The Florida Panthers will see their past in net Tuesday night when Tomas Vokoun starts for the Washington Capitals, but they might also get a glimpse of their future.
It is possible Jacob Markstrom will make his first career NHL start against the Capitals after starter Jose Theodore played Monday night in a win against Tampa Bay. Markstrom, the 31st pick in the 2008 Entry Draft, is with the club because backup Scott Clemmensen is injured.
Markstrom is generally considered the best goaltending prospect in the world. He tops the list for Justin Goldman, who runs the site Goalie Guild and contributes to NHL.com. He’s the second-ranked goaltender on Hockey’s Future top prospects list behind Los Angeles’ Jonathan Bernier, who has appeared in too many NHL games to be eligible for Goldman’s list.
The Gavle, Sweden, native (same hometown as the No. 1 center he’d face if he plays, Washington’s Nicklas Backstrom) was a star for Brynas IF in the Swedish Elite League and at the world junior championships before spending last season with Rochester in the American Hockey League.
Markstrom made a relief appearance for Clemmensen last season, playing the final two periods Jan. 23 against New Jersey. He allowed two goals on 14 shots, but should he get the nod tonight it would be the first start for the tall goaltender who turns 22 in January.
Here is what the lineup should look like for the Panthers:
Tomas Fleischmann – Stephen Weiss – Kris Versteeg
David Booth – Tomas Kopecky – Scottie Upshall
Sean Bergenheim – Marcel Goc – Jack Skille
Ryan Carter – Shawn Matthias – Matt Bradley
Ed Jovanovski – Erik Gudbranson
Mike Weaver – Dmitry Kulikov
Brian Campbell – Jason Garrison