Topic: Al Montoya

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Álvaro "Al" Montoya (born February 13, 1985) is an American professional ice hockey goaltender currently playing for the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was drafted by the New York Rangers in the first round (6th overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft after a three-year career with the University of Michigan. Montoya is the first Cuban American to play in the NHL.

Montoya played youth hockey for the Chicago Young Americans and Loyola Academy and amateur hockey for the Texas Tornado of the North American Hockey League. He spent the 2000-01 season with the U.S. National Team Development Program. Montoya began attending the University of Michigan and playing for the Wolverines in 2002–03. He enjoyed success at Michigan, especially during his final season in 2004–05, where he posted a record of 30-7-3. Montoya twice represented the United States at the World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, backstopping the team to its first gold medal at the 2004 tournament in Finland; he was named to the tournament All-Star team. The 2005 tournament, hosted by the United States, was a disappointing one for Montoya and Team USA as they failed to medal, losing to the Czech Republic in the bronze medal game.

After being signed by the New York Rangers to a three-year entry-level contract in the summer of 2005, Montoya made his professional debut with the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL), the team with which he spent the majority of the next three seasons. Overall, he posted a 66-34-4 record with the Wolf Pack, along with a 5-5 playoff record.

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