Sam Brittain
Image: Denver U.

Sam Brittain

Hometown:

Calgary Alberta

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1992-05-22

Position:

G

Eligible for draft:

2010

Catches:

Left

Drafted:

2010

Height:

6-3

Acquired:

4th round (92nd overall), 2010

Weight:

215 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • C

History

2008-09: Sam Brittain led the Calgary Buffaloes Midget AAA team to an AMHL championship and a second-place finish behind Notre Dame Hounds in the Telus Cup. In seven games, including a 38-save shutout in the semifinal game, Brittain finished 3-2-2 with a 3.00 GAA and .916 save percentage. He appeared in 3 games for the Canmore Eagles (AJHL), going 1-2-0 with a 3.02 GAA and .894 save percentage.

2009-10: Brittain played for the Canmore Eagles of the AJHL. In 52 games, he was 23-19-8 with a 3.27 GAA and .896 save percentage. In nine playoff games, Brittain went 5-4 with a 3.01 GAA and .913 save percentage. He committed to playing college hockey at the University of Denver.

2010-11: Brittain started 33 of 42 games as a freshman at the University of Denver. The Pioneers finished second in the WCHA and Brittain was 19-9-5 with one shutout. He had a 2.28 GAA and .921 save percentage and was named to the WCHA All-Rookie Team.

2011-12: Brittain returned to the University of Denver lineup at the end of January after rehabbing from off-season knee surgery. He appeared in 12 games for the Pioneers as a sophomore, handling the bulk of the goaltending during the stretch run. He finished the year 8-4 with 1 shutout and had a 2.36 goals against and .932 save percentage. Denver finished third in the WCHA and reached the Broadmoor Trophy championship game. Brittain recorded 67 saves in the Pioneers’ 4-3, double overtime victory over Minnesota-Duluth in the WCHA playoff semifinals and was in net for the NCAA Midwest regional contest against Ferris State (a 2-1 loss).

2012-13: Brittain had a season of fits and starts in his junior year at Denver. After wins in four of his first five starts, Brittain did not record another win for almost four months as sophomore Juho Olkinuora (Winnipeg) emerged as the Pioneers’ starter. Brittain finished the year 5-7 with a 2.95 goals against and .907 save percentage. Denver finished third in the WCHA and reached the WCHA Broadmoor Trophy championship game; receiving an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament and falling to Ferris State, 2-1, in a Midwest Regional semifinal game.

2013-14: Brittain had an outstanding season for the University of Denver in his senior season — leading the Pioneers to an NCAA tournament berth with a surprising conference playoff run — and was honored as a West first team All-American and NCHC Goalie of the Year. In 39 games for the Pioneers he was 19-14-6 with five shutouts and had a 2.22 goals against and .929 save percentage. The Pioneers finished sixth in the first-year NCHC but defeated fellow upstart Miami (which finished last in the regular season) in the conference championship game; earning an NCAA berth. Denver lost to Boston College, 6-2, in the Northeast Regional semifinals. Brittain signed a two-year entry-level contract with Florida in July 2014. 

2014-15: After an impressive four-year career at the University of Denver, Brittain split the season between the AHL and ECHL. In 27 games for the Cincinnati Cyclones, he struggled, posting a sub-.900 saver percentage and a 2.71 goals against average; however, in seven games with the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL, he posted a 4-2-1 record to go along with a .943 save percentage.

2015-16: Brittain played in 25 games for the AHL’s Portland Pirates in his second pro season. Backing up 32-year-old Mike McKenna, he was 8-10-3 and had a 2.79 goals against and .906 save percentage. Portland finished fourth in the Atlantic Division, falling to Hershey in a first-round playoff series. McKenna started all five playoff games for the Pirates.

