Of all the top prospects, goalie Zach Furcale (third from right) fell into the second round. (Getty Images)
By Allan Muir
• I’m going to venture a guess that fans in Montreal will be split down the middle about the Canadiens’ Zach Fucale pick (36th). One side will suggest that goaltending is hardly a priority with Carey Price signed for the next five years, and that more immediate needs could have been addressed by taking sniper Valentin Zykov or big winger Justin Bailey. The other side won’t believe that the Memorial Cup-winning stopper, who many scouts had projected as a first rounder, was actually still there for the taking in the second.
Count me with those guys, and not because I had Fucale going earlier.
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Bottom line, it takes several years for most goalies to mature from junior studs into NHL-ready stoppers. By the time Price is ready to move on (or re-sign), Fucale’s apprenticeship should be over. So he either takes over or moves on as an asset. And ultimately that’s what this comes down to: at pick 36, Fucale appears to stand a better chance of maturing into a viable asset than either of those scoring wingers. That makes this look like a big win for the Habs.