35 Jimmy HOWARD
Goaltender / Ogdensburg, New York
AGE :: 25
SIZE :: 6-0 / 215
ACQUIRED :: 2003 Draft [2 / 64]
CONTRACT :: Enter the second year of a 3-year deal , which has become a one-way contract
CAP HIT :: $716,667
EXPERIENCE :: 2009-10 will be his first full NHL season
LIKELY ROLE :: Backup goaltender
ACCOMPLISHMENTS :: 2002 IIHF U-18 Champion
DEFINING MOMENT :: Breaking the NCAA records for goals against average and save percentage.
THREE REASONS TO LOVE HIM ::
1. Exciting home-grown goaltending prospect
2. He’s a big guy who plays even bigger
3. Is semi-famous for coming up the opportune save
ONE REASON TO HATE HIM :: De-facto backup who was unable to piece together a dominating AHL season, despite getting four chances.
RANDOM FACT :: Is the most recent Red Wing to wear #35. The first? Ken Holland. I guess that’s more of a Ken Holland fact. Shut up – he’s still a rookie.
1. Big body
2. Big-time potential
3. Clutch at all the other levels
3. Occasional rebound control
ONE-LINER :: “He keeps us in every game.” – Griffins GM Bob McNamara
BIO :: Jimmy Howard is accomplished at every level of hockey so far: a veteran of the national program (including a U-18 championsihp), three very impressive seasons of college hockey at Maine (including the aforementioned records), four seasons in the AHL (the first of which saw him join the All-Rookie team).
He saw time in the NHL in three of his four pro seasons – but has yet to impress at the top level. For a guy who has long been the “Future of Wings goaltending,” he’s walking into the jungle with little else besides a flashlight that’s low on batteries. He’ll get tested – and he’ll get tested often, and Wings fans that are notoriously hard on goaltenders. Will he be eaten alive or will he pull a Babcock and become the big game hunter we all hope?
FUTURE :: It’s officially sink or swim time for James. When the Wings told Ty Conklin that they wouldn’t be bringing him back, they were putting a lot of faith in Howard’s ability to be more than a Black Ace. While no one expects him to challenge Osgood for starts, there are grumblings about Jimmy Howard’s ability to even play backup in the League. He’s out of waiver exemption, so if Holland & Co think he’s not playing up to snuff, expect a trade for a goaltender at the deadline.
RELEVANT STATS ::
Photo Credit: Getty Images