The Nashville Predators have recalled goaltender Miroslav Svoboda from the Atlanta Gladiators of the ECHL. It appears that Pekka Rinne’s injury on Friday evening was serious enough to force the recall of Svoboda to back up Juuse Saros, at least for tonight—Rinne, who was placed on IR Saturday afternoon, will not be eligible to return before the 27th, but Svoboda will be replaced by Milwaukee Admirals goaltender Troy Grosenick after today.
Svoboda was signed to a two-year, entry-level contract by the Nashville organization on April 26th of this year. He was originally drafted by the Edmonton Oilers—tonight’s opponent—208th overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft but never signed. Check out more on his playing style here.
After training camp, Svoboda was loaned to Atlanta of the ECHL to start, as opposed to being the third-string netminder in Milwaukee. He has started two games this season, posted a .946 SV% and allowed 1.50 GAA.
Calling up Svoboda, even briefly, suggests that Preds management have been highly impressed with him. He has outshone the average goaltending by Grosenick and McCollum in Milwaukee. Hopefully Grosenick will be adequate as a backup to Saros and Svoboda will make the best of his chance with the Admirals.
Juuse Saros has performed admirably in his 2 starts this season. He played an excellent game in Calgary in relief of the injured Rinne, stopping several point-blank chances from Sam Bennett and Johnny Gaudreau. Check out one of his incredible saves against the Flames:
This may not be the ideal way for Saros to get more starts as he prepares to take on Nashville’s starting goaltender role. However, there should be no doubt about Saros’s ability to lead the team just as his mentor Rinne has.
All statistics are courtesy of eliteprospects.com.