For the first time in what seems like forever, the Oilers have stability in net. Cam Talbot is the starter, and last season he emerged as one of the game’s ten best at the position. Laurent Brossoit has yet to prove he can take the backup job, but he’s earned a lengthy look after a good AHL career and strong NHL showing last season.
In the AHL, rookie Nick Ellis shined and has emerged as a prospect of note for the organization. Under him, though, there is uncertainty. Rookie Shane Starrett comes from the NCAA, but he’s yet to play a professional game and is likely to start in the ECHL where he can hold a starting job.
That means the club came into the summer needing a veteran for the AHL squad to backup Ellis. They acquired just that in Eddie Pasquale, who served as the backup last season for Grand Rapids in the AHL. Pasquale posted a 15-9-2 record for the Griffins with a .919 SV% in 29 total contests.
So…Just Who Is Eddie Pasquale?:
Pasquale, as mentioned above, had a solid season last year in the AHL. While he has yet to make his NHL debut, Pasquale has posted solid to above average numbers in the AHL every season he’s been there. For a deeper look, we turn to his scouting report via The Hockey News.
|Has outstanding size for the goaltending position (6-3, 215 pounds), and he usually plays big in his crease. Is capable of putting up excellent numbers at lower levels.|
|Needs to continue to work on his agility and mobility in the crease area, since he can be beaten when forced to move side to side. Also needs to improve mentally.|
|Big depth goaltender.|
What Can We Expect?:
Barring multiple injuries in Edmonton, we won’t be seeing Pasquale in the Oiler crease outside of the preseason. I suspect we see him in one or two preseason games before he gets sent down to Bakersfield, where I suspect he spends the season.
If things go according to plan, Pasquale will serve as the backup to Nick Ellis, providing strong veteran play when called on. There’s also the possibility that the young Ellis struggles a bit in his second season, and if that is the case we should expect Pasquale to step up and fill the starters role for at least a short period of time.
For us to call this season a success, Pasquale needs to provide solid play when called on and help push Nick Ellis. Judging by his career to this point, he should be able to do just that.