The Prince shall return! Earlier today, the University of Michigan announced that they will have Erik Portillo back in net for the 2022-23 season.
Portillo was a question mark to return for another year. Most of Michigan’s powerhouse players signed their NHL contracts in the hours following Michigan’s loss in the Frozen Four. The 21-year-old goaltender was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres back in 2019 but he still has yet to join the team. Instead, he decided to take another crack at college hockey.
During his first season in Michigan, Portillo only saw 7 games resulting in a 4-1-0 record, a 1.67 GAA, and a .935 save percentage. He was backing up the incredible Strauss Mann at the time. However, when Strauss left for Sweden before the beginning of this past season, Portillo was promoted to starter for the Wolverines. And oh boy did he do spectacularly.
This year, Portillo played 42 games, ending the season with a 31-10-1 record, a 2.14 GAA, and a .926 save percentage. He was a backbone for that Michigan team all season long. He did his best to give the offense a fighting chance and he bailed them out of sticky situations time and time again. He’s a phenomenal player with an incredible career in front of him but he’s taking some time to make sure he’s ready. There’s no need to rush into the NHL, especially to Buffalo, so why not take another season to stay in Ann Arbor and play some college hockey. Michigan will be looking a lot different come next season but I’m happy Prince Erik Portillo will be back in net!
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Featured Image: The University of Michigan's Website