Talent Analysis

Brittain is the prototypical modern NHL goaltender with good size and a traditional butterfly style. He covers the net well and is adept at controlling rebounds. He is comfortable and calm in his crease and relies on sound positioning and fluid movements instead of the twisting, acrobatic saves. Brittain has a quick, technically solid glove hand, and moves smoothly from post to post. Injuries and inconsistent play have hampered his development, but the core attributes are all in place.

Future

Brittain served as a backup goalie to veteran Mike McKenna with the AHL's Portland Pirates in 2015-16. In the second year of his original two-year contract with Florida, he would become an unrestricted free agent if not tendered a qualifying offer. With several goaltending candidates in the Panthers' system, he appears likely to be headed elsewhere in 2016-17. Brittain has some natural ability and shows flashes at times but the 24-year-old has seen limited action in two pro seasons.

2010 NHL Draft: Franchise-record 13 selections buffs blueline, depth chart for Florida Panthers

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Photo: Nick Bjugstad has become a solid goal scorer, this season netting 24 markers in 72 games. (Courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire)

Photo: Nick Bjugstad has become a solid NHL goal scorer, this season netting 24 in 72 games. (Courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire)

Florida Panthers General Manager Dale Tallon amassed a staggering 13 picks for the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, the most in franchise history. Although the Panthers had an abysmal 32-37-13 season, the team owned three first round picks, assuring to reinvigorate the franchise with talent and youth. After employing the likes of Bryan McCabe, Steve Reinprecht, and Cory Stillman in the twilight of their careers, Florida desperately needed impact players at key positions. Read more»

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Photo: Rocco Grimaldi has scored 35 points in 51 games for the Rampage in his rookie season as a professional hockey player (Courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

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The Florida Panthers have made the playoffs just twice in the last 16 years. In an effort to make the postseason this year, the Panthers added veterans Dany Heatley and Jaromir Jagr at the trade deadline. But if the Panthers are going to become a playoff contender on an annual basis, it is the youngsters coming up through their system that need to make a difference in the coming years. Read more»

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The Florida Panthers minor league system is teeming with NHL-prospects who are waiting for opportunities on the Florida roster. Florida General Manager Dale Tallon hinted in the past few weeks that he may be looking to trade some of the more veteran forwards on the squad in order to facilitate some of that upward movement. Until then, the AHL affiliate San Antonio Rampage are reaping the rewards of having top-notch talent playing throughout their lineup.

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Sam Brittain Ready for Return to Denver Crease

by Brian Fogarty
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Sam Brittain, the sophomore goaltender for the University of Denver, is gearing up for a return to the ice after spending the first half of the season rehabilitating from surgery to repair his knee. Brittain suffered the injury in the WCHA Final Five game against the University of North Dakota on what seemed like an innocuous play, but eventually cost him not only 20-plus games for the Pioneers, but also a unique chance to play for Team Canada in the World Junior Championships.

After playing midget hockey in his hometown of Calgary, Alberta, and a season of Junior A hockey in Canmore, Brittain joined the Pioneers. He played 33 games as a freshman, finishing among the NCAA-leading goaltenders after posting a .921 save percentage and a 2.28 goals against average. As of Monday, January 23rd, Brittain has been cleared to begin practicing with the team, and could soon see a return to action.

Hockey’s Future recently had a chance to talk to the Panthers prospect about goaltending, his injury and rehabilitation, and what it has been like watching his team play this fall.

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Florida Panthers fans could one day look back at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft as the weekend the proper rebuilding process for the Panthers began. The team’s new General Manager, Dale Tallon, was a busy man as he made 13 selections in the draft. The Panthers stockpiled picks and had three draft choices in each of the first three rounds.

They acquired a first-round pick from Boston a few days prior to the draft, along with Dennis Wideman and a third-round draft pick in 2010, in a deal that sent Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell the other way. They traded that pick at the draft to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for the Kings’ first-round pick and a second-round pick. They traded Keith Ballard and Victor Oreskovich to Vancouver for Steve Bernier, prospect Michael Grabner and another first-round pick.

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