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Red Wings’ Youngster Draws Comparisons to Dominik Hasek

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Petr Mrazek has yet to play a game in a Detroit Red Wings uniform. ¬†And the Czech Republic native is already being compared to a fellow countryman who happens to be a former Red Wing and one of the NHL’s all time greatest goaltenders; Dominik Hasek.

It should come as no surprise that Mrazek is drawing such lofty comparisons, writes Ted Kulfan in The Detroit News.

Hasek was known to get into his opponents heads, and also known to not be afraid to stand up to players who aggravated him. His most memorable incident was when he flipped then-Minnesota Wild forward Marian Gaborik during a game in the 2007-08 season.

Mrazek is known to showcase a similar demeanor, although he has yet to flip anyone over.

Most importantly, Mrazek, like Hasek, is very competitive.

“He doesn’t like to lose,” Red Wings Assistant GM Jim Nill said when watching Mrazek at prospect camp. “He’s going to battle. Very competitive.”

A fifth-round draft pick in the 2010 NHL Draft, Mrazek will likely make his professional debut with the Grand Rapids Griffins in October. The Griffins open training camp next week.

“I’m really excited,” Mrazek said. “I can’t wait to get the season started. It’s something new for me. I can’t wait to get started playing and practicing.”

Mrazek spent last season playing for the Ottawa 67′s of the Ontario Hockey League. He posted a 30-13-6 record with a 2.84 GAA and .917 save percentage. He also posted a .926 save percentage in 17 playoff games with the 67′s.

But it was during the World Junior Championships, where he posted a .927 save percentage in six games for Czech Republic en route to being named the tournament’s best goaltender.

“That gave me great confidence,” he said after backstopping his team to the quarterfinals.

What also helps Mrazek is that he has been in North America for the past three years playing junior hockey while gaining exposure to the North American style of play. That gives him an upper hand over many other European prospects.

“It’ll help so much,” Mrazek said. “It’ll be much easier in Grand Rapids for me, nothing new. New city and new people, but that’s it.”

If he can keep up the success, Mrazek will most likely be the heir to current Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard.

 

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