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Goaltender Zach Fucale was the Habs’ 2nd round pick, 36th overall in the 2013
Entry Draft.  He was rated as a first rounder for most of the year and the
Canadiens should be more than pleased that he dropped.  Meanwhile, if
Fucale continues to develop, there will be several GM’s shaking their heads and
regretting that they didn’t snap him up when they had the chance.

Skill Grades

Blocker: A
Glove: B
Hockey Sense: A+
Lateral Movement: A+
Rebound Control: A+
Stickhandling: B

At 6’1, 178 lbs, Fucale isn’t small but isn’t overly big either, especially
with many teams prioritizing size for goalies now.  Despite being a tad
smaller than some, he does pretty much everything well.  He plays the
angles, battles through traffic, doesn’t give up on plays, and his glove hand is
improving.  Zach is strong on his skates and has good foot speed with the
ability to make quick reflex saves.  His lateral movement is strong enough
that he can get across the crease quickly while still controlling and directing
the rebounds.  That said, his biggest asset is his poise/calm demeanour; he
never lets a goal throw him off or affect his focus.  One element that
Fucale does need to work on is his stickhandling.  I find that this is his
weakest skill but it isn’t something that is going to hold back his development.

Projected Progression

Fucale will finish up his QMJHL season with Halifax on a team that has a
chance to do damage again this year.  Next year, he once again should see
action for Canada’s World Junior team while playing his final junior campaign. 
Whether that’s with the Mooseheads or another team should Halifax opt to rebuild
remains to be seen.  After that, he should see two or three years in the
AHL with Hamilton.  With Carey Price signed for four more years, there’s no
need to rush Fucale to the NHL which should allow him to develop with a lot less
pressure in the minors.  After that, he should serve as Price’s backup for
a season or two before management will need to make a decision as to which one
to keep.  It’s a great decision to have to make as Price is already
established as a high quality goalie and Fucale has what it takes to be a
starter in the NHL as well.


Fucale is solid in every facet of the game but his poise/calmness is his
greatest asset.  Nothing affects his focus/concentration (such as traffic
or a bad goal); he has a short memory which is what every great successful
goaltender in the NHL needs to have. He also has that unique ability to go
through stretches where he has little action but makes that unbelievable save to
crush his opponents’ momentum or keep his team in the game until they find their
game, an ability that all great goaltenders have.

Final Thoughts

All Fucale does is win big games with calm/poise under pressure.  He
thrives in those situations and coupling that with all the skills necessary to
be an NHL player, I see him being a huge part of the Canadiens’ future.  If
all goes well with his development, he will have the ability to take the Habs
into some long playoff runs.  We saw fans at the World Juniors chanting ‘Fucale,
Fucale.’  We’ll be hearing those chants at the Bell Centre for years to

Fucale’s Stats