Friday, April 18, 2014

Jacob Markstrom: 3 Autographed Cards

Jacob Markström is a 24-year-old Swedish goalie who already comes with an impressive pedigree, having dressed for Team Sweden 5 times thus far: at the U18 once (4th place), the World Juniors twice (silver in 2009 when he was also named the tournament's top goalie, bronze in 2010) and the World Championships twice (gold in 2013, bronze in 2010) - and probably another appearance at the Worlds this year.

He has a good butterfly and the perfect size (6'6'' and just under 200 pounds) for his style, a good glove hand, good agility and covers his angles well. With a proper goaltending coach to look for the best angle to put his legs in, he'll be able to cover up the five-hole and reach the space next to the post accurately enough to only have to work on his blocker-side and lateral push for the next decade or so.

The first player selected in the second round in 2008, he was the third goalie drafted but already has achieved a lot more than the two chosen ahead of him, Chet Pickard (18th) and Thomas McCollum (30th); as a matter of fact, Jake Allen (32nd), Braden Holtby (93rd), Dustin Tokarski 122nd), Kevin Poulin (126th) and Anders Lindback (207th) are the only other goalies in his draft class to have made the slightest impact in the NHL so far.

Like all of them, Markström has proven to be too good for the AHL (his save percentage in the minors is above .920 over 4 seasons) and just needs to find his groove behind a capable NHL defense, which his original team - the Florida Panthers - could not provide. He was traded from the Panthers to the Vancouver Canucks on March 4th (with Shawn Matthias) for Roberto Luongo and Steven Anthony, but it remains to be seen if the Canucks can rebound and provide him with better stability.

Ironically, if nothing changes in front of the crease, he'll be sharing the net with Eddie Lack, who served as his back-up in 2009-10 when both were with Gävle Brynas IF.

I had sent Markström a fan letter and four cards on March 17th, 2014 and received three back, signed in black sharpie, on April 16th (2014), a 30-day return. He kept the card showing him with the Rochester Americans, but sent back the three of him with the Panthers.

I'll start with the best-looking uniform, the newest version of the red (home) one, from Upper Deck's 2013-14 Series 1 set (card #83):
And now, the white (away) uniform:
The card on the left, from Upper Deck's 2011-12 Series 1 set (card #122) shows the Reebok Edge version of the white uniform, with the ugly blue piping in front, whereas the one on the right, from Panini's 2012-13 Score set (card #213) shows the jersey as it always should have been.

Though it would have been nice to have him in the Americans' uniform, I'm more than happy with this return as is. If anything, I'll try him again in a couple of years with cards of him with the Canucks. This brings my reception total for letters sent in 2014 to 12/70.

No comments:

Post a Comment