The Blackhawks had to find two new goaltenders this off-season, and have done just that. With Alex Stalock backing him up, Petr Mrazek will be the starting goaltender going into the 2022-23 season, after being acquired from the Leafs at the beginning of July. The Hawks tandem has been called the worst tandem in the league going into the season so barring a big change, there’s no real expectations for Mrazek and Stalock.
Mrazek is coming off of a really tough year with the Leafs. The 30 year old from Czechia played 20 games and posted a 3.34 GAA with a .888 save percentage. Unfortunately, Mrazek was amongst the worst goalies statistically throughout the entire league. He ended up in the AHL where he had a 4.03GAA and a .846 save percentage in only one game.
I think Mrazek can have a bounce back year with a full season as the starter. He backed up Campbell for an entire season and never really looked comfortable. The Blackhawks don’t have the strongest team this season, but I think Mrazek will have more confidence, and even give the guys in front of him a small boost. I like the trade either way, because it’s a win-win. If it doesn’t work out, the Hawks moved up in the draft and got a prospect. If it does, the Hawks have themselves a goaltender they can run with for a couple seasons.
Mrazek has spent three seasons with the Hurricanes prior to joining the Leafs, and actually made a name for himself. He posted over a .905 save percentage every season, and his highest GAA was 2.69. He is very solid as a goalie that just seemed to have an off year with the Leafs. If he bounces back like I fully expect him to, the trade will make the Leafs look really bad, as they gave up a first round pick to offload his contract, and took back a second.