Red Wings prospect and Hamilton Bulldogs netminder Kaden Fulcher will be battling Jordan Sambrook and the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds for the Ontario Hockey League championship this weekend. Ahead of the match-up, Fulcher spoke with Hockeybuzz’s Bob Duff regarding his roller-coaster of a season and surprise ascension up the Wings’ depth chart as an un-drafted free agent signing:
“[Being signed] was a pretty big surprise, to be honest,” Fulcher admitted. “I was going to camp as a free agent. You don’t really expect much. I think at the end of the day I went in there looking to earn a contract, obviously, but I don’t think you really understand how hard it is. I think just going in and not having any pressure on me was pretty big.”
He’s carried over that belief shown in him by the Wings into a transformative season for both him and his team. The Bulldogs are bound for the OHL championship after whipping the Kingston Frontenacs 4-1 in the East final, and the 6-3, 182-pound Fulcher, 19, leads the postseason in wins (12) and goals-against average (2.35).
“Not a lot of guys on our team have had team success in the years in the OHL,” Fulcher said. “Everyone’s pretty excited for this opportunity. We’re just going to make the most of it.”
Returning to junior with an NHL contract in his pocket certainly motivated Fulcher to have a career year.
“It’s definitely huge to know that they’re making plans for you,” Fulcher said. “I think as a player, you just try to make sure that every day you show up at the rink at the OHL level, that you want to keep putting in the work to get to that next level. I think getting a little taste of it at the prospect tournament and the main camp, you see just how good everyone is, and how good you’re going to have to get to get there.”