By John Vogl
Junior team: Halifax (QMJHL)
Born: Laval, Quebec
Measurables: 6-foot-1, 181 pounds
2012-13 stats: 45-5-3, 2.35 GAA, .909 save pct.
Central Scouting rank: No. 1 (North America)
Lowdown: It’s easy for goaltenders to win when they’re surrounded by ridiculous talent. Halifax boasts Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin, both pegged to go in the top three of the draft, and the squad rolled to the Memorial Cup championship. Fucale reaped the benefits, going 16-1 with a 2.02 goals-against average and .918 save percentage.
It’s not easy, though, for goalies to stay focused during routs. Halifax outscored its opponents, 347-176, giving Fucale plenty of lonely moments at the end of the rink. He received good marks for staying in the game and learning to be ready when action inevitably arrived.
Practicing daily against future stars Drouin and MacKinnon helped Fucale’s progress. He’s got good size for a goaltender and is positionally sound. He’s adept at reading plays, which reduces the number of sparkling saves he needs to make. Goalies can be a bargain toward the middle of the draft, but someone is expected to take a run at Fucale in the first round.
He said it: "I’ve evolved as a goalie from last year. I worked on every single little part of my game. I’ve become better. I’ve tried to improve every little aspect. … Playoffs, it’s do or die. You want to win. It’s big games in playoffs, and it was a great learning experience this year. I’m looking forward to other playoffs and learning more." – Fucale.
The Buffalo News is profiling 30 prospects in 30 days leading up to the NHL draft June 30.
taggedNHL Entry Draft