This afternoon, Griffins radio broadcaster Bob Kaser dropped some exciting news on Twitter.
With Tom McCollum sidelined with an ankle injury since December 5th, Jared Coreau has made 14 consecutive starts in net for the Griffins, with Jake Paterson as his backup. It's finally time to give Coreau a little break and give Paterson a taste of the AHL. The Griffins played the Charlotte Checkers last night beating them 5-3, and the second game in a back to back series is a good time to give Paterson a shot and let Coreau finally have a night off.
The Red Wings 3rd round pick in 2012 turned pro this year and has played 13 games for the Toledo Walleye, posting a 5-6-1-1 record with a .921 SV% and 2.46 GAA.
The 6'1" 190 pound Paterson is an athletic goalie who's extremely competitive. He's eerily calm under intense pressure and isn't fazed by anything. His competitive nature and athletic abilities make him great at stopping rebounds and recovering to make saves on seconds chances. He's a great puck handler, think along the lines of Petr Mrazek, and helping to move the puck has always been a regular part of his game. I remember being at a game in Saginaw and watching him complete perfect stretch passes all the way up to the offensive zone blue line.
Paterson't technical game has advanced a significant amount in the last year and a half, and when he came into camp in Traverse City last summer, many of his previous weaknesses no longer looked like weaknesses. In the OHL he always posted good numbers but they weren't elite, despite his excellent play. That's largely due to the fact that he backstopped mediocre to poor Saginaw Spirit teams in his junior career. Last season he was traded to a much better Kitchener Rangers team halfway through the season and posted a career best .929 SV% and 2.37 GAA in 26 games with the Rangers, and had a .917 SV% (4th best in the OHL), 2.90 GAA (7th in OHL), 26 wins (8th), 3 shutouts (T6th) and 1,579 saves (4th).
If you're able to, check out the game tonight. I project Paterson to be a starting goalie in the NHL one day and I'm really looking forward to watching him play in Grand Rapids.