Top 25 Under 25:
#8: Zane McIntyre - G
Where Did He Come From?: 2010 Draft, 6th Round, 165th overall
Has He Played in the NHL Before?: Yes, 8 games
Zane McIntyre has had a travelled career.
Starting in UND then stumbling a bit in his opening season as a P-Bruin, McIntyre has proven to be an invaluable asset for the Providence Bruins over the last year, taking the starting job at the Dunk and posting a not-too-shabby .930 in AHL play as a solid tandem with himself and Malcolm Subban, even taking a couple of games to play for the ECHL’s Atlanta Gladiators!
At this level, McIntyre kept a level head and kept positionally sound and would recover well on initial shots, reacting to weird floater shots and bounces quickly and promptly, with all signs appearing that Zane and Malcolm would likely end up being promoted over the course of [X MONTHS HERE] in place of the backup...and maybe Rask himself when it came time?
...and then McIntyre started/came to relieve goaltenders in Boston for those 8 games this year, and it became abundantly clear just how high the climb for this young man had become. In fairness, much of Boston was beat to heck and trying to figure itself out in some of those games, but still...
After that, right back down to Providence, where he remained a prominent fixture in the AHL, winning the team’s goaltender of the year award and being one of the best players in the Calder Cup Playoffs to put on a set of goalie pads this year. Unfortunately, his good luck and his scoring help ran out at the Eastern Conference Final.
What does the future hold for McIntyre?
McIntyre has much of the raw skill, calm, and instinct that is needed to play the position at the professional level. He has proven his worth as an asset for Providence, and he does look good in limited engagements whenever he started in the NHL...but there are areas he struggles with, such as puck tracking, and over committing to shots. And it’s cost him.
All of this leads up to a player who is frustrating, because eye test-wise and for most of a game, Zane McIntyre looked about as comfortable as any quality, league-average goaltender in the NHL and was a boon on Providence...but seems to have a real trouble with adjustment in his first year between higher levels of play (he had this issue last year in Providence before settling in). If he’s serious about contending for a backup job, then he’s going to have to have the camp/preseason of his life come September and have to deal with reasonably okay to poor teams in October.
If not, he’ll be a happy addition to a Providence team that will be stacked to the gills this season in talent. Any further years of up and down play however...and Boston might have to reevaluate just how deep their goaltending pool really is.