Boston Bruins: The Case for Zane McIntyre as Backup Goaltender


The small cluster of unproven players vying for the backup goalie position have the task of convincing the Boston Bruins that their best course of action will not be to go out and sign a proven veteran backup.  Instead, they’ll have to show management that the wise thing to do will be to stick it out with whichever one of them proves themselves worthy enough to have a spot on the roster.  I’ve already talked in recent posts about Jeremy Smith and Malcolm Subban, and what they bring to the organization.

Now for the college kid, Zane McIntyre.  I love him, and I think he’s the future number one goalie for the Bruins.  It’s true that he has zero professional hockey experience, and definitely could use a few years in the minors before he sees NHL action.

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With no NHL or AHL experience, going from the NCAA straight to the Boston Bruins would be an enormous jump for him, and wouldn’t come without growing pains.  McIntyre has quite the college resume, coming off two straight appearances in the Frozen Four, where his North Dakota squad was dispatched in the semifinals both times.

He left school to sign with the B’s after his junior year, where he went 29-10-3 with a 2.05 Goals Against Average and a .929 Save Percentage, and was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, given to the NCAA’s best overall hockey player.  He lost out to some kid named Jack Eichel (ever heard of him?).

That’s phenomenal company to be mentioned with when you’re talking NHL prospects.  The bottom line here is that I love the kid’s potential, and have him pegged to be the future of Boston’s goaltending situation, but not quite yet.  He has the maturity, sure, and more importantly fits the mold of what Don Sweeney was looking for when he set out to find players who are excited to be here and carry that Bruins identity.

“I couldn’t be happier with an original six team like Boston.” – Zane McIntyre

Part of Zane McIntyre’s reasoning for leaving his dreams of winning a national championship behind was because of this opportunity to play for Boston.  “My goal when I was drafted was to play for them (the Bruins) one day, and it’s a time in my life where I have a good opportunity here to come into the organization and really just dictate with my play what’s going to happen with myself…” McIntyre told the Boston media this summer.  “I couldn’t be happier with an original six team like Boston.”

If McIntyre tears it up during camp, then who am I to protest giving him a chance this early with the Bruins?  He’s played in high pressure situations, having gone toe to toe with the top competition in the NCAA.  Of all three of the potential backup goalies, I’m most interest in seeing how McIntyre fares in camp.


I’m going with Jeremy Smith winning the starting job.  I think he’ll come out and have himself a solid camp, good not great, and impress Claude Julien enough with his professional hockey experience (we all know Claude loves guys with experience) to give him the nod, at least for the beginning of the season.

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There’s obviously no telling how he, or any of these three guys, will perform at the NHL level against offensively stout division opponents like the Canadiens or Lightning, and that’s worrisome.  Let’s not mince beat around the bush.  The backup goaltending situation could make or break this year’s team.

Tuukka Rask can’t be out there as much as he was last year if the Bruins want to make the playoffs, let alone have enough left in the tank in April to contend.  He needs one of these guys to step up and pull his weight all season long, or we’re going to have to go through another disappointing season, or an early round playoff exit against the toughest division the team has had to deal with in a long time.