Thursday, May 31, 2018

Impressions of, and questions concerning--G, Linus Ullmark

Published by, 5-29-2018

Goalie--Linus Ullmark
DOB:  July 31, 1993 (Age, 24)
Draft:  2012, sixth round (163rd overall)
How acquired:  Drafted by Buffalo
Last contract signed:  June 13, 2017, 2yrs./$1.5 million
Final year of contract: 2018-19

2017-18 Stats:  5 games played | 3 starts | 1-2-0 record | 2.00 GAA | .935 Sv% | 0 shutouts

Buffalo Career Stats:  26 games | 24 starts | 9-13-2 record | 2.25 GAA | .917 Sv% | 0 shutouts

What we wrote preseason:  Ullmark got peppered last season in net for the Amerks but he weathered it rather nicely. One of the cool things about bringing in Johnson was that Ullmark can spend another season in Rochester fine-tuning his pro game while being the No. 1 and in a year or two, if he develops properly, we could be looking at the Sabres next starting goalie.

What we wrote mid-season:  N/A

Impressions on his play this year:  Ullmark was nothing short of brilliant in his first Buffalo start this season turning away 44 of 45 Columbus Blue Jackets shots as the Sabres stopped a five-game winless streak (0-4-1) back on January 11. It was Buffalo's last game before their bye-week and Ullmark got the call.

The 6'4" 221 lb. Ludnvik, Sweden native has been developing nicely ever since coming to North America and that includes being thrown into the fire very early in the 2015-16 season when an injury felled Buffalo's starter, Robin Lehner. While in Rochester the last two seasons Ullmark has been facing a ton of rubber and he's learned that he cannot stop everything and that there are many times when a crucial save can help produce a positive outcome in a high-scoring game.

Ullmark was called up mid-March and was pegged for plenty of starts to finish the Sabres season. However, he suffered a concussion at practice on March 30. He rejoined the Amerks playing in two of the final three regular season games and started all three playoff losses to the Syracuse Crunch. His numbers for that series had him with a 5.50 GAA and .800 Sv%.

Questions moving forward:  What happened in the playoffs? Was it the team? Or was it lingering concussion issues? How will he fare as a starter or 1A/B in his first full NHL season? Do teams have enough tape to figure him out? Can he maintain his child-like joy of playing the game of hockey?

Contract info via CapFriendly, stats via and hockey

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