Evan Fitzpatrick Scouting Report: 2016 NHL Draft #42

Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2015 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Sports is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! For a Complete Listing of all our 2016 Draft Articles Click here.

Evan Fitzpatrick was the fourth overall pick in the 2014 QMJHL draft, and has long been highly touted in goalie circles. As a 16-year-old, he played in 32 games for the Sherbrooke Phoenix, putting up a 3.41 GAA and .884 save percentage, while being named to the QMJHL All Rookie Team. Taking over the starting role this year, Fitzpatrick’s Phoenix team disappointed, and failed to live up to their pre-season predictions. However its hard to blame that on Fitzpatrick who put up an .896 save percentage in the regular season, and a .920 save percentage in the Phoenix first round loss. Fitzpatrick then played for Team Canada at the IIHF Under 18 World Championships. This was not his first go round with international competition as Fitzpatrick played for Canada Red at the 2015 World Under 17 Hockey Challenge. He also played for Team Cherry in this year’s CHL Top Prospects game, where he stopped all 17 shots that he faced before being relieved by Zach Sawchenko. He was the only goalie at this year’s game who did not give up a goal.

Evan Fitzpatrick Scouting Report: 2016 NHL Draft #42

Goalie — Shoots Left — Catches Left
Born Jan 28 1998 — St.John’s, NFLD
Height 6’04” — Weight 206 lbs [193 cm / 93 kg]

Evan Fitzpatrick is a hybrid style netminder. With his excellent size, he covers a lot of net. He takes advantage of this by coming out to challenge shooters, and by having an excellent sense on his angles. He’s also very technically sound for a young netminder, with rebound control not often seen in someone his age. Fitzpatrick understands how to kick low shots into the corners and to swallow up those that come in hight. He keeps himself square to the puck at almost all times, even when making saves on second chance opportunities. Fitzpatrick takes away the bottom of the net with his quick legs.  He gets down into the butterfly quickly and pops right back up. He also has an excellent glove hand, taking away the top of the net.  Fitzpatrick tracks the puck well and his lateral movement is excellent. He has an excellent push with his legs, giving him strong lateral movement. His strong legs and good skating allow him to play the aggressive style and challenge shooters.

Fitzpatrick has extremely good athleticism. Even if out of position, Fitzpatrick never gives up on a play, and makes some highlight reel saves as a result. In addition to good technique, he has extremely fast reflexes, and the competitiveness to never give up on a play. Fitzpatrick shows a good demeanor. He stays calm in his net, and his coolness in the face of heavy pressure shows good leadership, and is something his teammates lean on. If he does give up a bad goal, he has the ability to quickly forget about it and be ready to make the next big save.  He could use some work on playing the puck in his own end, developing the ability to make a strong outlet pass to his defenders could help his game.

Goaltenders are difficult to predict, as they seem to blossom later than forwards and defencemen, however it would appear that Evan Fitzpatrick has all the skills necessary to make it in the NHL. He will be a bit of a long-term investment as he will likely spend the next two years in the QMJHL, followed by some time at the AHL level before he is ready.  With the right development though, he could be a franchise goaltender. In terms of style, Fitzpatrick’s game is reminiscent of Roberto Luongo, but this is a style comparison only and not one based on talent.

The following is a compilation of Evan Fitzpatrick highlights, taken from youtube.

Check back tomorrow for the #43 prospect on our NHL Draft Board.

Main Photo: