January 5, 1988 |
|Height||6 ft 4 in (193 cm)|
|Weight||183 lb (83 kg; 13 st 1 lb)|
Eddie Läck (born January 5, 1988) is a Swedish professional ice hockey goaltender currently playing for the Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League (NHL). Läck has previously played professionally in Sweden for Leksands IF of the HockeyAllsvenskan and Brynäs IF of the Elitserien. After going unselected in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, he signed as a free agent with the Vancouver Canucks in 2010. He was assigned to the Manitoba Moose in his first season with the Canucks organization and was named to the 2010–11 AHL All-Rookie Team. He is nicknamed "The Stork", in reference to his tall stature and long legs.
Läck spent his minor hockey career with his hometown team, Norrtälje IK. He also competed in two TV-pucken tournaments – an annual under-16 national competition – with Stockholm's second regional team. He entered the junior ranks with Djurgårdens IF's organization in 2004–05 and helped the club to a J18 Allsvenskan silver medal. Two years later, he joined Leksands IF at the J20 level.
Läck made his professional debut with Leksands IF's men's team in the HockeyAllsvenskan, Sweden's second-highest league, appearing in three games in 2006–07. The following campaign, he appeared in 26 HockeyAllsvenskan games, recording a 1.96 goals against average (GAA), while still seeing playing time in junior. In 2008–09, he fully established himself with Leksands IF's professional team, outplaying former NHL goaltender Ed Belfour as the club's starter. He posted a 2.02 GAA and .930 save percentage in 32 games.
Going into the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, he was ranked ninth among European goaltenders by the NHL Central Scouting Bureau, but went unselected. After three seasons with the Leksands IF organization, Läck moved up to the Elitserien, Sweden's premiere league, signing a two-year contract with Brynäs IF on July 6, 2009. He made his Elitserien debut on October 17, relieving Jacob Markström (who at the time was a Florida Panthers prospect) near the end of the first period. He stopped all 18 shots he faced in a 3–2 loss to Färjestad BK. Läck went on to play in 14 games as a backup to Markström, registering a 2.67 GAA and .911 save percentage.
Manitoba Moose/Chicago Wolves
Läck's play garnered the attention of Vancouver Canucks scout Lars Lindgren and in the off-season, he was signed by the Canucks to a two-year, entry-level contract on April 6, 2010. He subsequently left Sweden to begin playing within the Canucks organization. Assigned to the Manitoba Moose, the Canucks' minor league affiliate, he made his American Hockey League (AHL) debut on October 9, making 23 saves in a 5–2 win over the Rockford IceHogs. Competing for playing time with fellow Moose goaltender Tyler Weiman, Läck emerged as the team's starter, appearing in 53 games (28 wins, 21 losses and 4 overtime or shootout losses). With a 2.26 GAA (ranked seventh in the league) and .926 save percentage (fourth in the league), Läck was named to the AHL All-Rookie Team. During the 2011 Calder Cup playoffs, he helped the Moose to the second round, recording a 1.99 GAA and .932 save percentage in 12 games. Following the Manitoba's elimation to the Hamilton Bulldogs, Läck was called up to the Canucks on May 13, 2011, to travel and practice with the team as a playoff reserve. Vancouver advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals and lost to the Boston Bruins in seven games.
Positioned behind Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider (joint winners of the 2010–11 William M. Jennings Trophy) on the Canucks' depth chart, Läck was assigned to the AHL for a second season in 2011–12. Due to the Winnipeg Jets' return to the NHL, the Moose franchise was relocated to St. John's, Newfoundland; as a result, the Canucks switched their AHL affiliation to the Chicago Wolves. Läck made his Wolves debut on October 8, 2011, stopping 31 of 33 shots in a 3–2 shootout loss to the San Antonio Rampage. He recorded his first win and shutout with Chicago three games later on October 21 against the Rockford IceHogs. The following month, Läck was called up by Vancouver after starting goaltender Roberto Luongo sustained an injury. He dressed for his first NHL game on November 16, 2011, backing up Cory Schneider in a loss against the Chicago Blackhawks before being re-assigned the following day. He finished the season in Chicago posting a 21–20–3 record with a 2.31 GAA and a .925 save percentage. By season's end, he, along with backup Matt Climie, helped set a Wolves franchise record for lowest team goals against average at 2.54. Läck's second season with the Wolves started slowly, as his numbers dropped significantly from the previous season. He had been playing with a hip flexor injury and a decision was made to rest him to allow the injury to heal. The injury eventually required surgery which ended Läck's season. He finished the year playing in 13 games posting a 7–4–1 record with a 3.00 GAA and an .899 save percentage.
Läck was named the Canucks' backup goaltender to start the 2013–14 season, and made his first appearance – and recorded his first win – on October 6, 2013, with a 5–4 overtime win against the Calgary Flames. On November 15, despite Läck having only made five NHL appearances to date, the Canucks re-signed him to a two-year contract extension worth a total of U.S.$2.3 million. He would record his first NHL shutout in his home ice debut against the Carolina Hurricanes on December 9, 2013.
On March 4, 2014, starting goaltender Roberto Luongo was traded to the Florida Panthers, along with minor leaguer Steven Anthony, for Swedish goaltender Jacob Markström and forward Shawn Matthias, making Läck and Markström (who played together for Brynäs IF) the goaltending tandem for the Canucks, and making Läck an NHL starter for the first time in his career. That summer, however, the Canucks signed Ryan Miller as their starter, but when Miller was hurt in late February 2015, Lack excelled and allowed the Canucks to maintain their playoff position, even starting the Canucks first few playoff games. Eddie Lack recorded his first NHL Playoff victory April 17 2015, with a 4 - 1 victory over the Calgary Flames. Lack remained in net until he was pulled in Game 4 in Calgary, at which point Miller returned. The Canucks went on to lose their first round matchup with Calgary in 6 games.
Läck is a big goaltender who uses his size to his advantage looking through traffic to see the puck, and aggressively challenging shooters. Despite his size he has good lateral movement, covers the bottom of the net well, has good balance, and is positionally sound.
Regular season and playoffs
- AHL All-Rookie Team in 2011
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- "Chicago Wolves goalie Eddie Lack won't 'play through injury'". The Vancouver Sun. November 12, 2012. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
- Brough, Jason (January 29, 2013). "Canucks goalie Lack out six months (hip surgery)". NBC Sports. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
- "Canucks goalie Eddie Lack had the answers". The Vancouver Sun. October 6, 2013. Retrieved December 10, 2013.
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- "Eddie Lack earns 1st shutout, Canucks clip Hurricanes". CBC.ca. December 10, 2013. Retrieved December 10, 2013.
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