markstrom first game

When goaltender Jacob Markstrom, 34, takes the ice for his first game as a New Jersey Devil inside the Prudential Center, it will be a full circle moment for his career.

Markstrom, who was acquired by the Devils on Wednesday afternoon, played his first-career NHL game at Prudential Center on Jan. 23, 2011, as a member of the Florida Panthers – the club that selected him in the second round (31st overall) of the 2008 NHL Draft.

“Maybe there’s a meaning behind all of this,” Markstrom said via a Zoom call, “for me to put that jersey on where I started my NHL career.”

In another Devils connection for the game, current Devils director of goaltending Scott Clemmensen started the game for Florida. But he was replaced at the start of the second period by Markstrom, who stopped 14 of 16 shots in the contest as the Devils prevailed 5-2.

Jacob Markstrom speaks with the media.

“I remember everything (about that game),” Markstrom said. “I got called up right before it. It was Marty Brodeur on the other side, staring down at the other end. Having him stand there you get goose bumps thinking about it. When I got put in after the first period to play, the Devils had such a great team. It was a lot of good memories.”

As far as Brodeur, the hockey Hall of Famer and Devils EVP of hockey operations has already reached out to welcome Markstrom to the team. Though they didn’t speak on his NHL debut night, surely they’ll do a lot of talking in the months to come.

“I got a text from him right after (the trade) happened. I’m sure we’ll catch up,” Markstrom said. “I won’t ask too many questions. When you look at everything he’s done for the game and the numbers that he put up is unbelievable. One of the best to ever do it. It’s huge to have a guy like that in the front office and up top. I can’t wait to see him and talk to him.”

While he didn’t chat with Brodeur, he did speak with the Devils backup goalie and fellow countryman Johan Hedberg.

“For me as a Swedish goalie, that was big as well,” he said.

New Devil Jacob Markstrom shares his thoughts.