Florida Panthers‘ top prospect Spencer Knight picked up a win in his NHL debut last night while stopping 33 of 34 shots. New Jersey Devils prospect Nolan Foote recorded his first goal in his second career NHL game in the Devils’ 7-6 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night. Anaheim Ducks prospect Ian Moore picked up Defenseman of the Week honors in the United States Hockey League.
Knight Tastes Victory in NHL Debut
Spencer Knight made his NHL debut on Tuesday night in Florida’s 5-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. He was the first goaltender born in the 2000s to appear in an NHL game and turned aside 33 of 34 shots en route to his first win. He’s also the first goaltender in Panthers history to win in his NHL debut. The American netminder signed his entry-level contract at the beginning of the month.
Drafted 13th overall in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, Knight spent the 2019-20 season as a freshman in the NCAA with Boston College, where he recorded a 23-8-2 record with a 1.97 goals-against average (GAA) and a .931 save percentage (SV%). He was named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team and Second All-Star Team. He began this season as a sophomore at Boston College, where he put together another impressive 16-4-1 record with a 2.18 GAA and .932 SV%. He was named Hockey East Goaltender and Player of the Year and was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award.
Knight represented Team USA at the 2021 World Junior Championship, backstopping his team to a gold medal with three shutouts, the most in a World Junior Championship career by a USA goaltender. He was Team USA’s Player of the Game in the final game against Canada, where he stopped all 34 shots. The Panthers still have Sergei Bobrovsky locked in at $10 million for the next five seasons, but Knight is their goaltender of the future.
Foote Grabs First NHL Goal
Nolan Foote is off to a quick start in the NHL. Two days after he recorded his first NHL point with an assist in the Devils’ 5-3 loss to the New York Rangers, he picked up his first NHL goal in a wild 7-6 loss to the Penguins last night. The Devils trailed that game 6-0 heading into the third period and scored six goals in a wild comeback effort. Foote now has one goal and one assist in his first two NHL games. Before being called up, he had an impressive six goals and ten assists for 16 points in 20 games played for the Binghamton Devils in the AHL.
Drafted 27th overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, he was acquired by the Devils in the trade that sent Blake Coleman to the Tampa Bay Lightning last season. He spent the 2019-20 season in the Western Hockey League with the Kelowna Rockets, where he recorded 15 goals and 18 assists in 27 games played. He also represented Canada at the 2020 World Junior Championship, winning a gold medal and amassing three goals and two assists in seven games played.
Moore Named USHL Defenseman of the Week
Ducks prospect Ian Moore was named USHL Defenseman of the Week after he scored a goal and two assists for a three-point weekend. He is in his rookie season with the Chicago Steel after transferring from the United States Highschool circuit. He spent the 2019-20 season playing for St. Mark’s School, where he amassed 12 goals and 34 assists in 28 games played. He was subsequently drafted 67th overall by the Ducks in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.
In a press release from the team, Steel associate head coach Matt Deschamps had this to say about Moore’s fit with the team this season:
Ian’s overall character and high-level play has shown through his play thus far. Ian is a great teammate with charismatic attitude that’s highly valued in our locker room. Ian possesses great offensive instincts and a heavy, accurate shot. Ian’s been a key contributor to our style of play and deserves this great recognition by the League.
He got off to a slow start with only one goal and two assists in his first 15 games of USHL action. However, since then, he has flourished with nine goals and 12 assists in 28 games with the Steel. He is on a three-game point streak, including one goal and three assists, and he also has points in ten of his last twelve games with four goals and 11 points.
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