Prospect News: The Young Blueline

Jake Paterson stops a shot from Xavier Ouellet at the 2013 Red Wings Development camp. - Jennifer Leigh Photography

Junior Prospect news from November 11- December 4th

Here's a link to a list of the Red Wings Prospects not currently in Grand Rapids or Toledo.

Goalie:

Jake Paterson

# Name Pos Team Leauge GP Min SV% GA GAA W L OTL SA Svs
57 Jake Paterson G Saignaw Spirit OHL 19 1104 0.903 65 3.53 10 8 1 668 603

Paterson was named to the Canadian World Juniors roster. Last year he was the 3rd goalie on the team and didn't end up playing, but this year it looks like he'll see some well deserved action.

Since we last met, Jake has played 4 games:

A 39 save 5-3 loss and stopped a penalty shot

A 35 save 4-2 win and 1st star of the game

A 43 save 4-3 Overtime loss

A brutal game for Paterson where he allowed 4 goals on 10 shots in the 1st period and didn't play the 2nd or 3rd periods.

That last stinker of a game kind of skew the stats and rankings for Jake. Before that last game he had faced the 8th most shots in the OHL (658) but in fewer games than those who had faces more shots (anywhere from 2-7 fewer). He now sits in 13th in the OHL in shots, and still in fewer games.

He also had the 7th most wins in the OHL, despite having a 3.38 GAA and .907 SV%, but now has the 12th most wins, sporting that 3.53 GAA and .903 SV%

The Spirit are just preparing him to be a Red Wing by making sure he facing lots of shots, and often getting little support from his teammates. I'm mostly kidding about that. Sadly, I wish I was completely kidding. Paterson doesn't get frustrated, or let anything get to him, even when it would be easy to see how he could get frustrated. The Spirit have also made some trades this season and have brought in a couple veteran defensemen, so hopefully that will help alleviate some of the pressure on Jake. I'd like to see what he can do behind a good team.

Paterson was in goal for the 2nd OHL vs Russia game of the Subway Super Series and unfortunately lost 3-2 in 8th round of a shootout.

Links:

Subway Super Series: Russia 3, OHL 2 (SO) Box score
Jake Paterson in net for team OHL 21 saves on 23 shots

Player Wheel Video: #57 Jake Paterson - YouTube
Saginaw Spirit highlights video of Jake Paterson

Paterson gets ‘ultimate honour’ with WJC call | Red Wings Central
The future of the goaltender position for the Wings is looking pretty promising.

Defense:

Mattias Bäckman

# Name Pos Team Leauge GP G A Pts +/- PIM Hits
5 Mattias Bäckman D Linköping SHL 27 2 5 7 +9 8 1

Since we last met, Bäckman has played 8 games, was a +4, had 4 PIM, 4 shots on goal, and had 1 hit.

Links:

SEL Video Highlights 12.3.13 A.I.K vs Linköpings

Mattias Backman: 2 Assists (on Linköping's 2nd and 4th goals) , 2 Shots on goal, +3, and 21:58 TOI. Mattias Janmark: 1 Goal (A.I.K's 1st goal on the PP) 5 Shots on goal, 10 PIM (game expulsion for abuse of officials at 18:38 of the 3rd period) , -2, 20:12 TOI

LHC of talent choices: "The plan is to go over" - Hockeysverige.se
Mattias Bäckman plans to come across the pond next season, thought it's not definite yet. He opted to stay another year in the SEL to further develop. In this article, he specifically mentions that he's focused on getting bigger and stronger to prepare for the NHL. "I need to be tougher" he says. It sounds like Bäckman is focused and dedicated to being as prepared as possible before coming over.

There was talk last year that Bäckman might come over here for the 2013-2014 season, but he opted to stay in Sweden for another year to continue his development. He just turned 21 and it sounds like he'll probably be here next season, and ooh la la. It's fun to periodically go back and read scouting reports on players to see what was said of them before they were drafted. Reading through the scouting comments on Bäckman, I had to do a double take and make sure I wasn't reading comments about Danny DeKeyser. Here's what Red Wings scouts had to say about Bäckman...

