Carolina Hurricanes Petr Mrazek Undergoes Surgery

Petr Mrazek

The Carolina Hurricanes have announced that goaltender Petr Mrazek has undergone thumb surgery. His timetable for return is unknown at this time. The Hurricanes are doing well so far in 2020-21, but this absence could be significant for the team. The team announced the procedure Wednesday afternoon.

Hurricanes Petr Mrazek Undergoes Surgery

Mrazek has looked unbeatable to this point in the year. The 28-year-old had a .955 save percentage and .99 goals-against-average in four games. Both figures were the best in the NHL. It’s hard to imagine Mrazek maintaining that pace, but it was a huge factor in Carolina leading its division through the season’s first several weeks.

The Detroit Red Wings originally drafted Mrazek in the fifth round of the 2010 Draft. He debuted for them in 2012-13, but he wasn’t a regular contributor until 2014-15 when he appeared in 29 games with a .918 save percentage and 2.38 goals-against-average. The Red Wings sent him to the Philadelphia Flyers in 2018 in exchange for two third-round picks. Mrazek then signed with Carolina prior to the 2018-19 season. Overall, the Czech netminder has appeared in 267 regular-season games with a .911 save percentage and 2.60 goals-against-average.

How Carolina Replaces Mrazek

Carolina had split its first seven games between Mrazek and James Reimer, so Reimer will obviously get the bulk of starts until Mrazek is healthy again. ‘Optimus Reim’ has been a steady presence since joining the ‘Canes with a .914 save percentage and 2.59 goals-against. Those are the strongest numbers of Reimer’s 11-year career.

The Hurricanes will use Alex Nedeljkovic as the primary backup. The 22-year-old former second-round selection has appeared in just six NHL contests across parts of three seasons. He has a .907 save percentage and 2.55 goals-against average. It’s hard to know how often Carolina will use him as he hasn’t played in a game without the AHL in action. Antoine Bibeau is another option if Nedeljkovic struggles. The good thing is that the team is deep enough in front of their net to weather an absence such as Mrazek for a few weeks.

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