I can already anticipate the meltdown if Cleary stays and Larkin goes down.
Just to prepare people, if that happens, it is NOT because Cleary "took" Larkin's roster spot. It's because they didn't think Larkin was ready for a top 3 line role and didn't want him playing 10 minutes on the fourth line and/or being the 13/14 forward. Cleary, on the other hand, is perfectly-suited to that role. The two of them are not in competition for the same roster spot.
So Paterson and Perry don't have a shot at NHL duty but Van Pottelberghe absolutely does... Give me a break. Both of these kids have just as good a shot at being NHLers as this kid. Besides, we're going to need a backup within a few years if Howard is traded. That won't be any of these kids. It will be a free agent signing...
This is the premise of a talent pool. Since none of them are sure fire bets for the NHL, you build up a pool of what you think are the best bets (at each position) and hope that one turns into the real deal. You don't stop drafting at a position because you've got one or two guys that are maybe ok. And we hardly have an unreasonable number of (or a particularly good set of) goaltending prospects.
Listen, I agree that we need to draft defence. I'm just saying that we need more than that as well. And our goaltending talent pool is not strong.
Why is everyone assuming McCollum is gone? I wouldn't be at all surprised if he resigns and stays in Grand Rapids. All the fans are so sure that Howard is on his way out so why wouldn't McCollum be thinking the same thing? With Howard "100% on his way out" maybe Tommy Boy can make his way up as a backup to Mrazek. Also, why are Paterson and Perry not viewed as guys for Grand Rapids? And like I said, we have our number 1 in Detroit. Filling a backup / minor league role has to be the easiest to fill. There are always a dozen options in free agency every year...
Assuming he's either gone or, even if he stays, appears unlikely to be an NHL goaltender. McCollum and everyone else in the world knows that he's not going to be Detroit's full-time backup.
You need to build up a talent pool that can have an impact in the future. The Wings drafted another goalie because they have a limited pool that looks like it will make an impact in the future, once you get past Mrazek. Or, they just drafted him because he was the best talent available at the time, regardless of position. Either way, I'm fine with it.