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