Monday, September 19, 2011

Whalers swap goalies with Knights

The Plymouth Whalers have announced the trade of 17-year-old goaltender Jake Patterson to the London Knights in exchange for 17-year-old goaltender Darien Ekblad, plus three draft choices in the Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection.

Besides Ekblad, Plymouth receives London’s third-round choice in the 2012 OHL draft, plus a couple of their own draft choices moved in previous trades – the Whalers' fifth- and eighth-round selections in 2012.

“We feel we owe it to Jake to give him a chance to play in the OHL,” said Plymouth coach-GM Mike Vellucci. “He’ll get a good opportunity in London.”

London is looking for another goaltender to work with incumbent Michael Houser and Patterson may be the answer.

Patterson was originally selected by the Whalers in the seventh round (135th overall) of the 2010 OHL draft. He played twice against London in the preseason and played well, stopping 73 of 79 shots for a .924 save percentage in a 4-2 loss to the Knights on Sept. 9 (final goal into an empty net) and a 3-3 tie the next evening.

Ekblad – 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds - was originally selected by London in the ninth round (179th overall) of the 2010 OHL draft. He’s currently playing for the Leamington Flyers of the Great Lakes Junior Hockey League.

Ekblad is the brother of Aaron Ekblad, the first overall pick in the 2011 OHL Priority Selection who is playing for the Barrie Colts.

Meanwhile, the Whalers will continue in goal with New Jersey prospect Scott Wedgewood and Matt Mahalak (Carolina).

Patterson photo courtesy Plymouth Whalers

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