Top 10 Prospects - #6 Jacob Fowler

The 19-year-old goaltender had a dominant draft-plus-one season, giving the Habs brass plenty to cheer about.
2024 Frozen Four
2024 Frozen Four / Richard T Gagnon/GettyImages

Jacob Fowler talked the talk ahead of his draft year and had the Montreal Canadiens scouting staff impressed with his competitive personality.

Fowler plays with a chip on his shoulder and backs up his words with brilliant performances one after the other. Being passed over in the USHL draft and the OHL draft set a fire in his belly and like the true competitor he is, he let his play do the talking. From undrafted and disappointed on draft night, to dominating the USHL and winning a Clark Cup championship - Fowler is built differently.

Thankfully for him, Montreal isn't a place where just anybody can play goalie, you need to be a special kind of player. Carey Price is exactly that and because of his dedication and competitiveness, despite not winning a Stanley Cup, he has earned the respect of the fanbase. Fowler has a long way to go before he gets to Price's level, if ever, but he knows how to win.

Elevating his level of play and adjusting to the next level of competition hasn't thrown him off or pierced his confidence. Even when he gets scored on, he resets and shifts his focus to the next shot. Fowler shut down fellow Canadiens prospect Lane Hutson and 2024 draft consensus number one pick Macklin Celebrini in the Frozen Four semifinals.

That was certainly not an easy feat and while he didn't win in the finals, the freshman was great all year. Expectations are going to be incredibly high during his sophomore season, especially with Cutter Gauthier and Will Smith headed to the NHL. Fowler's goal remains the same to win a national championship, so everything else doesn't matter as much.

It's unclear whether Fowler will play two more seasons in the NCAA or not, but if he follows up his 32-6-1 record with anything close to as impressive, it might not be such a hard decision. I think it's best to let him cook for another year minimum, which is what is going to happen. But beyond that, there is no rush for him to turn to pro, with Jakub Dobes and Connor Hughes manning the crease in Laval.