"He's close to 6-foot-3 and he's very mobile, he thinks the game well, he keeps the game simple, he has a very good first pass, and he can also skate the puck out of trouble. He's a good defenseman." - Red Wings director of European scouting Hakan Andersson (June 2011) ... "The thing we liked most is that his skating ability is very, very good, and he's always skating with his head up and making the right play at the right time and not over-handling it. His decision-making under pressure was very good. He played a very solid and steady game defensively and he's always in the right position at the right time. He's not a heavy banging defenseman but he can separate his man from the puck. He just puts himself in the right position and makes people go into bad areas." - Red Wings scout Mark Leach (January 2012) ... "He's Alexander Edler, that's how he looks to me. He's surprising everybody. He's coming along very nicely. He's good-sized, he's really mobile, he's playing with more confidence, he's joining the rush more, he's more comfortable skating the puck out of his own end when he has to. Everything he does is with more authority." - Andersson (October 2012).

Sound familiar? How about these strengths?

Extremely smooth on his skates with outstanding mobility in all directions ... Veteran-like poise and vision, with the ability to lead the breakout with a crisp, smart first pass ... Safe and steady, making few mistakes ... Positions himself well defensively ... At almost six-foot-three, has what scouts call a "projectable frame," meaning he should have NHL size if he fills out.

His biggest weakness was that he's not a physical player, very fineness, and at 6'1" 175 pounds (at the start of the season), he's not an imposing physical specimen. From the above linked Swedish article, it sounds like Bäckman has been focused on becoming physically prepared for the NHL, so it will be interesting to see how much he's grown when he comes over next season. He also looks mesmerizingly like a Disney prince. It's almost eerie.

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James de Haas

# Name Pos Team Leauge GP G A Pts +/- PIM
2 James de Haas D Clarkson University NCAA 14 2 3 5 0 10

Since we last met, de Haas has played 2 games and had 4 shots on goal.

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Ben Marshall

# Name Pos Team Leauge GP G A Pts +/- PIM SOG
10 Ben Marshall D Univ. of Minnesota NCAA 14 2 3 5 +5 27 21

Since we last met, Marshall has played 6 games and had 1 assist and 19 penalty minutes.

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Michael McKee

# Name Pos Team Leauge GP G A Pts +/- PIM
2 Mike McKee D Western Michigan Univ. NCHC 10 0 0 0
46

McKee's task is to become more disciplined, takes fewer penalties, and focus on playing defense. In the USHL last year he had 292 penalty minutes in 42 games, and the year before that he had 237 penalty minutes in 59 games played. He's currently taking an average of 4.6 pim/game which is 2.4 pim/game less than last season. Fighting is banned in college hockey, so that forces McKee to either not fight, or get suspended. So far this season, 30 of his penalty minutes have come from 10 minute game misconducts (2), and 5 minute majors for checking from behind (2). He's been a healthy scratch so far this season for 5 games. He's a big ( 6'5" 250lb) , physical player with a hard shot, limited offense, who has to learn to be disciplined. The Wings don't have to sign, or not sign, him until 2017.

Links:

McKee’s knuckles get a rest on college ice | Red Wings Central
After two years establishing himself as one of the toughest — and perhaps most undisciplined — players in junior hockey, it appears Mike McKee is positioned to focus on the rest of his game.

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Marc McNulty

# Name Pos Team Leauge GP G A Pts +/- PIM
3 Marc McNulty D Prince George Cougars WHL 26 6 8 14 +2 46

Since we last met, McNulty has played 6 games and had 2 goals, 2 assists, 6 PIM, and was a +4.

McNulty missed 4 games with a leg injury, but has returned to the lineup.

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Mitchell Wheaton

# Name Pos Team Leauge GP G A Pts +/- PIM
6 Mitchell Wheaton D Kelowna Rockets WHL 10 0 6 6 +2 14

Since we last met, Wheaton has played 2 games and had 2 assists, was a +2, and had 2 PIM. He's missed the last 5 games because of a broken nose.

Links:

Mitchell Wheaton Serious Injury- Hit by Roberts Lipsbergs WHL (11/19/13) - YouTube

Wheaton has a broken nose from the hit and remains out of the lineup.

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Keep up with all the Red Wings Prospect news with our Prospect News Stream.

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