Mantis Armalis, G
Hometown: Plunge, Lithuania
Drafted: Signed as Free Agent by San Jose Sharks
March 2017 – Teal Steel as he is affectionately known has had a hard time finding starts behind Troy Grosenick, who has been lights out for much of the season. The big Lithuanian goaltender has continued to make strides in his play and positioning and is much more comfortable with the constant traffic in front of the net that he was early in the season. The numbers have not been overly impressive, currently sitting at a 2.85 GAA and .894 save percentage, but the improvement as the season has progressed has been good. One positive is despite the modest statistical success, he has found ways to win with a 12-4-3 record. With the two goalies ahead of him on the depth chart in a bit of flux (Grosenick a UFA, Dell rumored to be drawing interest from Vegas) this summer, it will be interesting to see if the Sharks and Armalis come to an agreement to continue his time in North America past this season. Zachary DeVine
October 2016 – The Model, Teal Steel, The Versace Glove. Nicknames are easy to come by for the big Lithuanian goaltender, and he’s assimilating the North American game well, but it’s taking time. The contrast in styles between the positional Armalis and the athletic “battle for saves” styles of Jamie Murray and Troy Grosenick could not be more drastic. One area Armalis has spent a lot of time with is sealing the ice with his pads in the butterfly, as the right knee has a tendency to come up, two goals have slid under him in games that easily could have been pad saves. The positioning has been good, and Armalis keeps his shoulder back and his body big. It will take some more time, but Armalis certainly has helped shore up the Sharks goaltending depth at the farm level. Zachary DeVine
April 2016 – After being thrust onto the radar by CBC reports of him being pursued by Carolina and Toronto, the Sharks swam in and won the sweepstakes. San Jose seems like a rather good fit Armalis both on and off the ice, as he is only a 90 minute or less flight from the ‘City of Angels’ were he could continue and grow his hobby of modeling. He has had limited success in all the levels in Sweden, but seems to be a rather late bloomer as he has really come into his own in his early-20s. He received a bulk of starts the past season due to an injury to the Djurgardens’ stable starter Mikael Tellqvist and even a few playoff appearances. Armalis has a very attractive size on his side and is garnering comparisons to Jonas Gustavsson as ‘Monster 2.0’. While there are similarities to the signing process and body build, that’s where the comparisons end. The Monster was rather proven at all levels being a top end talent and not a flash in the pan or late bloomer, Armalis is somewhat of a risk and a project for the Sharks to develop. He does not use his size overly effectively by getting rather small on shots and has poor rebound control according to reports and a sample footage below. It is expected he will join the Barracuda of the AHL next season to get work and refine his game while giving an idea of where his potential lies. Until we see how he plays in training camp and get a sense of where he stands, he is a prospect to avoid but keep track of due to the question marks of who will receive the job of backing up Martin Jones next season. Jason Banks
Fantasy Outlook: C-
The late bloomer could be something substantial eventually, but he requires some refining, experience and seasoning before he hits the prime time. Longer term project, but a decent looking gamble.
Spectacular emergency rebound save:
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