PITTSBURGH -- Well into his third season of playing in North America, Jacob Markstrom has found his comfort level. A 2008 second-round pick of the Florida Panthers, Markstrom believes he's ready to make his mark in the National Hockey League.
Recalled from the team's American Hockey League affiliate in San Antonio earlier this week, Markstrom led the Panthers onto the ice for Friday night's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in preparation for his NHL debut this season.
Markstrom played seven of his eight NHL games in 2011-12, going 2-4-1 with a 2.66 goals-against average and .923 save percentage. But he says he's a different goalie now than he was last season.
"Absolutely -- I feel a lot better this year," Markstrom said at the morning skate. "I started feeling really good at the end of last year. I really found my game over here, and I feel like I brought that over from last year to this year. ... Coming back up [to the NHL], I feel good about my game right now."
Markstrom was 16-15-2 with a 2.65 GAA and .920 save percentage in the AHL. He joins an NHL club that has two veterans still on the roster in Jose Theodore and Scott Clemmensen, but enters the game with the League's highest goals-against average (3.62).