UND HOCKEY: Zane McIntyre to turn pro
The UND men's hockey team has a huge hole to fill. Goaltender Zane McIntyre -- the Mike Richter Award winner, Hobey Baker Award finalist and team MVP -- will turn pro after three college seasons, his family advisor confirmed to the Herald on Tuesday.
The UND men’s hockey team has a huge hole to fill.
Goaltender Zane McIntyre -- the Mike Richter Award winner, Hobey Baker Award finalist and team MVP -- will turn pro after three college seasons, his family advisor confirmed to the Herald on Tuesday.
McIntyre, a Boston Bruins draft pick, will soon start negotiations with the NHL club.
His departure means UND will start next season with 43 minutes, 19 seconds of college experience in net, all by soon-to-be-sophomore Cam Johnson.
No single goaltender is likely to fill all of McIntyre’s minutes (he played more than any goalie in the nation last season). It is more likely to be a balance of the three netminders on the roster.
First on the list is Johnson, who only saw action in two games as a rookie. He relieved McIntyre in the season opener and started a nonconference game in December, only to be pulled early in the second period.
While his first outings in The Ralph went awry, Johnson played well in an exhibition win over the U.S. Under-18 team and earned praise from teammates and coaches for his development during the course of the season.
Johnson isn’t as quick as McIntyre, but has good size (6-foot-1, 191 pounds) and had a track record of success in the United States Hockey League, where he had a .939 save percentage with the Waterloo Blackhawks in his final junior season.
Second on the list is incoming freshman Matej Tomek.
Tomek (6-foot-3, 181 pounds) has tremendous potential and is projected to be selected in the first half of this year’s NHL Draft.
Tomek played for the Topeka RoadRunners in the North American Hockey League last season. He was named the league’s goaltender of the year after posting a .928 save percentage and a 1.83 goals-against average.
He is likely to have an adjustment period at UND with the steep increase in competition from the NAHL to the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, where North Dakota is the reigning champ.
Third on the list is junior-to-be Matt Hrynkiw.
Hrynkiw came to UND as a third goaltender and a walk-on, not expected to play much early in his career. As expected, he hasn’t seen the ice for a regular-season game yet.
But Hrynkiw is entering his junior season, which is when he was expected to start pushing for some playing time.
McIntyre shared time with Clarke Saunders early in his college career, but emerged as the go-to guy at the end of his first two seasons.
As a junior, McIntyre was the clear-cut starter and put together a dominant season.
He posted a .929 save percentage and a 2.05 goals-against average, leading UND to the NCAA Frozen Four for a second consecutive season. McIntyre was named the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA West Regional in Fargo, helping North Dakota earn the Frozen Four trip.
McIntyre never lost a regional game in his career, going 5-0.
At the Frozen Four in Boston, McIntyre was named an All-American and won the Richter Award as the country’s top goaltender.
Since the season has ended, the Thief River Falls product has been weighing his options.
Over the weekend, Boston’s backup goalie, Niklas Svedberg, left the team and signed to play next season in Russia, opening the door for a goalie spot in the organization.
McIntyre and fellow Boston draft pick Malcolm Subban are expected to compete for that spot. If Boston signs someone out of the organization, McIntyre and Subban will likely be the goaltenders for the Providence Bruins in the American Hockey League.
McIntyre is the third goaltender to turn pro early under coach Dave Hakstol. Jordan Parise and Aaron Dell also left after their junior seasons.