When it comes to goaltending depth, three is not a crowd. Three is a necessity. The Grand Rapids signed former Michigan State goalkeeper John Lethemon, 25, to a one-year contract. Lethemon played four seasons and 101 games for the Spartans before turning pro in 2020.
Lethemon, a Northville native, has played most of his professional games for the Greenville Swamp Rabbits in the ECHL, although he did win two games for the Ontario Reign in the American Hockey League in 2020-21.
The Griffins already have Red Wings’ 2021 first-round draft pick Sebastian Cossa projected to be with them next season, along with Red Wings’ fifth-round pick Victor Brattstrom. Last season, Brattstrom ended up as the Griffins starting goalie later in the season after Calvin Pickard was injured playing for the Red Wings.
Injuries routinely cause goalie shuffling in the NHL, AHL and ECHL. For the past two seasons, the Griffins had Kaden Fulcher play a total of 11 games for them while also spending time with the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye. Fulcher even played one game for the Red Wings in 2018-19.
Workhorse at MSU
Hence, it’s hard to know where Lethemon will fit with the Griffins in 2022-23.
In 2021-22, Lethemon posted a 15-11-6 record, a 2.69 goals against average and a 0.911 save percentage for Greenville during the regular season. He also went 2-4 with a 3.04 goals against average in six playoff games. In two other seasons with the Swamp Rabbits from 2020-22, Lethemon posted a 28-16-11 mark with a 2.70 GAA and a 0.908 save percentage.
The 6-foot-3, 196-pound goaltender made his AHL debut with the Reign on Feb. 27, 2022, during a 5-1 victory over the Tucson Roadrunners. Lethemon went on to finish the 2021-22 AHL season with a 2-0 mark to go along with a 2.01 GAA and a 0.931 save percentage.
In his four years at MSU, Lethemon boasted a 38-55-5 recard with a 2.79 GAA and a 0.911 save percentage. Lethemon played for the Chicago Steel before joining the Spartans.