When the 2013 fantasy hockey season started, almost everyone had Nashville Predators G Pekka Rinne among their top-10 goaltenders. The weak team in front of him constantly allowed him to see over 20 shots per night, and while he didn’t rack up tons of wins, he was allowed to balance it out with a recent Goals Against Average.
Rinne has unfortunately been sidelined for weeks with a bacterial infection in his hip and his fantasy value has all but disappeared. He is slated to be out until Christmas at the earliest and it leaves Nashville without a reliable option in net.
However, this past week the team has had some surprising performances out of rookie goaltender, Marek Mazanec.
Mazanec has only made six starts this year, but his 3-3 record certainly isn’t the worst around the NHL. The 22-year-old has 2.32 to go along with a respectable 92.9% Save Percentage, including a 3-1 record in his last four starts. The 2012 sixth round pick is slowly winning over Nashville’s starting spot and the kid is gaining plenty of support from the fans in the process.
In the team’s 7-2 win over the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks, Mazanec saved 39 of the 41 shots he faced. The youngster wasn’t intimidated by Chicago’s offensive firepower and the goalie held his own in just his third professional start. It was truly a breakout game for goalie.
Mazanec is shockingly owned in just 17% of CBS leagues at the moment and can be a great midseason pickup for anyone looking for a goalie. The Czech Republic star will likely remain the number one netminder until Rinne comes back, so grab this starter now while he is still somewhat unknown.