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NHL's Breakout Players of 2011

Al Montoya
Photo: David Duprey/AP

Al Montoya

New York Islanders

All but forgotten after being chosen by the New York Rangers in the first round (sixth overall) of the 2004 draft, he surfaced in Phoenix for five games in 2008-09. Trapped behind Ilya Bryzgalov and doing spot duty for AHL San Antonio, Montoya was dealt to the Islanders on Feb. 9, 2011, for a sixth-round pick in that summer's draft and soon justified his lofty draft status by going 9-5-5 with a 2.39 GAA and .921 save pct. for his woebegone new team. Starting 2011-12 as part of a three-headed net monster with Evgeni Nabokov and the perpetually injured Rick DiPietro, Montoya was playing well (6-5-3, 2.45 GAA, .917 save pct.) for the struggling Isles when he was concussed in a game against Winnipeg on Dec 20. The feeling is that he will either become the Isles' No. 1 goalie or be dealt to a team that allows him to continue fulfilling his considerable promise.

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