By Brian Compton
NHL.com Staff Writer
Considering the impressive numbers he put up as a first-year pro with the ECHL’s Alaska Aces, it’s really no surprise that goaltender Jean-Philippe Lamoureux is climbing the ladder.
Lamoureux, who turns 25 on Aug. 20, impressed Buffalo Sabres brass at a prospects camp last month and was rewarded with a one-year contract. The Grand Forks, N.D., native went 33-16-2 with a 2.29 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage. He also set an ECHL record with eight shutouts.
The next likely stop for Lamoureux will be the Portland Pirates in the American Hockey League — just one step away from where the undrafted goalie wants to be.
“You work to play in the NHL someday,” Lamoureux told NHL.com. “My first year of pro, my goal was to get a two-way deal with an NHL team and that was what I was able to accomplish.”
As sharp as Lamoureux was during the regular season, it may have been his performance in the ECHL playoffs that caught Buffalo’s attention. In 21 appearances for Alaska, Lamoureux went 15-6 with a 1.95 GAA and a .934 save percentage. He helped the Aces reach the Kelly Cup Finals, where they lost to the South Carolina Stingrays in seven games.
“Anytime you get a phone call and someone wants to take a serious look at you, you’ve got to show up and play well,” Lamoureux said. “I was just coming off our playoff run (with Alaska). I didn’t have too much time to get prepared for it, so I just wanted to play real solid and work hard. I felt pretty good. I wasn’t lights out by any means, but I felt I was real consistent throughout the week.”