Not So Fasth

Justin Goldman



Despite losing to Finland in the Gold Medal game of the 2011 World Championships, Viktor Fasth proved throughout the tournament that he's ready for a bigger challenge. That challenge could be the NHL, as three teams have already expressed interest in him. But which team gives him the best chance to play games and improve his fantasy value?




Voted as the Tournament MVP, the Best Goaltender and a member of the All-Star Team, Fasth played seven games for Sweden, posted three shutouts, a 1.71 goals-against average and a .946 save percentage en route to a Silver Medal.


Fasth's success in the World Championships was an extension of his awesome season in the Swedish Elite League. In 42 games for AIK, he posted a 2.26 goals-against average and .925 save percentage, which earned him a two-year contract extension (signed on 2/9) and then the Honken Trophy as the SEL's Goaltender of the Year.


Despite being on a weaker team that finished just 20-23-4-8, he helped AIK earn the final playoff spot and a first-round matchup with HV71, the regular season champions. Fasth shocked all of Sweden when he sparked his team to a 4-0 series sweep by winning games 4-2, 3-0, 3-1 and 4-1. In the second round, however, AIK got a taste of their own medicine, as they were swept by Farjestad, the eventual league champions.




In eight playoff games, Fasth posted a 1.78 goals-against average and a .945 save percentage. Do those stats sound familiar? Time for a bigger challenge, buddy, and NHL teams are knocking on your door.


Listed at 6-foot-0 and 190 pounds, Fasth plays a refined Swedish butterfly style that relies on positioning and simplified footwork. He reminds me of a hybrid mix between Henrik Lundqvist and Jonas Gustavsson. He plays deep in his crease, has an extremely wide stance, a strong core and big upper body. His wide stance sets his knees lower to the ice, which allows him to seal the bottom two feet of the net very quickly.


He's tough to beat down low, he's extremely confident and he stays centered in his net. On top of all this, he has quick hands and a straight back, so he makes strong lateral pushes and can make the shoulder saves on a steady basis. He also proved this year that he has the mental toughness, composure, consistency and goaltending IQ needed to succeed against more skilled players.


Of course the transition to North America won't be easy, but at 28 years of age, I think it would be much smoother and more seamless than that of a 23 or 24-year old.


In regards to his chances of heading overseas this summ