The Anaheim Ducks made a splash Monday Afternoon, signing Swedish Goaltending Star Viktor Fasth, as per Darren Dreger of TSN. The contract is a 1-year deal worth $1,000,000. It is also a 1-way deal, meaning that if the Ducks were to send Fasth down to the minors during the regular season, any team would have the right to put a claim on him within a 24 hour period.
Playing for AIK of the Swedish Elite League, Fasth put up a spectacular .931% Save Percentage and a 2.12 Goals Against Average. The 29-year old became the first Goaltender since Henrik Lundqvist to earn two straight Honken Trophies as the best Goaltender in the SEL. Lundqvist won the trophy in the 2002-03, 2003-04, and 2004-05 seasons.
In the 2012 IIHF World Championships, Fasth posted a .902& Save Percentage to go along with a 2.34 Goals Against Average. He finished the tournament with a 4-2-0 record, posting shutouts against Latvia and Italy in the preliminary round.
It is expected that Fasth will be backing up Jonas Hiller in the 2012-13 season, the reason why the team wasn’t afraid to give him the 1-way deal. Dan Ellis, who backed up Hiller this year, will become a UFA July 1st, and it is not expected that the Ducks will attempt to re-sign him.
The biggest change for Fasth will not only be the harder competition from moving from the SEL to the NHL, but also the size of the ice surface. He will be moving from an international-size ice surface of 200′ by 100′ to an NHL-size ice surface of 200′ by 85′. This will mean a new set of angles for Fasth to adjust to in the upcoming season.
Nonetheless, Fasth definitely provides a boost on the Goaltending front. Whether he’s good enough to be an NHL Goaltender or a bust, he will certainly bring an exciting veteran presence in the locker room.
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