The Czech goaltender was one of the top goalies of the 2019-2020 season in the WHL, winning the Eastern Conference Goaltender of the Year Award after setting a new franchise record for the Wheat Kings with 2.55 GAA, per NHL.com, who also announced the signing.
Patera, 21, was a sixth-round selection of the Golden Knights in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, the 161st overall selection. He wasn’t necessarily all that highly touted at the time, but his performance in the WHL raised some eyebrows and he’s in the conversation for the top goalie prospect in Vegas’ pipeline.
Despite their limited history, the Golden Knights already boast a strong tradition in the net thanks to Marc-Andre Fleury, a team leader who has been the face of the franchise in these early years. Though the former first overall pick already secured his place in Vegas lore, the veteran netminder wasn’t quite as effective this season as in his first two with the Golden Knights.
Next season would be the five-time All-Star’s age-36 year after 16 seasons in the league. At some point, Vegas will need to set their sights on choosing their goaltender of the future. Robin Lehner has backfilled the role ably after being acquired from the Blackhawks – plus he has a sweet new mask – but he’ll be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.