Monday, May 23, 2011

Plymouth signs 2010 pick Patterson

The Plymouth Whalers have announced the signing of 16-year-old goaltender Jake Patterson, who was selected by the Whalers in the seventh round (135th overall) of the 2010 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection.

Patterson – 6-foot-1 and 176 pounds – played last season for the Hamilton Red Wings, where he posted a 3.49 goals-against average. In 2009-10, Patterson played for the Sault Ste. Marie North Stars and posted a 2.78 GAA and three shutouts on a team that went 27-3-3-1. He was named first-team all star that season in the Great North Midget League.

“We’ve always liked Patterson, going back a couple of years ago when our Sault-area scout Mike Oliverio started to watch him,” said Plymouth coach-GM Mike Vellucci. “Jake’s is a hard worker with talent. We think he’ll continue to improve as he works with (Plymouth goaltending coach) Stan Matwijiw. With the possibility of injuries or call-ups to pro camps or the World Junior Championship, it’s good to have another goaltender available.”

The Whalers have excellent depth in goal for 2011-12 with Scott Wedgewood (a New Jersey Devils draft), Matt Mahalak (rated eighth among North American goaltenders for this summer’s National Hockey League Entry Draft) and now Patterson.

Wedgewood rates an excellent chance of receiving an invitation to try out for Team Canada for the 2012 World Junior Championship, which will be held Dec. 26, 2011-Jan. 5, 2012 in Calgary and Edmonton.

“I’m very excited to be part of the Whalers,” Patterson said in a telephone interview. “I feel I can learn a lot from watching Scott and Matt and working with Stan Matwijiw. I really like what I’ve seen of Plymouth.”

Patterson – who turns 17 next month - participated in the Whalers’ last two rookie orientations and played in Plymouth’s training camp last season. He’ll attend school next season at the Plymouth-Canton Educational Park.

Photo by Rena Laverty

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