Does Drafting A Goaltender In 2013 Makes Sense For Winnipeg Jets?

Ondrej Pavelec

Bruce Fedyck – USA TODAY Sports

After once again missing the playoffs, the Winnipeg Jets will select 13th in the 2013 NHL Draft. While there are many needs the team needs to address, the availability of top-tier goaltending may be something the Jets want to keep an eye on. Ondrej Pavelec has been solid for the team for many years and is signed for many more, but there is a lack of a solid backup option. If the Jets have a chance to get one of the top available goalies with their first round pick, they may be wise to try and draft a successor for Pavelec.

The top goaltender available in the draft is Zachary Fucale of the Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL). In his second season, Fucale only lost seven games in regulation between the regular season and playoffs combined. There is likely going to be some interest in him from some teams picking earlier, but if he slides to 13th the Jets should definitely grab him. After Fucale, top options are Eric Comrie of the Tri-City Americans (WHL) and Tristan Jarry of the Edmonton Oil Kings. International options like Finland’s Juuse Saros or Slovenia’s Luka Gracnar may also be enticing, but may not warrant a first round pick like Fucale does.

The Jets finished the 2013 season with the seventh-worst goals against in the league, so shoring up their situation between the pipes has to be on their mind. Pavelec played in 44 of their 48 games and had 21 wins with a 2.80 goals-against average. He is signed through the 2016-17 season, which could make for great timing as any goaltender draft this year is likely at least three years or more away from being ready for the NHL.

Jonathan Katje is an NHL senior writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter or add him to your circles on Google Plus.

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