Jacob Fowler's 26th Win Clinches Hockey East Title

Boston College v Massachusetts-Lowell
Boston College v Massachusetts-Lowell / Richard T Gagnon/GettyImages

Montreal Canadiens top goaltending prospect Jacob Fowler's brilliant freshman continues to impress.

The 19-year-old backstopped his Boston College Eagles to the Hockey East regular season championship. His 26th win of the season, was also his second shutout; which seats him four wins behind Al Montoya for the rookie goaltending wins record. A 27-save effort was another masterpiece in what has been an exciting season for Fowler.

Fowler said all the right things during his pre-draft meetings with the Canadiens and never appeared cocky. And to follow up his words with an impressive freshman season in the ultra competitive NCAA ranks shows the character he has. His current numbers (2.17 GAA & .925 SV%) are actually better than last year (2.28 GAA & .921 SV%) when he won the Clark Cup Championship.

The Farmington Hills, Illinois., native has done nothing short of assert himself as the top dog in the Canadiens goaltending pool. With Carey Price out of the equation and Samuel Montembeault taking the reigns, the depth behind him was rather questionable. Jakub Dobes and Cayden Primeau, while at different points of their development; haven't inspired management to believe they have future No.1 potential.

Thankfully Fowler, while it's still early, has stood out for all the right reasons. Ahead of his fellow 2023 Habs drafted goaltenders Quentin Miller and Yevgeni Volokhin, is where Fowler sits. Both have played well in the Junior ranks, Miller in the QMJHL and Volokhin in the MHL (Russia's junior league equivalent), but Fowler is definitely ahead of them in the pecking order.

After graduating from the USHL ranks with a championship, Fowler has played his way to first overall in the Hockey East division. His 26-5-1 record has set the Eagles up for what appears to be a deep run in the NCAA playoffs. As the top-seed, Fowler has a little bit of bragging rights over his fellow Habs prospect Boston University Terriers - Lane Hutson and Luke Tuch.

BC wasn't dominant in their win over the University of New Hampshire Wildcats, in fact they relied heavily on Fowler. With their offence failing to crack UNH's neutral zone trap, Fowler's shutout was huge. But they won't get very far in the NCAA playoff tournament, if their best players i.e. Cutter Gauthier, Ryan Leonard, Gabe Perreailt and Will Smith are held off the scoresheet.

With one of the best seasons by a freshman goalie in the NCAA's history, all the hype for Fowler is warranted. Likely two seasons away from having a sniff at the NHL, Fowler might not have reached his potential yet. Which is a scary thing for the college hockey ranks, but promising for the Habs.

The timing could play out with Fowler being ready just as soon as the Canadiens start to threaten as perennial contender's.