get recognized pretty quickly.

"Unfortunately you can be on the other side and be feeling great and not getting shots and kind of get overlooked."

"I don't know. They're tough practices," said Makarov about trying to impress. "(Just hope) that there's a lot of shooting with the shooting drills. Just try to stop everything and play with my style."

Sometimes it might not seem like it would take much to catch the Panthers brass eyes.

"Through camp there's times that goalies can really put a spark all of a sudden and I kind of think that has happened. There's a couple of goalies here that are really good goalies. There's three new faces here.

"There's been some good goaltending."

Where the goaltenders can really shine are the scrimmages. Those can be a make or break situation for them as they try to land a contract and become part of the Florida Panthers organization. In Thursday's action, it was Hauser that caught Tallas' eye. Friday on the other hand could be totally different.

"You hope that they recognize that. That there is opportunity and I think that's one thing that Kevin has always had an approach to and Dale that if you come in and play well, stand out, we're going to take a serious look," said Tallas. "We're going to open some doors. Hopefully they see that opportunity."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
7 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
8 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
9 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 49 16 21 11 37
J. Huberdeau 52 10 27 10 37
A. Barkov 42 16 19 13 35
J. Jokinen 52 10 25 12 35
V. Trocheck 52 17 16 4 33
R. Smith 52 16 15 11 31
B. Pirri 48 10 13 -4 23
A. Ekblad 48 10 12 21 22
B. Campbell 52 4 16 17 20
N. Bjugstad 37 9 8 -3 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 23 13 5 .930 2.13
A. Montoya 8 2 1 .931 1.93

 
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