The Washington Capitals have strengthened their goaltending depth for the next couple of years, as the team announced the signing of Zach Fucale to a two-year, two-way deal. The deal is worth $1.5MM with an AAV of $750K. Fucale will receive $150K in the AHL during his first year and $160K in the second.
Once considered a superstar goaltending prospect, Fucale has struggled significantly since going pro. The 25-year-old has spent much of his playing time in the ECHL and has struggled to get an NHL contract until recently when the Capitals signed him to a one-year deal in August. Fucale was still expected to spend the season in the ECHL with a loaded system that was supposed to include Ilya Samsonov, Henrik Lundqvist, Vitek Vanecek and Pheonix Copley, leaving Fucale as the extra netminder.
Instead, Fucale has spent most of his time in the AHL and has fared well in six games with the Hershey Bears, boasting a 1.93 GAA and a .942 save percentage, potentially suggesting that Fucale might finally be figuring things out in net. Fucale would have been a Group 6 free agent, but will now hopefully find some stability after several years of moving around. He is a likely candidate to share the Hershey net with Copley next season as well before Copley becomes a free agent himself in 2022.