The Reign have one piece of their next goaltending tandem in place.
Twenty-one year-old Garrett Zemlak is coming off a four-year career in the Western Hockey League, the last two years of which were spent with the Prince Albert Raiders. The Saskatoon native also appeared in three games late last season for the ECHL’s Charlotte Checkers, going 2-0-1 with a 2.15 GAA and .929 save percentage.
Zemlak was probably enticed by the possibility of a tryout with the Kings, telling the Prince Albert Daily Herald that he expects to start the season with the American Hockey League’s Manchester Monarchs. In Manchester, Zemlak would probably split time with former Reign netminder Jeff Zatkoff; Jonathan Bernier, the Monarchs’ 2009-10 starter, is expected to gain a promotion to the NHL this season.
Kings goaltending prospect Martin Jones must also find a team, as his time in junior is up. Will Jones form a tandem with Zemlak in Ontario next season, or skip straight to the AHL? Will Zemlak be joined by another free-agent goaltender? Those questions will likely be answered in training camp.
With Prince Albert, Zemlak was named the team’s most outstanding player last season, going 26-25-4 with a 3.11 goals-against average and .909 save percentage. From 2006-08, Zemlak played for the Saskatoon Blades. During his four seasons in the Western Hockey League, he went 54-49-6 with five shutouts, a 3.31 goals-against average, and an .896 save percentage in 127 games.