Jeff Zatkoff

Mark Allan

2016-07-01

 

Jeff Zatkoff, G

Catches: L

Height: 6-2

Weight: 179

Born: 1987-06-09

Hometown: Detroit, MI

Drafted: 2006 by Los Angeles Kings, 74th Overall

 

 

 

 

 

 

Observations:

June 2016 – With the dramatic emergence of Matt Murray, the remaining presence of Marc-Andre Fleury and the existence of young prospects who include Tristan Jarry and Filip Gustavsson, there was no more room for Zatkoff in Pittsburgh's system. The 29-year-old prospect (admittedly stretching that description) has played in only 35 NHL games and won't get into many more behind workhorse Jonathan Quick in L.A. even if the Kings allow UFA Jhonas Enroth to sign elsewhere.  The franchise that drafted Zatkoff 74th overall in 2006 just signed the UFA to a two-year deal with an average cap hit of $900,000, which would be a more affordable option to Enroth. Mark Allan 

April 2016 – Zatkoff's future in Pittsburgh is cloudy. The veteran began the season as Marc-Andre Fleury's backup, but has been eclipsed by rising star Matt Murray, who split 2014-15 starts with Zatkoff in spite of Murray having clearly superior stats with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton en route to a sensational AHL rookie season. After Fleury was sidelined with his second concussion of the season to begin April, Murray led the Penguins to three straight wins. Tristan Jarry and the just-signed Sean Maguire are in the pipeline. In spite of a flurry of contract extensions and signings in Pittsburgh, Zatkoff's stats are pedestrian and he is due to become a UFA in the off-season. Mark Allan

January 2016 – Marc-Andre Fleury is carrying the mail for Pittsburgh, not leaving many opportunities for his backup to start as the Penguins scrap for a playoff berth. Although the veteran minor-leaguer has the same save percentage as Fleury at .926, Fleury's GAA of 2.26 is far better than Zatkoff's 2.60, resulting in the backup having eight starts compared to Fleury's 30. Zatkoff is a UFA at the end of the season, and will face serious challenges from promising prospects Matt Murray and Tristan Jarry. Mark Allan

October 2015 – While Matt Murray and Tristan Jarry likely have more upside down the line than the older Zatkoff, the latter made a statement by making 50 saves and being the difference for Pittsburgh in a 4-3 win over Buffalo. The Penguins might have been looking past the promising but still-in-progress Sabres when they skated out in front of Zatkoff, who was relieving red-hot starter Marc-Andre Fleury. Regardless, it was one of their higher-scoring games this season, and Zatkoff, 28, made 23 third-period stops while giving Pittsburgh some confidence in its backup 'tender. Mark Allan

October 2015 – With the demotion of young Matt Murray to the AHL, veteran minor-leaguer Zatkoff seems to have secured an NHL job as Marc-Andre Fleury's backup. However, he allowed seven Red Wing goals on only 22 shots in a 7-2 pre-season loss to Detroit. Cap-crunched Pittsburgh is taking some chances with its blueliners and its backup goalie position. If Zatkoff does not prove his worth behind inexperienced defensemen in occasional starts to relieve Fleury, the starter will be forced to endure a heavy workload or the Pens will have to find a better backup. Mark Allan 

September 2015 – With young Tristan Jarry as his backup, Zatkoff made 25 saves but allowed all four goals in a 4-2 pre-season loss to Columbus. The Blue Jackets scored the first four goals of the game. Zatkoff appears to remain the frontrunner to back up Marc-Andre Fleury in the Pittsburgh net, which means Fleury could bear a heavy regular-season workload. Mark Allan

September 2015 – In spite of stopping all 23 shots he faced in Pittsburgh's pre-season opener Sept. 21, Zatkoff didn't earn the win in a 1-0 shootout victory over Columbus. Fresh out of junior, Tristan Jarry got the win. Jarry, Zatkoff and Matt Murray are in a three-man competition for the right to back up Marc-Andre Fleury. Due to Jarry's youth and lack of pro experience, it's essentially a two-player showdown between Zatkoff and Murray, who split goaltending duties 50-50 last season for Pittsburgh's AHL affiliate. Mark Allan

August 2015 — With Thomas Greiss now wearing New York Islander colors, Zatkoff is a strong candidate for the NHL Penguins' backup goalie gig. Unless Pittsburgh GM Jim Rutherford pulls a No. 2 netminder out of a hat, Zatkoff would seem to be the frontrunner. Matt Murray could be in the picture after rewriting the AHL record book as a rookie, but he has only one pro season under his belt and Zatkoff is a minor-league pro veteran. Mark Allan

June, 2014 – Jeff Zatkoff had a long and arduous journey to the NHL, but it appears that he has finally made it. He spent all of the 2013-14 season with Pittsburgh and has proven himself as a very capable backup goalie. Zatkoff finished the year with a 12-6-2 record and played in 20 games. He played very well in place of Marc-Andre Fleury during the regular season and will most likely remain as his backup next season. Zatkoff is in the upper-echelon of backup goalies in the league right now and that means he is fairly valuable in deeper fantasy leagues. Though Fleury will get his wins, he is very inconsistent, and Zatkoff could very well end up with 25+ starts next season. Seth Brisendine

December 2013 – It only took Zatkoff a year in the Pens organization to turn into an NHL goaltender due to health issues with Tomas Vokoun. Zatkoff proved his worth last season with an impressive stat-line in the AHL. When Vokoun was removed from service, and Zatkoff played two games questions started up about finding a replacement, 10 goals against and .818 SV will do that. He quickly silenced the critics with a shutout over Columbus and hasn’t lost since. By most accounts he has now reached his potential, and could be lived off as a nice backup to hold for 15-20 starts per season. Jason Banks

December 2012 – Zatkoff has had an excellent career thus far, proving himself in junior, NCAA, and minor pro. He has been on the cusp of the NHL just waiting for an opportunity to move forward. In the Kings organization, he was held down due to the talent and potential of Quick and Bernier with neither giving him an opportunity to show his stuff. He has moved into a very strong role in Pittsburgh, where he should receive more opportunities in the near future. Zatkoff at times looks a bit scrawny in net as he only has 180 pounds on his six-foot-two-inch frame.  That said he has very good footwork in the crease and has a never-quit attitude on plays. Brad Thiessen is a year older and has won an AHL goalie of the year honor, but Zatkoff is the much more sound and able tender, but both will compete for the backup role in the next couple seasons. Currently Zatkoff is ripping apart the AHL as he is on a six-game winning streak allowing only 14 goals in that span. Jason Banks

 

Fantasy Outlook:  C-

He's not getting any younger, and his NHL potential is fading. In the right circumstance, he could be a competent backup.

 

Footage:

 

Emergency diving save on Bryan Bickell.

 

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