The Vegas Golden Knights have locked up another top prospect.
It was announced on Monday that the Vegas Golden Knights had signed goaltender Jiri Patera to a three-year, Entry-Level Contract.
The deal carries an Average Annual Value of $800,000 according to CapFriendly.
Patera is a rising star within the Golden Knights organization, and the prospect is coming off a stellar 2019-20 season for the Brandon Wheat Kings in the WHL.
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In 41 games for the Wheat Kings, Patera put up an impressive 2.55 Goals Against Average and an equally superb .921 Save Percentage.
As a result, the 21-year-old finished as the runner-up in voting for the WHL’s Goaltender of the Year Award, in addition to being named 2019-20 WHL Eastern Conference Goalie of the Year.
Patera’s 2.55 GAA was also a Franchise Record for the Brandon Wheat Kings.
This year was another important step in the overall maturation process for Patera, who was selected 161st overall by the Golden Knights in the Sixth Round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
Arguably the best goalie prospect in Vegas’ farm system along with 2019 Draft selection Isaiah Saville, Patera is on the cusp of being thrust into the spotlight for the Knights.
With the future of backup Robin Lehner up in the air, there could be a roster spot up for grabs heading into the 2020-21 season.
If that’s the case then that could set up a fascinating three-way goalie battle for that backup role.
Both Dansk and Ferguson will be regulars for Vegas’ new AHL franchise, the Henderson Silver Knights, although either netminder could be asked to become the new understudy to starter Marc-Andre Fleury given the Golden Knights’ Salary Cap constraints.
However, Patera is developing nicely and the stage is set for the Czech Republic native to impress during Training Camp and potentially make the leap to the NHL.
If not, then there is no doubt that the next step for Patera is to further learn his craft in the American Hockey League with the Henderson Silver Knights.
But, the short-term future aside, the long-term future between the pipes for the Vegas Golden Knights is now looking that little bit brighter following the decision to sign Jiri Patera to an Entry-Level Contract.
It also gives the Golden Knights some much-needed goalie depth and a security blanket while the franchise searches for a long-term successor to Fleury.