Jake Paterson Sent Back To Juniors
Goaltending depth is a great thing to have in any organization, but with Petr Mrazek and Thomas McCollum in Grand Rapids, Jared Coreau in Toledo, the Walleye signing goalie Jeff Lerg, and Jake Paterson expecting to make his pro debut this season, there's been some uncertainty about how you make everyone fit and get playing time. I mentioned before that there was some speculation that Jake Paterson might be sent back to Juniors for his overage year, and this afternoon that's exactly what happened. The Red Wings have officially re-assigned goalie Jake Paterson to the Saginaw Spirit.
The Griffins already have Mrazek and McCollum who will for sure be in Grand Rapids, and Coreau will at least start the season in Toledo and is my pick to win the starting position. Add in the fact that the Walleye signed Lerg this summer, and it just doesn't make sense to carry three goalies because there's not enough playing time to go around. Paterson will benefit from going back to the OHL for a final season because he still has some things he needs to work on, and the heavy playing time he'll get will be the perfect opportunity to do just that.
I'm not sure if he'll actually play in Saginaw, or if they'll trade him to another team. The Spirit already have two goalies on the team and they'd have to trade one of them if Jake were to be the starter. Saginaw may not want to trade away a young goalie who could play for more than a year since they're in a re-bulding phase after losing so many "vets". If they do decide to trade Paterson however, they should get a nice return for him. Overage years for OHL players can sometimes get a little complicated because teams can only carry up to 4 overage players until January (the first half of the season) and can only carry 3 after that. They can also only dress 3 overage players per game, which is basically their version of the "veteran limit" rule the AHL enforces.
I'm ok with this move because I'd rather Paterson get a ton of playing time, and another season to fine tune some weaknesses will be good for him. It will be interesting to see if he stays in Saginaw, and I selfishly hope he does because it's the closes OHL team for me so I can still go watch him play.