By JAMES TUBB September 24, 2021.
It’s his first full preseason and Beckett Langkow is already considering the Tigers’ starting role.
Medicine Hat number one goalie Garin Bjorklund is currently at NHL camp with the Washington Capitals, which leaves Langkow as the most experienced goaltender in the camp and gives him the chance to show the Tigers how he can. play in the role of starter.
âLike every time you come on a team you are looking to be the guy,â he said. “While he’s gone here, I’m just trying to do all I can in training and time being in preseason games to show that I can be the guy here and that I can play. in this league as a holder. “
The 18-year-old appeared in five games for Medicine Hat in last year’s cropped season. He’s won four of those starts with a .903 save percentage and a 3.35 goals-against average. This preseason, he’s split the duties in both Tigers’ games against Lethbridge and is holding a 2.99 GPA and .906 SAV in Medicine Hat’s two-way home game with Swift Current this weekend.
For Langkow, going through a full training camp was well received because the team weren’t pushed into games like last year.
âIt’s a lot easier coming back as a sophomore guy and it’s fun having a regular training camp with a lot more guys here, a lot more younger guys, and we were able to have these scrimmages before we get to the preseason, âhe said.â Then playing the preseason was also very useful for all of us. So it’s been fun so far.
With Bjorklund likely to return with the Tigers early in the season and rookie goaltender James Venne still at camp, there are plenty of options in goal for head coach Willie Desjardins. Langkow says the three goalies are friends and work together on and off the ice.
âIt really helps in training, we are all competing against each other,â Langkow said. âEven with sessions with (goalie coach Matt Wong) it’s nice to have guys that you’re friends with and can talk to all the time if you need anything.
When Bjorklund returns from camp and becomes the Tigers’ number one goalie, Langkow says it won’t change his approach in every game and practice.
âBack in midget, I was kind of the guy there, I was still hungry, I always wanted to stop everything in training. So little change in my mindset whether or not I play games.
Product Vegreville says his short stint with the team last year is something he enjoyed and wants to grow and build on those experiences this year.
“It was good to get a taste of things and get some experience in the league and I think that will help me start this year,” he said. “I want to have a bigger role this year and play more games,” he said. “Just to get used to the speed of the game, it’s such a big midget jump and the more games you have under your belt, the more comfortable you feel there.”