Bruins Prospect Zane Gothberg Eyes NCAA Title; Other Notes From Development Camp

GothbergWILMINGTON, Mass. — North Dakota’s Zane Gothberg is one of the top goaltenders in college hockey, and after a disappointing end to the 2013-14 season, he’s highly motivated to claim the national title that has eluded him so far.

“The biggest thing is going back to school and getting the national championship,” Gothberg said Wednesday at the Boston Bruins development camp. “That’s what I’ve dreamed of as a kid, playing for the Sioux first off, and then winning a national championship for them.”

Gothberg led his team to the 2014 Frozen Four, where it lost 2-1 to Minnesota. Overall, he enjoyed a tremendous season. Gothberg finished with a 20-10-3 record, a .920 save percentage and a 1.99 goals against average.

The 21-year-old netminder was selected by the Bruins with the 165th overall pick (sixth round) in the 2010 NHL draft. He’s an athletic goaltender with good poise under pressure and great puck-handling skills. His rebound control must improve, but he has all the physical tools needed to be a quality netminder at the NHL level.

“He spent a couple years extra in the USHL (United States Hockey League) and played a lot of games, grew up on and off the ice,” Bruins assistant general manager Don Sweeney said after Wednesday’s session.

“I think he was much more prepared when he ended up going to UND (University of North Dakota) and I think you’re seeing that. He was a sophomore last year, but he was able to take the pressure in situations and did a nice job with it. Now he is really, really — you watch the progression on and off the ice, the maturity of Zane, he’s far different than he was a number of years ago and I think that’s healthy.”

Here are some other notes from Wednesday’s skate:

–Gothberg and 2012 first-rounder Malcolm Subban were the two goalies present at camp on Wednesday, and Bruins assistant manager Don Sweeney is pleased with the depth that the organization has at the most important position.

“Well that’s a good thing from an organizational standpoint,” Sweeney said. “I think it’s healthy for the competition, I think you saw goaltenders in the last couple of years that have gone on to other organizations that have come in and played well for us. So I think it’s a necessary thing to have.”

–David Pastrnak displayed his excellent skating ability during Wednesday’s skate. He started the team drills a little passive by looking to pass more often than normal, but the 2014 first-round pick quickly became more aggressive and started beating goalies high glove side.

“I think he has a bit of a flare on and off the ice and I like the excitement, I think it’s infectious for everybody and we’re excited to have him as part of the organization,” Sweeney said.

–Malcolm Subban likely will be the starting goalie for the Providence Bruins this season. After Day 1 of camp, he talked about his debut season in the AHL.

“I thought last year was huge for my development, just adjusting to the game and seeing where you belong and what kind of style you need to play,” Subban said. “Obviously you don’t want to change too much, I thought I made a couple of adjustments going into the AHL, but I fit in really well.”

–Ryan Donato, who the Bruins selected 56th overall in Round 2 of the 2014 draft, doesn’t know where he will play next season. The two likely choices are returning to the Dexter School in Brookline, Mass., or going to the USHL.

“We’ll actually talk to Ryan and his family and his advisor,” Sweeney said. “The player obviously controls that. Does the organization obviously have an opinion? Yeah and we are going to share that with him as to what we think is best for his overall development both as a hockey player and personally and make, hopefully, what we think is a collective decision.”

Photo via Twitter/@photog24

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