LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- When Canada coach Brent Sutter assessed his three goaltenders here at the national junior evaluation camp, he said Eric Comrie, Zachary Fucale and Jake Paterson were starting on an even playing field.
However, Paterson does have one advantage on the competition -- he's the only one of the three to have played on a world junior championship team.
Paterson, a 2012 third-round (No. 80) pick of the Detroit Red Wings, was the third goaltender on Canada's WJC team that finished fourth at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship. While he never dressed for a game, he said he did learn something from going through the process.
"It's how tough the tournament is to win," he said. "It's a one-game elimination. I learned last year you have to be at your best every single game."
He might not have been at his best Saturday, allowing five goals on 25 shots in a 5-1 loss to the United States, but Sutter said no result one way or the other in August was going to sway his decision on the final roster he'll lead at the 2014 WJC in Malmo, Sweden.
Paterson will return to his club team, the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League, knowing what's really important is how he starts the 2013-14 season.
"The biggest thing is trying to develop my game as much as I can and try have a good start to the season," he said. "It [WJC] is going to be in the back of anyone's head, that someone might be watching you. You're trying to make the team through the first four months of the season. I'm just looking forward to having a good start and everything will take of itself.
"Canada is filed with a bunch of good goaltenders so I know it'll be tough, but I'm looking forward to it."
Follow Adam Kimelman on Twitter: @NHLAdamK