NHL

Expectations High for Jacob Markstrom

Eddie Lack is out. It is all on Jacob Markstrom to be the back up goalie to Ryan Miller for the Vancouver Canucks. Lack was traded to make room for Markstrom, 25, to take over his role on the roster.

Markstrom had a fantastic Calder Cup playoff run in the American Hockey League last season with the Utica Comets where they ultimately fell to the Manchester Monarchs in the AHL championship.

“I think he’s ready for it,” Canucks GM Jim Benning said of Markstrom to the Province. “What I like aside from being 6-foot-6 and having a good skill set, is that he’s real competitive. He carried his team and if they lost — or he didn’t play particularly well — he had that fire in his eyes to come back the next day and kind of put it on himself that he was going to be the difference. I like that mental toughness in a goalie.”

Markstrom did make one start in the NHL last season when he made 27 saves and gave up one goal against the Arizona Coyotes. Where he really shined, however, was in the AHL where he posted a 1.88 goals against average with the Comets.

“I always wanted to stay here and I’m super happy with how it worked out,”Markstrom told the Vancouver Province, via Fox Sports”A lot of things were going on up top, and if you start focusing on that it will take away from your focus on the game. I’m excited to get going.”

The second round draft pick from the 2008 NHL entry draft made his first NHL appearance during the 2010-2011 season, but it has taken him much seasoning in the minor leagues to be ready to be the full time backup with the Canucks.

Lack was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes this off season while Markstrom was extended on a two year deal with the full expectations to take over as the backup. Overall, Markstrom has not had a successful NHL caree with a 3.19 goals against average along with a 13-28-5 record. Obviously, the Canucks feel like these problems are behind him now and the expectations have been laid on heavy on their new backup ‘tender.

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