Montreal Canadiens defenseman Greg Pateryn.
In contrast to Ellis & Thrower, Pateryn doesn’t project as anything more than a third-pairing defenseman at the NHL level. It still doesn’t change the fact that he’s put himself in a position to be one of the team’s first call-ups on defense should injuries arise. That’s worth something, namely the No. 5 spot on this list.
One of the last cuts out of training camp, Pateryn was even recently called up at the expense of Tinordi, a former first-round pick. It admittedly won’t result in any game action, barring injuries to anyone else on the blue line.
Granted, considering the Habs’ luck so far this year in that regard (injuries to Douglas Murray, Davis Drewiske and Alexei Emelin), he very well may end up seeing time on the first pairing, but that’s a less-than-ideal scenario for everyone else but Pateryn, unfortunately.
Like Tinordi, Pateryn projects as a shutdown defenseman without much offensive ability. Of course, the comparison is not especially apt as Pateryn doesn’t have the same size advantage as Tinordi (6’2”, 222 lbs vs. 6’6”, 227 lbs), meaning he can’t get by on his shutdown ability alone.
To his credit, Pateryn has managed four points (two goals) through his first five games with the Bulldogs. There’s little to suggest he would be able to keep up that pace at the AHL level, let alone in the NHL, but there was also little to suggest Pateryn would make it as far as he has.
He could honestly be seen as the throw-in to the Mikhail Grabovski deal a few years back that saw the Habs also get a second-round pick (which went towards acquiring Robert Lang).
Perhaps that fits, though, seeing as Grabovski has always been underrated himself…admittedly to the point of being bought out of his contract by the Toronto Maple Leafs this past summer, but isn’t that the dream, folks? To get paid by the Leafs all the while getting the chance to make them pay on the scoreboard at the same time?
Pateryn may be an underdog destined for the Bulldogs. By the same token, though, while he is a long shot to earn a lengthy NHL career, stranger things have happened (Grabovski getting bought out so the Leafs could re-sign Tyler Bozak, for example).