Born July 23, 1977 (age 34) in Des Moines, Iowa, America
Goaltender for the Florida Panthers
Clemmensen is the first Iowa-born player to play in the NHL. Fun trivia! He began his career playing with USHL junior clubs Dubuque Fighting Saints and Des Moines Buccaneers in his hometown. While with the Buccaneers, he became draft-eligible and New Jersey took him 215th overall in 1997. He put off going pro, though, in order to play for the Boston College Eagles from 1997 to 2001. During his time with BC, in his last year there, they won the NCAA Championship! After college, he went pro and spent the majority of his first year with the Devils’ AHL club in Albany. He continued honing his craft in Albany until getting his first start in 2004, a shutout against Pittsburgh. During the lockout, he stayed with Albany.
He became Martin Brodeur’s permanent backup following the lockout, although in 2007 he entered free agency and went to Toronto. Mostly he played with the Marlies, although he appeared in three Maple Leafs games, including a shootout victory. He then helped the Marlies reach the Calder Cup semifinals. Following this stint in Toronto, he returned to New Jersey and ended up starting quite a lot of games when Brodeur was on the injured reserve. By quite a lot, I mean he played 40 games, posting a 25-13-1 record with two shutouts. These 25 wins are the most by a non-Brodeur goalie in Devils history. This pinch-hitter excellence got him the Unsung Hero award as voted on by teammates and even the team nomination for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. In 2009 he signed on with the Panthers.
He went to the 2009 Worlds as America’s starting goalie and also went to the 2010 Worlds. At the 2010 Worlds, he and Ben Bishop shared a 10-0 win over Kazakhstan and Clemmensen tallied a 4-0 victory against France. Before this season, he needed a little conditioning time down in San Antonio because of a knee injury, but now he’s back in action and backs up fellow MotD Jose Theodore. To date he’s played in 15 games with a 6-2-5 record and a shutout. He has a 2.72 GAA and .914% save percentage. What I think is interesting is that both of Florida’s goalies are a little older, but they’re doing well–and so is their team.