Roster restructure continues for Regina Pats

The Regina Pats have developed into a renovation project for General Manager Al Millar.

Goaltending was the focus for Millar and the Pats. On Monday, they acquired 17-year-old Madden Mulawka from the Prince George Cougars in exchange for a draft pick.

Earlier this week, the Pats General Manager joined Michael Ball on the Sportscage to discuss the latest trade from the team and the long-term goals of the franchise.

Millar says Mulawka has an impressive resume with appearances in the WHL Cup and the World U17 Hockey Challenge, but the netminder was the odd man out in a crowded crease with the Cougars and will get an opportunity with the Pats.

“Fits into our core group in terms of the age, of what we’re trying to build, creating a little competition with (Ewan) Huet and (Kelton) Pyne as well.”

The 18-year-olds have handled the goaltending duties for the Pats in the 2023-24 season. In his rookie season, Huet is 6-8-0-1 with a 3.47 G.A.A. and a .900 SAV%, while Pyne is 4-6-1 with 3.78 G.A.A. and a .887 SAV%.

Millar was expecting ups and downs with the Pats relying on a pair of inexperienced goalies.

He feels Regina’s goaltending has been adequate but added that it’s not all on the netminders.

“I think collectively we need to get back to what we were in the first 12-15 games in terms of our identity, structured detail work ethic.”

With the trade for Mulawka, the Pats GM says he could become the team’s top goalie.

Several changes have occurred to the Pats roster over the last month as the team tried to find the right mix. One of the goals Millar is trying to attain with the roster moves is to make the younger and more competitive for years to come.

“Ultimately the end goal whether it’s this year, a year from now or two years from now, we want to be a contending team, we want to win a championship.”

When Millar joined the Pats this summer, the team had few draft picks due to trades. He wants the Regina team to develop and remain competitive.

“We want to get some younger players in our lineup, get our development model going, add some picks to our program, while trying to remain as competitive as we can.”

On their quest for championship glory, Millar says the team will have some difficult choices down the road.

“There maybe some tough decisions, but at the same time, we need to make the right decision, in terms of where we’re going and how we get there.”

The Pats will try and rebound from their current losing skid of five games on Friday when they head to Brandon. The matchup against the Wheat Kings will end a five-game road stretch.

On Saturday, the Regiment will return to the Brandt Centre for their first home game since November 15, as they welcome the Swift Current Broncos. The game will also mark Pat’s annual Teddy Bear Toss game.

Regina will try and put themselves back into a playoff position this weekend. The Pats have fallen to the 10th spot in the Eastern Conference with 22 points, three points back of Red Deer, who currently holds the final playoff spot.

620 CKRM will have both games this weekend. On Friday night, coverage begins at 6:35 from Brandon and then again on Saturday from the Brandt Centre once again at 6:35.

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