The Florida Panthers recently agreed to a new contract with their restricted free agent netminder Jacob Markstrom. It was a short term deal, agreeing to a two-year contract, worth $2.4 million total. It gives the young goaltender a chance to prove himself, and perhaps earn a larger one next time around.
Markstrom has shown flashes of potentially being a franchise goaltender for this team. It’s part of the reason they didn’t make a move to acquire someone like Roberto Luongo, and it’s especially why they wouldn’t include him in a potential deal. He has the skill set to be a very effective goaltender for a Panthers team that needs some stability between the pipes.
The 2013 season was Markstrom’s first extended experience in the league, and while the results weren’t terrific overall, he flashed some serious potential. His numbers behind that terrible Panthers team weren’t terribly impressive, with a 3.22 goals against average and a .901 save percentage.
He left enough of an impression to earn a new deal, and likely the no. 1 spot between the pipes, heading into the new season. With a healthy team in front of him, he could be in a position to establish himself as a capable no. 1 goaltender for the Cats. At least, that’s what they’re hoping for with this new deal.
Markstrom is a big presence in net, standing 6’6″, and he moves well for a guy his size. He has a good glove to go along with it. The physical tools are all there. It’s just a matter of putting it all together. That’s what this two-year contract will afford him the opportunity to do. He can establish himself as a goaltender of the future for this team, and earn a bigger deal the next time around.