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McIntyre expects to climb Bruins goalie depth chart

by Matt Kalman

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- With a sunburned nose as red as a goal light, Zane McIntyre looked more off-duty lifeguard than future NHL goalie after the first day of Boston Bruins development camp at Ristuccia Arena.

"Looks like Rudolph," McIntyre said.

The 22-year-old explained he recently fell asleep in a boat and woke up with the sunburn. He needed to be wide awake as he tried to make an impression on the Boston brass in his sixth development camp since the Bruins selected him in the sixth round (No. 165) at the 2010 NHL Draft, his first since he turned pro this summer.

McIntyre left the University of North Dakota after three seasons and signed with the Bruins on July 1. He was 29-10-3 with a 2.05 goals-against average and .929 save percentage last season, when he helped UND reach the Frozen Four, was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, and won the Mike Richter Award as the most outstanding goaltender in NCAA Division 1.

He could've utilized a clause in the NHL collective bargaining agreement that would have made him a free agent July 1, but he agreed to terms with Boston weeks before.

"Deep down I knew I wanted to be a Bruin. … There's a lot of similarities where I've kind of grown up with kind of a hard-nosed mentality; you earn everything you get," McIntyre said. "I don't know if it's the city or the culture. I don't know. It's something pretty special, and I felt really comfortable with the organization here as well in my position.

"I spent my past three years in Grand Forks (N.D.), where it's just a small town. Everybody really enjoys hockey. … But in this area, it's a sport market. Everyone loves being a Bruins fan. There's a lot of history, a lot of passion here. That's something that really spoke to me, and I think I kind of felt comfortable in a sense in that aspect."

Boston drafted McIntyre before his first of two seasons with the Fargo Force of the United States Hockey League. The Bruins knew at the time they could be patient with his development because they were set in goal with Tuukka Rask and Tim Thomas. Boston still has depth in goal; Rask has blossomed into one of the best goaltenders in the NHL and 2012 first-round pick Malcolm Subban is on the cusp of earning a roster spot.

Subban and veteran Jeremy Smith each had a solid season with the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League and is under contract for this season.

The crowded roster didn't discourage McIntyre's desire to sign with Boston.

"Anywhere you go in pro hockey there's going to be competition and it's going to be a cycle of new, younger guys coming through and everything," McIntyre said. "So, I mean, that really didn't play a factor when you can look at certain teams, look at the depth charts and everything. But at the end of the day, you've just got to go out and do your job and make sure you're looking out for yourself in a sense too."

Despite his lack of pro experience, McIntyre contends he'll be at least the Bruins' No. 2 goalie when training camp ends.

"As a hockey player you're super-competitive in any position," he said. "We're going to do the best to try and be the best. Whether it's somebody's working off the ice doing something as well. I'm going to put my best foot forward in every situation I can to maybe get that spot that's ahead of me."

McIntyre honed his technique to best use his athletic 6-foot-2, 207-pound frame. The results have followed an upward trajectory; he won 58 of 91 decisions in his college career. Each year, he worked with UND goaltending coach Karl Goehring during the season and Impact Hockey goaltending coach Dave Rogalski in the summer.

McIntyre said he must be more patient in the pro game.

"The biggest thing is sometimes I've been maybe too aggressive in a sense with my game and where I'm at with my position of the net," he said. "So I think that's where I've been working on my footwork and having patience and stuff like that too."

McIntyre's patience might be tested by the Bruins depth chart as much as by opposing shooters. Rask, the 2014 Vezina Trophy winner, is signed through the 2019-20 season. Subban has two years of pro experience and seems to have an early edge on McIntyre.

"I'm sure they're going to give him a good look in training camp," said Bruins development coach Jay Pandolfo, who ran the camp this year. "I'm sure he'll be in rookie camp, and they'll get a quicker look at him before the other guys get there. So I'm sure he'll get a good opportunity."

McIntyre isn't asking for more than a chance to earn a job.

"I just got to learn to control what I can control and put my best foot forward, whether that's in the situation at the big-club level or whether that's in the AHL," he said. "Wherever you go there's going to be competition. So I know that and understand that and I've just got to go forward."

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