It took some time to make it official, but the Bruins announced the signing of University of North Dakota goaltender Zane McIntyre to a two-year entry level contract.
McIntyre was coming off a season where he led the NCAA in wins with a 29-10-3 record along with a 2.06 goals against average and a .929 save percentage, and helped lead his hockey team to a Frozen Four appearance. The 6-foot-2, 206-pounder was selected as the recipient of the Mike Richter Award, annually given to the most outstanding goaltender in Division I NCAA men’s ice hockey and was also named one of three finalists for this year’s Hobey Baker Memorial Award.
McIntyre also had a year of college eligibility left while signing with the Bruins organization at 22 years old, and could have opted for free agency while going for more money elsewhere in the NHL. Instead the five-time participant in B’s development camp stayed loyal to the Black and Gold while saying it was probably one of the toughest choices in his hockey career.
“It was, to be honest, the most difficult thing I’ve had to do in my life so far. With deciding to come back to school or not or trying to pursue my dream and NHL career, it’s obviously, it’s a double-edged sword,” said McIntyre. “It’s so awesome, but at the same time, it was super nerve-racking and difficult. But I’ve really come to terms with where I am in life, and I think this is the best fit for me here in Boston.
“It’s been an ongoing process of just weighing options, and the two conflicts in that. It’s actually an exciting 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. I couldn’t be happier with an Original Six team like Boston. It’s a really good feeling right now.”
Likewise, the Bruins are tickled to see the development of a sixth-round pick all the way back in 2010 that’s become the best NCAA goalie in the land and will add to the organizational depth with Tuukka Rask, Malcolm Subban and Jeremy Smith. It remains to be seen if one of those younger goalies ends up as Rask’s backup this season, or if they look for a veteran more accustomed to the sporadic playing time behind the Finn netminder.
"The Bruins are very excited to have Zane as a part of our organization,” said Sweeney. “He had a tremendous career at North Dakota and while it was a difficult decision for him to leave, we all feel he is ready to start his pro development and that he will be an NHL goalie."