We’re almost out of the woods, folks, hockey is right around the corner. In less than two weeks, Florida Panthers rookies report to camp at Panthers IceDen in Coral Springs for sessions on September 12th and 13th. Yesterday, the Cats announced the roster that will participate on those dates. It includes 25 players with 24 of them under either Florida’s or the Springfield Thunderbirds control.
The lone exception? Goaltender Joseph Raaymakers.
Raaymakers is a keeper with a ton of experience at the major junior level, having played a total of five seasons in the Ontario Hockey League. The first three were with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and the final two came with the London Knights. In those five seasons, Raaymakers compiled a 109-52-7 record and 8 career shutouts.
His best season statistically was 2017-18, when he posted a 2.84 GAA and a . 910 save percentage for the Knights. He also started one game after the OHL campaign ended for the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL, giving up 4 goals in a loss.
The undrafted Raaymakers attended Columbus Blue Jackets training camp last season and played in one exhibition game before being returned to London, so he is familiar with Florida’s new number one, Sergei Bobrovsky. In June of 2017, he participated in Tampa Bay Lightning development camp and was a member of the Bolts prospects tournament squad a few months later.
The 21-year-old is currently slated to play the 2019-20 season for St. Francis Xavier, a Canadian university in Nova Scotia. I’d imagine that plan could change quickly if the Panthers or the Springfield Thunderbirds deem him worthy of a contract,