Our T25U25 rolls on with a goaltending prospect who played his first season of professional level hockey in the American League.
#19: Samuel Montembeault
Team: Springfield Thunderbirds
Drafted in 2015, 3rd Round (77th Overall)
The Florida Panthers drafted Montembeault in the third round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft (77th overall) after he put up very solid numbers for the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and was selected for the CHL Top Prospects game. After being selected, Montembeault played an additional two years in the “Q” and posted his best statistical numbers in his final season, finishing with a 2.40 GAA, six shutouts and a .907 save percentage.
In his first professional season, Montembeault had a bit of tough go at the next level. He appeared in 41 games and finished with a 13-23-1 record for a Springfield club that came in seventh place in the AHL’s Atlantic Division, 26 points out of a playoff spot. Montembeault posted a 3.25 GAA and .896 save percentage and two shutouts.
Goalies must be given time to develop, and typically make it to the bigs later than position players. With Roberto Luongo and James Reimer still having plenty of term left, and former Winnipeg keeper Michael Hutchinson signed for this season, there is no need to rush the 21-year-old. Montembeault is in the final year of his ELC so he will need to show improvement in AHL this season if he wants to remain in the organization’s good graces.
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