The Anaheim Ducks needed a competitive and efficient backup goalie, but received more than they bargained for.
Making his NHL debut at age 30, Victor Fasth took the Ducks by surprise as a reliable goaltender in the 2012-2013 season. He signed a one-year, $1 million deal, finding himself in an early success with eight straight wins.
This made him the third goalie in NHL history to win his first eight games alongside Bob Froese and Ray Emery. Bob Murray then signed Fasth to a two-year, $5,8 million contract extension.
In his NHL debut, Fasth led the Ducks to a 3-2 shootout victory over the Nashville Predators, stopping 19 of the 21 shots. He finished the regular season with a 15-6-2 record, and the Ducks finished with a 30-12-6 record, qualifying for the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs.
Prior to joining the NHL, he was signed to a one-year contract with Elitserien AIK, the top ice hockey league in Sweden as goalie. His impressive 92.45 percent of saves in 33 games was an obvious achievement contributing to AIK’s outcome that season.
After winning prestigious awards, Fasth moved to the big leagues. When Jonas Hiller was slowed due to vertigo and a lower-body injury, it was evident to the Ducks franchise and fans that Fasth would be a reliable backup with .933 save percentage.
For the Ducks’ 20th anniversary, it is unknown whether Murray and Bruce Boudreau will increase Fasth’s goalie time, or continue switching him off with Hiller. Chances are they’ll be keeping this impressive rookie in the net.
Ellie Pourang is a sports columnist for Rant Sports. You can follow her on Twitter @elliepourang or Facebook.
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