Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Zachary Fucale Signed 4x6 Picture

When looking purely at his statistics this season, one may be inclined to think Zachary Fucale is having a pretty bad year. Indeed, with the team standing at 9-7-0-3 near last place of its division, Fucale's 3.09 GAA and .887 save percentage don't necessarily scream out "Next Vezina Winner!", although his 6-3-0 record is pretty good.

As a matter of fact, he's the best on the Brampton Beast in every regard, as can be attested by this screen grab from HockeyDb:
Indeed, Andrew D'Agostini and Bryan Pitton seem to be what's bringing the Beast down this year.

It hasn't been easy for Fucale, once seen as Canadian Junior Hockey's best goalie, which forced the Montréal Canadiens to draft him 36th overall in 2013, though the team didn't want to repeat the growing pains of Carey Price, who took seven years to fulfill the promise that made him a top-5 pick in 2005.

Fucale was the youngest ever to reach 100 wins at the Junior level, a Team Canada gold medalist and holder of the country's record for most tournament wins (8) - tied with Stéphane Fiset and Marc-André Fleury - a Memorial Cup winner and tournament All-Star. In short, he's had one of the best Juniors career of all time.

So it was unexpected that he should fall to the ECHL after the Habs signed veteran Yann Danis as an insurance, but it's not like he is the first-ever to do so. Reigning Vezina winner Braden Holtby spent time there, as did Conn Smythe and two-time Stanley Cup winner Jonathan Quick. Oh, and one Jaroslav Halak.

He spent a lot of the past two summers in Montréal, training with goaltending coach Stéphane Waite. It was here that he signed this photo in thin black sharpie, showing him wearing the Halifax Mooseheads' white (home) uniform:
The kid's 21. I believe most goalies should reach the NHL around the age of 24 or 25. He's still on the right path, he just has Charlie Lindgren - a U.S. College signee from last season - ahead of him on the team's future depth chart to take over after Price's next contract prices him out of the Habs' lineup.

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