The Kansas City Mavericks will have to go with a pair of young but talented goaltenders to start the season.
Mason McDonald and Tyler Parsons, a pair of second-round NHL draft picks by the Calgary Flames, will man the nets after the Mavericks traded veteran goaltender Ty Rimmer to the Evansville IceMen over the weekend.
The Mavericks will receive a player to be named later to complete the transaction.
McDonald, 21, played his first professional season last year with Adirondack, posting an .897 save percentage and 2.72 goals against average in 29 games.
He showed that kind of skill Friday night in Allen, Texas, where he starred in a 3-1 Mavericks exhibition win over the longtime rival Americans.
The Mavericks fell 3-2 in Saturday’s preseason finale with the rookie Parsons in the net, but McDonald and coach John-Scott Dickson took a lot of positives away from the two exhibition contests.
“It was great getting out on the ice and playing with a new team before the season actually starts,” said McDonald, who, like Parsons, was assigned to the Mavericks last week from the team’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Stockton Heat. “We didn’t have that opportunity with the team I played for last year. It shows how important this season is to the Mavericks.
“Not only did we play two games, we spent a lot of time on the road, on a bus, in a hotel, eating together – it really helped us bond and feel like a team. I know everyone feels the same way I do – we can’t wait for Friday’s season opener at Tulsa.”
Parsons, 20, Calgary’s No. 1 prospect according to NHL.com, is set to make his professional debut. He is coming off a year in which he claimed the best save percentage (.925) in the major junior Ontario Hockey League as well as a U-20 World Junior Championship gold medal with Team USA after being drafted by the Flames.
“Both goalies were very impressive in Allen,” Dickson said. “They’re young, but they have won championships and look really polished out on the ice. I know the guys have a lot of confidence playing in front of them. We’re all eager to get the season started.”
Rimmer was the lone goalie signing in the offseason.
“We wanted to have Ty in here as a veteran presence, but with the two goalies from Stockton, we just didn’t have room – so we made sure he was traded to a team where he would have the opportunity to compete,” Dickson said. “It’s part of the game you don’t like – trading away a quality player and a quality guy, but it happens. We’re very excited to see what McDonald and Parsons do this season and how they grow and develop.”
The Mavericks open season play at 7:05 p.m. Friday at Tulsa, and play three more – at Fort Wayne (Oct. 20-21) and at Kalamazoo (Oct. 25) before the Oct. 28 home opener against Wichita.
NOWICK RETURNS: Stockton has assigned forward Darren Nowick to the Mavericks.
Nowick, 25, returns to Kansas City after playing the first full season of his professional career split between the Mavericks and the AHL's Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
In Kansas City, the 5-foot-10, 185-pound forward scored 45 points (21 goals, 24 assists) with 26 penalty minutes in 57 games with the Mavericks. At the AHL level, Nowick registered three goals and an assist in 13 games.