The goaltending class in the NHL Draft 2013 is, on the whole, relatively weak. There are no blue-chip prospects, and two, at the most, will go in the first round.
That said, there are still talented prospects and some who will eventually become starters and contribute in the NHL for a long time.
Who are the best goaltenders in the 2013 Draft? Read on to find a power rankings of the best in net.
1. Zachary Fucale, Halifax, QMJHL
Fuclae is the consensus No. 1 goaltender in this draft class. The 17-year-old has put up great numbers this season, posting a 45-5-3 record, with a sparkling 2.35 goals-against-average and a .909 save percentage. In the postseason, he's been even better, posting a 10-0-0 record, and a 1.68 goals-against-average.
Fucale is technically sound and doesn't play out of position, which makes him attractive to NHL teams. Al Jensen, of NHL's Central Scouting, praised Fucale profusely (via NHL.com):
"Net coverage in the NHL is so crucial and Zach's got that, and that's why he's way ahead of the other goalies in this draft," Jensen said. "His net presence is excellent; he always gives himself a chance to stop the puck, and that's big because players today can shoot the puck and they don't need many holes to find the back of the net."
Fucale is ranked as the top North American goalie according to Central Scouting. He will probably be selected in the first round, and teams like Buffalo and Calgary would be good fits.
He's only 17, which means Fucale won't be NHL-ready for at least a few years. But he has the look of a NHL starter. His poise in net, combined with his technical ability, makes him the most likely candidate from this draft class to be a long-term starter.
2. Eric Comrie, Tri-City, WHL
Comrie is a talented goalie with an athletic playing style. He posted a 20-14-3 record, with a 2.62 goals against average and .915 save percentage.
At just under 6'1" and at 167-pounds, Comrie will have to put on a few pounds to withstand an NHL workload.
He'll have to do that without losing any of his athleticism. What makes Comrie potentially special is lateral agility and his ability to cover a lot of ground fairly quickly.
Jensen, from NHL's Central Scouting, had this to say about Comrie (via NHL.com):
"He competes hard, always gets himself in position and never gives up on a play," Jensen said. "He's very aggressive and I like his upside. When you watch him, you can see he has a chance to play in the NHL someday. He'll always give his team a chance and that's what you want out of your goalie."
Athletic goalies like Comrie can be a risky proposition. By being so athletic, they can get themselves out of position. Comrie is sound positionally, but when he loses his athleticism as he ages, he'll become less effective.
Still, Comrie will be a serviceable starter for a decent team for a long time.
3. Tristan Jarry, Edmonton, WHL
Tristan Jarry is a backup in the WHL, but possess enough skills to warrant a look in the NHL draft.
Would You Take a Backup Goaltender in the Draft?
He posted a fantastic 1.61 goals-against-average and a .936 save percentage in 27 games.
Jarry is not flashy. Rather, he's technically sound and efficient, not wasting too much movement. According to Jensen (via NHL.com):
"He's not a cookie-cutter goalie and doesn't just drop in the butterfly; he'll stand up and read the play and possesses good rebound control," Jensen said of Jarry. "He probably played one out of every four games this year, but each time I've seen him, he looks like a veteran. His smartness and confidence are what have helped him improve and develop his overall game."
His relative lack of experience is concerning, but what's intriguing is his ability to read the play. Goalies can get in trouble when they get out of position and try to make a play that isn't there. Some of the best goaltenders, like Henrik Lundqvist, let the play come to them, and then react.
Jarry needs more experience and needs to hold down a starting job. But his technical skill is intriguing and he would be a nice developmental goalie in the third or fourth round.
4. Calvin Peterson, Waterloo, USHL
Calvin Peterson is young and raw, but possesses a lot of intriguing traits.
He'll be heading to the University of Notre Dame, where the 6'1", 175-pound goaltender will get plenty of experience in a good program.
Peterson has some good quickness and decent athleticism. He has a dynamic element to him and can come up with the spectacular save.
Still, his 3.01 goals-against-average in the USHL is concerning. Peterson needs to play with better positioning.
But he does have talent and Jensen thinks he could be a relatively early pick (via NHL.com):
"Petersen has phenomenal quickness, good size (6-1.25, 175) and offers good low net coverage. His wingspan is great, so he covers a lot of the net and is capable of coming up with big games. I like his battle level, and he competes hard. It wouldn't surprise me if he were chosen in the second or third round of this draft."
If Peterson can find a balance between flashiness and technical skill, then he could be something special. But he has work to do, and won't be NHL-ready for at least a few years.
5. Juuse Saros, HPK Jr., Finland-Jr.
Juuse Saros is the best European goaltender in this class.
Is Saros Too Small?
He put up a 1.86 goals-against-average and a .933 save percentage. He's small, at 5'10", but possesses good quickness. As Goran Stubb, the NHL Director of European Scouting, says (via NHL.com):
"He had a great season, has extremely quick reactions and reads the game very well," NHL Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb told NHL.com. "He's the No. 1 goalie prospect in Europe. He was good last year but has been sensational this season."
His size is a bit concerning, and he needs to play against more senior competition, but Saros has potential as a long-term developmental prospect. Any player with good reactions can play in the NHL. A team that takes Saros with a fourth- or fifth-round pick will eventually have Saros on their roster and contributing.