Marek Mazanec will miraculously get another shot in the NHL this season, as the Nashville Predators have announced that they’ve called him up Monday evening. Despite allowing 13 goals in three games in his first stint with the team, the 25-year old netminder will get another chance to back up Pekka Rinne this season. Pontus Aberg and Juuse Saros have been sent down to make room.
While Mazanec has struggled mightily this season, Saros has shined. In the three games the 21-year old has started at the NHL level, he has only allowed five goals and carries a .940 save percentage (amazingly still losing two of the games). Since Saros has out-performed Mazanec at both levels, perhaps this is a case of letting the younger goaltender start the majority of games in the minors to continue his development.
Aberg has played nine games for the Predators this season, registering two points in his first taste of the NHL. A former second-round pick of the team, Aberg has been a strong offensive producer at the AHL level, recording 83 points since his debut in 2014-15. While he only received around 11 minutes a night at the NHL level, he does still feature heavily in the plans of the Predators going forward. He’ll go down now and use the experience of the faster game to continue his development into a two-way winger.