The best draft-eligible goaltender – what is his fantasy value?
When the 2013 NHL Draft kicks off at the Prudential Center in New Jersey this June, chances are the first goalie to hear his name called will be Zach Fucale of the Halifax Mooseheads.
NHL Central Scouting Services has Fucale ranked as the top North American goalie and many experts predicting he'll be selected somewhere in the late first round.
Outstanding season in Halifax
While a lot of attention has been paid attention to the team in front of him, Fucale put together a solid season that showed he was an integral part of the Halifax Mooseheads success. In 55 games, he posted a 45-5-2 record. He also finished with a 0.909 save percentage, 2.35 goals against average and two shutouts.
In the playoffs he compiled 16 wins and one loss as he backstopped the Mooseheads to the President Cup. His goals against average dipped to 2.02 while his save percentage increased to 0.918. In the second round, he shutout Gatineau in games one and two and also posted a shutout in the final versus Baie-Comeau. The shutout in the final earned him a fur coat, the "award" given to the MVP of the game as voted by the Mooseheads players. In the five game final, Fucale had an average of 33.2 saves including a 43 save effort in game four.
Having top draft eligible prospects Jonathan Drouin and Nathan MacKinnon along with Red Wing prospect Martin Frk certainly made wins easier to come by, but Fucale showed the same level of mental toughness and poise all season. Last season he may have looked flashier or made more saves as he was facing more shots every game. This season he learned how to stay focused when games weren't as close or the shot clock wasn't running as high. The 6-1 and 176 pound goalie may not make the big flashy, he makes important saves by relying on sound positioning.
But will he ever be on your fantasy team?
In a rookie-only draft, you certainly won't be blowing an early pick on Fucale unless you have incredible pati