Regina Pats bring in more backup for oft-injured goalie Max Paddock

Veteran netminder Donovan Buskey is the latest addition to the Regina Pats' crease after being acquired Monday from the Prince Albert Raiders.

Goalie Donovan Buskey, right, shown with the Spokane Chiefs in 2017, was acquired by the Regina Pats from the Prince Albert Raiders on Monday. Darren Makowichuk / Postmedia

Share Adjust Comment Print

The Regina Pats’ goaltending carousel is continuing to spin.

The latest player to jump on board is veteran Donovan Buskey, 19, whose WHL rights were acquired Monday from the Prince Albert Raiders for goalie prospect Matthew Pesenti.

Buskey is an insurance policy for starter Max Paddock, who’s making progress in his recovery from a sore shoulder. He has dealt with a variety of injuries in his WHL career — including off-season surgery to repair a torn labrum in his other shoulder — so the team is covering its bases in case the issue persists.

“That’s a factor for sure,” said Pats general manager John Paddock. “(Buskey) has experience in the league and we’re trying to add a little bit of depth at our level.”

Buskey — a third-round pick in the 2015 bantam draft — has spent time with the Raiders and Spokane Chiefs over the past three seasons (19-13-0-1 career record, 3.48 goals-against average, .870 save percentage, one shutout). He was Prince Albert’s backup for part of last season, compiling a 9-1-0 record, 3.15 GAA and .870 SP with the eventual WHL champions.

Buskey began this season with the BCHL’s Trail Smoke Eaters (3-4-0, 3.78 GAA, .862 SP, one SO).

In Regina, he joins a team that ended last season with the duo of Paddock and backup Dean McNabb, both of whom are now 19. McNabb was traded to the Winnipeg Ice this fall, at which point Regina acquired 18-year-old rookie Danton Belluk from the Everett Silvertips.

Belluk has already started six games in Paddock’s absence, compiling a 1-5-0 record with a 4.13 GAA and a .846 SP. Top prospect Matthew Kieper was also brought in for one start but he’s not eligible for full-time duty until next season.

Belluk picked up his first WHL win on Saturday in a 6-5 shootout decision over the Red Deer Rebels.

“Danton has got a little bit better each time but we felt we needed more depth at such a key position,” John Paddock said. “If Max stays healthy, that takes care of a lot of issues.”

Max Paddock reported a sore shoulder after his last appearance — a 5-3 loss to the Edmonton Oil Kings on Oct. 8. His MRI came back clean so he’s expected to practise later this week, which could open the door for his return in Sunday’s outdoor game at Mosaic Stadium against the Calgary Hitmen.

“We don’t have much concern (about the injury) going ahead,” John Paddock said. “All signs are pointing (to) good (news).”

• The Pats traded 18-year-old forward Blake Allan to Calgary on Tuesday for an eighth-round pick in the 2020 bantam draft. If a condition in the deal is met, the pick will become a seventh-rounder.

gharder@postmedia.com

Comments