In April, the San Jose Sharks signed goaltender Mantas Armalis, to a standard entry-level contract out of the Swedish Hockey League. Armalis’ signing with the Sharks made waves across the NHL media not because of his play, but because Armalis is also a male model. Some are already calling him the “Zoolander of the NHL.” No, seriously, look at him.
He look like a player you could create in the soon-to-be-released NHL 17. Look at that jawline.
Anyways, back to hockey. With Djurgardens IF in the SHL, Armalis was 16-13-3-2 with a 2.42 GAA and a save percentage of .918. He has also represented Lithuania in the 2015 World 1 B Championship and was named the tournament’s top goaltender with a save percentage of .938 and helped lead his country to a bronze medal finish.
Name: Mantas Armalis
Age (as of 10/12/16): 24
2015-16 Team: Djurgardens IF (Sweden)
Where he’ll (probably) be next year: San Jose Barracuda
What we like: Armalis gives more depth at the goaltender position after the Sharks failed to acquire a free agent goalie during free agency. With Aaron Dell looking to be Martin Jones’ backup in 2016-17, Armalis should be able to compete with Troy Grosenick for the starting position with the ‘Cuda.
What to improve on: How Armalis adapts to the AHL compared to the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) will be critical, as he’ll go against faster skaters and a deeper pool of talent.