August 22, 2006

Ohio State
Fr. | G | Yorkville, N.Y.

Palmer brings experience against international and collegiate teams to the Buckeye crease this fall.


Key Statistics: In 47 games for the U.S. NTDP’s Under-18 squad last season, Palmer went 29-14 with a 2.49 goals-against average and .903 save percentage. He was the MVP of the Americans’ win over Finland in the gold-medal game of April’s Under-18 World Championship. This summer, he was picked by the Chicago Blackhawks in the fourth round of the NHL Entry Draft.

What He Does: Palmer has nice size at 6-feet-1 and 205 pounds, but he also possesses admirable lateral quickness. Scouts tend to rave about his athleticism, competitiveness and aggressiveness. In talking to Palmer, he also seems to have maturity beyond his 18 years of age.

The Bigger Picture: Ohio State is the only team in the CCHA that must replace its clear-cut, no-doubt-about-it No. 1 goalie this season. And Palmer assuredly will be the one filling the skates of the graduated David Caruso. Caruso’s backup the last two seasons, Ian Keserich, decided to go back to the USHL, leaving quite a dearth of experience in Columbus-area creases. It’s a scary thought for fans of the Buckeyes, who otherwise have enough talent up front to push for a conference crown. Palmer, who admits that the immediate playing time was one thing that attracted him to OSU, proved during college exhibitions and international contests that he has the talent to succeed at the NCAA level, but the question is whether he can overcome his youthful inexperience quickly enough.

Palmer, who talked to INCH shortly after leaving a Blackhawks camp this week, on his expectations for the season: “There’s no doubt in my mind that I’m capable of walking in and being the starting goalie. But I can’t just sit back and relax. I have to go at it the same way that I would if I were the No. 3 goalie, and show that I deserve to be the starter.”

— James Jahnke