Walleye welcome two rookie goaltenders for 2012-13 season


The Walleye will have two 20-year-old rookie goaltenders in net to start the 2012-13 season.

Petr Mrazek and Kent Simpson are among the latest additions to Toledo's roster as the team prepares for its season opener on Saturday.

Mrazek, a 20-year-old from the Czech Republic, is in the Detroit Red Wings' minor league system.

Simpson, a 20-year-old from Edmonton, is with the Chicago Blackhawks organization.

Mrazek started in goal for the Walleye in last Saturday's preseason game against Kalamazoo and made 19 saves on 22 shots.

Walleye coach Nick Vitucci said Mrazek has been one of the best goalies in the Ontario Hockey League, a major junior league.

“He's a top, high-end goalie coming out of juniors. He's the real deal,” Vitucci said.

Mrazek was drafted in the fifth round of the 2010 NHL draft by Detroit. He posted a 30-13-6 record and a 2.84 goals against average for Ottawa of the OHL last season.

“This is something new for me after playing junior for a few years,” Mrazek said. “I hope to get better every day.”

Mrazek spent the preseason in camp with Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League, while Simpson was with Rockford.

Simpson was selected by the Blackhawks in the second round of the 2010 NHL draft. He played five seasons in the Western Hockey League. He had a 20-31-7 record with a 3.33 goals against average for Everett of the WHL last season.

Simpson joined the team on Monday.

“It's still pretty fresh, but it's exciting and it's a new challenge,” Simpson said. “I heard the fans here are unreal so I'm really looking forward to playing here.”

Toledo opens the season on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. against the Kalamazoo Wings.