The American Hockey League has been nice to goaltender Logan Thompson. This past July, Vegas Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon turned back to a familiar face and signed his former WHL championship backstopper to a two-year, entry-level contract.
Knowing full well that his NHL tandem of Marc-Andre Fleury and Robin Lehner are two of the league’s very best, the signing was that of organizational depth and of gratitude for his former Wheat Kings star. Having already signed fellow Brandon goaltender Jiri Patera, the two were placed on the roster of the Golden Knights’ AHL affiliate Henderson Silver Knights to start the 2020-21 season.
With NHL teams needing to deal with a Taxi Squad while ensuring that three goaltenders remained with the club at all times, a spot opened for Thompson to take the reins in Henderson. With Oscar Dansk (five games played for Henderson) currently with Vegas and Dylan Ferguson (one game played with Henderson) now with the ECHL’s Fort Wayne Komets, the Silver Knights’ crease has belonged to the 24-year-old Thompson.
The 6-foot-4, 190-pound goalie has proven McCrimmon right, with a fantastic start to the 2020-21 AHL campaign. Owning a league-best goals against average (1.92) and save percentage (.944) for goaltenders dressing in at least 10 games, and sits second in wins with nine. He currently boasts a 9-2-0 record with one shutout on the year.
Patera, 22, who spent 2019-20 with the Wheat Kings, has gotten himself into one AHL game thus far, picking up a win in his only appearance. Although his numbers may not be as strong as Thompson’s, the opportunity to learn from the man who went before him in Brandon certainly provides the youngster with solid mentorship.
Although not a Manitoban, what’s of interest with Thompson’s play here is his past. Born and raised in Calgary, AB. the undrafted netminder suited up for 122 regular season games over four years with the Brandon Wheat Kings, finishing with a 63-41-10 record, a 3.26 goals against average, a .905 save percentage, four shutouts and a WHL championship in 2015-16.
Following the conclusion of his junior career, Thompson joined the Brock University Badgers in Ontario for the 2018-19 season. He earned the U-Sports Goaltender of the Year recognition in his conference following a season of play that saw an 18-6-0 record, a 2.22 goals against average and a .934 save percentage.
Most recently, the Alberta product had been playing professionally in the ECHL. In 40 total games between the Adirondack Thunder and the South Carolina Stingrays in 2019-20, Thompson had a 25-12-2 record with a .925 save percentage and 2.41 goals against average to boot. He will remain the Silver Knights’ go-to-goalie moving forward, with Patera waiting in the wings.