Detroit Red Wings goalie prospect Petr Mrazek just saw his career as a professional goaltender take another step forward.
Mrazek has a chance to stake a claim to a permanent spot at the AHL level. He was called up to the Grand Rapids Griffins in place of Jordan Pearce who was re-assigned to the ECHL's Toledo Walleye.
The numbers for Mrazek don't lie so far this season. A 2-1-0 record, 2.02 GAA and 94.4 save percentage. On the other side, Pearce had struggled with the Griffins with an 0-3 record and a 4.38 GAA and an 84.7 save percentage; not exactly the type of numbers that spark reassurance among the coaching staff.
Mrazek has drawn comparisons to former NHL goalie Dominik Hasek for his style of play, including Mrazek's "never say die" attitude to shots that he faces. The young Czech goaltender gave up just six goals in three games on 108 shots against with the Toledo Walleye, so the competitive aspects of his game are definitely there.
As the NHL Lockout continues to progress, Mrazek must attempt to become a reliable AHL goalie this season as well as next season and eventually he could get his shot at NHL action.
At just 20 years old, Mrazek's continued improvement also bodes well for his future as a trade piece if the Red Wings decide that he would be worth more in a trade than backing up Jimmy Howard in the coming seasons.
But due to the lockout, of course, there is no pressure to get any kind of deal done in that regard. For now, Mrazek will settle for likely starting at least one of the three road games that the Griffins have this weekend in the state of Texas.
If Mrazek can become that reliable AHL net-minder, it would bulk up one of the big weaknesses that the Red Wings have at the minor league level in lack of projected NHL-level goalie talent.
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