Fitzpatrick Gets NHL Tryout

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Updated: August 31, 2021

Evan Fitzpatrick of St. John’s doesn’t have an NHL contract for next season but the 23-year-old will get an opportunity to try out for the Florida Panthers. Fitzpatrick has been invited to attend the Panthers’ training camp on a professional tryout (PTO) basis.

This invite comes after Fitzpatrick signed a two-year American Hockey League deal with the Charlotte Checkers. After being drafted in the second round by the St. Louis Blues, Fitzpatrick became an unrestricted free agent when the Blues failed to make him a qualifying offer at the end of his three-year entry-level contract.

With the Charlotte Checkers being the Panthers’ farm team, this opened the door for Fitzpatrick. With the Panthers goaltending situation not that deep with just Sergei Bobrovsky and Spencer Knight as their main goaltenders. The NHL team has just two other goalies signed to pro contracts – 28 year-old Christopher Gibson and 24 year-old Samuel Montembeault. Both these goalies have seen some NHL action but have spent the bulk of their career in the AHL. Besides these two AHL goalies, the Panthers have two unsigned goalies listed on their reserve list but both are in Russia. One is a 32 year-old whose rights have been held by the Panthers since 2007 and the other is a 2021 draft pick.

Fitzpatrick is a definite wildcard. The 6’3″, 205-pound netminder has not played in the NHL. he did spend a few days with St. Louis as a backup in 2018-19 Most of his contract has been split between the AHL where he played in 11 games with the San Antonio Rampage and the Utica Comets – and the ECHL where he played 37 games with the Tulsa Oilers and Brampton Beast.

With fairly decent numbers, Fitzpatrick had a 2.35 GAA in the AHL but found his options limited as the Blues did not have a dedicated AHL affiliate but instead utilized Utica (Vancouver’s farm team) as an option. There, Fitzpatrick played only 3 games, going 2-0-0 with a shutout and a 1.35 GAA but that was not enough to keep him with the Blues who have considerable netminder depth.

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