The amount of high-end goalies to come out of the Canadian Hockey League (OHL, WHL, QMJHL) in the past few years has been minimal at best.
Halifax Mooseheads goaltender Zach Fucale hopes to end that trend and become an elite goaltender one day in the NHL. He could very well end up being like Martin Brodeur, who was taken 20th overall, or he could end up like Marc-Andre Fleury and be the picture of inconsistency in the NHL.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Professional scouts do a bang-up job identifying talented goaltenders—in the later rounds. However, when it comes to first-round picks, it's been more of a crapshoot.
It's a terrible waste to use a first-round pick on a goaltender. The Leafs did that when they drafted a goaltender, Tuukka Rask, 21st overall in 2005 and promptly traded him a year later for Andrew Raycroft.
The funny thing here is the Leafs did in fact pick the right player at No. 21. Rask was a dynamite pick, but they screwed it all up by opting for Justin Pogge over him, then dealing him for the former Calder Trophy winner Raycroft.
I suspect Fucale will have a similar career to Jonathan Bernier if he's drafted by the wrong team, much like Malcolm Subban when he was drafted by the Boston Bruins.
If Fucale is drafted by a young team needing a goaltender, look for Fucale to flourish. However, if he ends up on a team with an above-average starter already there, look for Fucale to be one of the better backups in the game and not a starter.
Player to Pick Instead: Spencer Martin likely can be found in the third round. A goaltender from Europe can be found later as well.