Thomas McCollum will be back for another year with the Detroit organization.
McCollum signed a one-year deal with AHL Grand Rapids on Tuesday, the club announced. The deal comes after McCollum, 23, set career bests last season in wins (18), goals against average (2.63), save percentage (.904) and shutouts (2) — helping the Griffins to a stellar regular season, but failing to make an impact en route to the team’s Calder Cup championship.
McCollum — who has one NHL game on his resume — served as Petr Mrazek’s backup in the playoffs and didn’t play a single game, suggesting Czech netminder has passed McCollum as the more prized young goalie prospect in the Detroit system.
That said, McCollum is only 23 and still has pedigree.
Taken in the first round, 30th overall, of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, McCollum was the second goalie off the board in ’08, taken ahead of Florida’s Jacob Markstrom and St. Louis’ Jake Allen.
While he enjoyed a good regular season at the AHL level last year, he was pegged as the No. 2 behind the 21-year-old Mrazek and watched as Mrazek made the jump to the NHL last season for a brief spell as Jimmy Howard’s backup.