By the Numbers will highlight the on-ice accomplishments in the 2017-18 season for the Detroit Red Wings' prospects. Twice a week during the offseason, By the Numbers will profile a different player in the system, focusing on his statistical highs. This week we focus on goaltender Kaden Fulcher.
As Jimmy Howard is entering the final season of his six-year, $31.75 million contract, the Detroit Red Wings knew that they had a need for more goaltenders in the system.
They signed Jonathan Bernier to a three-year, $9 million deal to challenge Howard at the NHL level.
Detroit also drafted two Swedish goaltenders, Jesper Eliasson and Victor Brattstrom, in the third round and sixth round, respectively, in the June draft. They join Keith Petruzzelli, who was drafted in the third round in the 2017 draft.
In addition, the Wings signed Slovakian goaltender Patrik Rybar on May 21. But Rybar isn't the only free agent goaltender the Wings have signed.
On Oct. 3, 2017, they signed Kaden Fulcher to a three-year entry-level contract after he performed well in their development camp and training camp.
Fulcher went on to have an outstanding season with the Ontario Hockey League's Hamilton Bulldogs, winning the league championship and earning a berth in the Memorial Cup tournament.
Although the Bulldogs lost to the Regina Pats in the semifinal round, Fulcher won the Hap Emms Memorial Trophy as the Most Outstanding Goaltender at the Memorial Cup.
2.27 -- Fulcher's 2.27 goals-against average during the Memorial Cup was the best among goaltenders at the tournament.
.918 -- Fulcher also had a .918 save percentage during the Memorial Cup, also the best among all goalies.
32 -- During the regular season, Fulcher sete a new career best with 32 victories for the Bulldogs, tied with the Barrie Colts' Leo Lazarev for third most. Sault Ste. Marie's Matthew Villalta had 40 and Sarnia's Justin Fazio had 37. The previous season Fulcher had 19 wins.
2.86 -- Fulcher's 2.86 goals-against average during the regular season was also a new career high and ranked 11th in the OHL. During the 2016-17 season, he had a 3.21 goals-against average.
.899 -- Another regular-season career high was Fulcher's .899 save percentage. In the previous season, Fulcher had an .891 save percentage.
3 -- In his third full OHL season, Fulcher registered a career-high three shutouts, one of six OHL goalies with three shutouts. The only goaltenders with more were Windsor's Michael DiPietro with seven and Oshawa's Kyle Keyser with four.
2.70 -- Fulcher took his game to the next level in the playoffs, with a league-leading 2.70 goals-against average in 21 games. Kitchener's Mario Culina was second with a 2.79 goals-against average.
16 -- Fulcher was one of the main reasons the Bulldogs were so successful in the playoffs. He led the OHL with 16 playoff wins against just five losses.
76 -- With a career-high 55 games played in the regular season and 21 games played in the postseason, Fulcher played in 76 games last season. That easily eclipsed the 43 regular-season games and one playoff game he played in the previous year.
Quotable: "I think my mental side of the game really improved leaps and bounds this year and I think it was just letting go of bad goals, letting go of bad games and you're only as good as your last save as well so I think it was just finding that happy medium and I think mentally it really helped me and the goalie coaches really helped me with that." -- Fulcher, who participated in his second Red Wings development camp