While at the Canadian World Junior camp and only a few hours before he was slated to start a game against pre-tournament Russia, Zach Fucale was traded from the Halifax Mooseheads to the Quebec Remparts in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
More from La Métropole Sports
The Montreal Canadiens goaltending prospect was sent to the Remparts, along with defenseman Matt Murphy and a 6th round draft pick in exchange for Quebec’s goaltender Eric Brassard, two first round picks, a second rounder and a third rounder.
Fucale was drafted in the second round, 36th overall by the Canadiens in 2013 and is considered their number one goaltending prospect.
Last year in the QMJHL, he won the Jacques Plante Memorial Trophy (Best goals against average in the league) and the Paul Dumont Trophy (Personality of the Year), in addition to leading to Mooseheads to a Maritimes Division Championship for the second straight year.
He appeared in one pre-season game with the Habs, allowing two goals on 15 shots against the Buffalo Sabres.
How will the trade effect Fucale’s development? Not a whole lot.
Firstly, he will still be a number one starter. He appeared in 50+ games in each of his first three seasons in Halifax, and with 24 under his belt already this year, he should reach 50 again.
The other goaltender on the Remparts’ roster, Callum Booth, is only 17-years-old and will be the backup.
Although the Remparts (4th overall, 44 points) are higher in the QMJHL standings than the Mooseheads (10th, 37 points), the 19-year-old will get more work in Quebec and it will be fun to see how he handles it.
Fucale was facing an average of 29 shots per game this season, a big jump from 2014-15, when he faced 24.5 shots.
In all honesty, he wasn’t reacting too well to having the increase in work. The Rosemere, Que. native was putting up career lows in save percentage (.890%) and goals against average (3.20). As the front office staff of an NHL team, would you want your prospect facing more shots and earning valuable experience?
In Quebec, he will get even more work – they are giving up an average of 31 shots per game.
Another interesting twist to this story is that the Remparts will be hosting the 2015 Memorial Cup and are guaranteed qualification as hosts.
Don’t forget, Fucale has already appeared in the Memorial Cup, winning it in 2013 with the Mooseheads, lead by Nathan Mackinnon and Jonathan Drouin.
It will be a treat for Habs fans to see Zach Fucale in the World Juniors and then the Memorial Cup in May.
Be sure to check in with La Metropole Sports for special World Junior Hockey Championship coverage.