The SB Nation NHL 2018 Mock Draft kicked off earlier this week when the Buffalo Sabres took defenseman Rasmus Dahlin number one overall (to the shock of literally no one...even Buffalo couldn’t possibly screw up that layup, right? RIGHT?!)
As the first few picks came off the board, Defending Big D rang up the folks over at Broad Street Hockey covering the Philadelphia Flyers to see if a backup goaltending hole could be filled for the Dallas Stars this season. You see, we had heard that the Flyers might be looking to pass on one of the several NHL experienced goaltenders.
DBD flipped the 13th overall pick to BSH in exchange for the 14th overall pick in this season’s draft and the rights to goaltender Petr Mrazek.
The move allows Dallas the rights to a pending RFA goaltender that has shown that he can compete at the NHL level before. He was the challenger — and winner of, for a while — the starting goaltender position for the Detroit Red Wings, relegating Jimmy Howard to backup duty for stretches at a time.
After giving Mrazek a two year, $4 million average value contract in the summer of 2016, he struggled to put up consistently good performances. That, combined with his qualifying offer of at least $4 million when his contract is up this summer, led Detroit to trade him to a Flyers team that was desperate for goaltending help in exchange for a 4th round this year and conditional 3rd round pick in 2019.
Dallas will pick 14th in this scenario, which isn’t much loss of value in terms of the tier of prospects they’ll have to choose from in the draft. At the same time, they’ll get the chance to qualify Mrazek and solve the backup goaltender question for at least next year.
They have the cap space to do it. It gives the team the ability to sign a younger goalie short term to see if he’s worth keeping around. Yes, Mrazek may be a bit of a project — he has been inconsistent and gone through some rough patches lately — but Dallas is no stranger to those projects.