11 years later, Matt Tomkins finally made his National Hockey League (NHL) Debut for Tampa Bay Lightning against the Ottawa Senators. The 29-year-old was drafted at his 18th year as 199th Overall by the Blackhawks while playing at the AJHL club Sherwood Park.
Matt Tomkins made 33 saves against 37, thereby managing an okayish debut with .892 SV%. He looked solid and helped in avoiding a bigger defeat for the Lightning. Tomkins appearing in successive games remains unknown. Nevertheless, the chances stay high.
Cirelli: “(Tomkins) was unbelievable. You know from the first puck drop he made huge saves and kept us in that game the whole game. Huge credit to him the way he came in here and he made saves and played really well.”
Matt joined the Tampa Bay Lightning after signing two year contract in the May of 2023 after his two year stint in Sweden.
Post 2012 Draft, Tomkins sported the Ohio State University in the NCAA. Tomkins also played in ECHL and AHL for the Indy Fuel and Rockford IceHogs respectively. In 2021, he moved to the SHL. Playing for Farjestad BK, Tomkins managed a 2.53 GAA with a SV% of .911.
Thanks to NHL not sending players to 2022 Beijing, Tomkins started as one of the Goaltenders for Team Canada. He remarkably made a good impression with a 5-0 shutout against China in his first start. However, Team Canada failed to make podium after bowing out 7-2 in QFs to Sweden.
His impressive showing at Beijing earned him a call back to the national team. He only played in a single game of the World Championships, the gold medal game. Canada, however, lost in the Overtime and settled for a silver. His individual records include ECHL GoalTender of The Year in three different seasons.