Mantas Armalis Signs ELC
The San Jose Sharks made it official signing goaltender Mantas Armalis to an entry level contract. This is very likely a minor league signing for the team to give him time to adjust to the North American game although I would not be shocked to see him backing up Martin Jones in the upcoming season. Armalis, a Lithuanian-born 23-year-old undrafted goalie who has played in the SHL for Djurgardens IF. He played 34 games this past season scoring 2.42 and a .918 SV%. When he was not minding the net he also has done some modeling on the side so fellas if your ladies suddenly have a renewed interest in hockey games and in-person events you now know why. This makes for some interesting questions in the Sharks goaltending pipeline. There is little chance that James Reimer will return in goal for the Sharks leaving an opening going into training camp to play behind Martin Jones.
The San Jose Barracuda will still have Troy Grosenick under contract who has been, however, outplayed by Aaron Dell. Dell though is not under contract going into next season and could be let go as an unrestricted free agent despite his 2.41 GAA and .922 SV%. Personally, as good as Aaron Dell has been I don’t know if he has any NHL upside. If the Sharks do bring Dell back though I do expect him to challenge for the backup role behind Jones.
Finally, in the ECHL, we will likely see the tandem of Joel Rumpel and Jamie Murray going forward for the Allen Americans. Although both Murray and Rumpel may challenge for time on the Barracuda. Rumpel is a Restricted Free Agent this summer and could also be cast off to make room in the system.
With all this being considered I expect Armalis to bring his “Teal Steel” to the San Jose Barracuda next season, a team that could be very fun depending on who graduates to the NHL next season.