Mazanec Named NHL Rookie of November

Marek Mazanec’s coming out party was made official today.

Mazanec, who posted a 5-4-1 record with a 2.00 goals-against average, .932 save percentage and two shutouts in 11 November appearances, was named NHL Rookie of the Month.

Mazanec got his first NHL win on Nov. 16, holding the fort during a 7-2 drubbing of Chicago. The win was his first in a stretch of five in six starts. However, Mazanec started out the month in Milwaukee, winning his two starts there while allowing just two goals in each contest. Overall the 22-year-old Czech, who could barely grow out his Movember mustash, was 5-0-0 with the Admirals, with a sparkling 1.97 GAA. and .933 SP.

Mazanec beat out the likes of stellar rookies Chris Kreider, Tomas Hertl, Tyler Toffoli, Nathan MacKinnon and Torey Krug for the honor. Plenty of NHL scribes around the league are starting to take notice of the rookie netminder’s fine play. Overall its been a quite a start to a North American professional life for the 6’4″ sixth-round draft pick, who has become the next in line of Nashville’s talented, and tall, European goaltenders.

But perhaps Mazanec’s efforts shouldn’t be much of a suprise. Before the season Admirals defenseman Scott Ford and coach Dean Evason each saw the impressive talents of Mazanec firsthand out of training camp and expected great things:

“(Mazanec) is going to push Magnus (Hellberg) right to the limit,” Ford said. “I think it’s going to be a great tandem. Kind of doubleheaded monster where we have confidence in both guys. They’re going to push each other to be the best.”

“With Mazanec, the young Czech, we feel that we have two number one goalies as opposed to a one and a two,” Evason said. “In both of them we have very young, but talented prospects.”

So Roundtable . . . What do you think of Marek Mazanec’s impressive start? Do you think his AHL days are numbered? How will Nashville handle their goaltending situation when Pekka Rinne returns? Can Hellberg again move above him in the pecking order?

6 thoughts on “Mazanec Named NHL Rookie of November”

  1. I bet the Preds would love to keep Mazanec in Nashville once Rinne comes back. The question is what do you do with Hutton? He would be exposed to waivers to be sent to Milwaukee. I suppose they might be okay with that if the Ads are okay with keeping Hellberg and Darling (I am).

    I think Hellberg has a mountain to climb to replace Mazanec in the pecking order.

  2. Thing about the waiver wire is would anybody really want Hutton on their NHL roster right now? I bet he could pass waivers back to the AHL and if not like you said, Darling has held his own!

  3. Tough call either way here for Poile, Trotz and Fenton. If Hutton gets put on waivers I would think that someone (Oilers, Islanders, Hurricanes) will put a claim in. Too many teams need number one/two goalies on the cheap. Hutton is still a young goalie with some upside. But I think if you are the Predators, you have take that chance at this point. Worst case scenario, Nashville has Rinne, Mazanec and another good young goalie in Hellberg waiting in the wings. Still really good options.

  4. Agreed. I hope they do take a chance and waive Hutton and keep Mazanec. I’m perfectly happy keeping Hellberg and Darling in Milwaukee. The only thing that may stop them from taking that chance is the possibility of Rinne coming back and something not being right with his hip again. That’s not something to take lightly as if they waive Hutton, lose him, and Rinne goes out again, then they have to get another goalie. Tough call for sure.

  5. Curious to see if Nashville would try the “conditioning” route with Carter Hutton if/when Rinne returns. That would give the Predators a little bit of time to see if Pekka is ok, and get Hutton some playing time in Milwaukee, without worrying about losing him. Nashville used this little trick effectively with Anders Lindback in previous seasons when Rinne refused to yield the net with his play. But if Hutton goes down and then lights it up in the AHL, his waiver value sky rockets. Certainly it’s a double-edged sword.

  6. Yes, this whole goalie situation was probably the last thing the Preds wanted to deal with considering it was pretty clear they signed Hutton as a stopgap for a year. He played quite well with Rockford the past couple years. Maybe he’s the great-AHL, but not quite NHL material type of player.

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