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News

Looking To Seize An Opportunity

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

Thursday, 07.05.2012 / 5:10 PM / 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 MTL 61 40 16 5 167 135 85
2 NYR 60 38 16 6 190 148 82
3 NYI 62 40 20 2 200 173 82
4 TBL 62 37 19 6 203 167 80
5 DET 60 34 15 11 176 156 79
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 62 33 19 10 184 156 76
8 BOS 60 29 22 9 158 158 67
9 FLA 61 26 22 13 145 172 65
10 PHI 62 26 25 11 164 181 63
11 OTT 59 26 23 10 167 161 62
12 NJD 61 25 27 9 137 161 59
13 CBJ 60 26 30 4 157 189 56
14 TOR 61 25 31 5 170 185 55
15 CAR 59 22 30 7 134 159 51
16 BUF 62 19 38 5 120 207 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 61 21 15 -9 36
J. Huberdeau 58 9 24 4 33
A. Ekblad 61 9 23 6 32
J. Jokinen 60 6 25 -3 31
B. Boyes 59 10 18 6 28
J. Hayes 52 17 10 -5 27
A. Barkov 50 9 12 -4 21
T. Fleischmann 52 7 14 12 21
B. Campbell 61 3 17 1 20
D. Bolland 37 3 13 2 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 22 16 11 .921 2.38
A. Montoya 4 6 2 .893 2.98
 
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