SUNRISE, Fla. ( – The Florida Panthers announced Monday morning that goalie Jacob Markstrom has been sent down to the Panthers’ team in San Antonio.

“It’s based on long-term, based on where we’re headed and based on numbers,” Panthers general manager Dale Tallon said. “We know he can play and we know where we’re headed with him and we’re deep in goal, so that’s a good thing.”

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Markstrom, widely viewed as the goalie of the future for the Panthers, made his first NHL start on October 18 against the Washington Capitals. Markstrom stopped 29 of 31 shots in a 3-0 loss. He earned his first NHL win four days later and wound up 2-2-1 and had a .944 save percentage this season.

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“He showed his true worth in training camp, showed his true worth in the games that he played and we have a bright prospect, great future ahead and that’s what we’re all about,” Tallon said. “We’re being cautious here and conservative in his development.”

Markstrom could be ready to take over as early as next season.

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The Panthers also have 18-year-old Jonathan Huberdeau in the farm system. The former number three overall pick almost made the team this year and will be asked to put on muscle until next year’s training camp.