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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Bruins prospect profile #28: Zane Gothberg

Zane Gothberg, G
6-1, 177
August 20, 1992
Catches: Left
Boston's 6th choice, 165th overall (sixth round) in 2010 Draft
Signing status: Unsigned

Talent Analysis

Physical: Although lean, Gothberg has a sizeable frame and is long-limbed, which is ideal for NHL goalies these days. Highly athletic, with excellent quickness, reflexes and flexibility. His style is best described as a hybrid between butterfly and standup; he keeps his feet more than the average butterfly netminder, but will scramble and employ older save techniques such as the two-pad stack and the half-butterfly. Quick glove and blocker hands; could stand on working to catch the puck cleanly more, but usually gets a piece of the shot to make the stop. Very good puckhandler; makes crisp passes to start the breakout and can clear it off the glass on his own. Decent rebound control, but that is a skill he, like most young goalies, must continue to work on. Fundamentals will need some refining; he's more of an athletic and instinctive player than he is a technician at the position at this stage of his development. Battles hard, but tends to flop and flail when play gets scrambly; needs to try and remain upright and use his size/athleticism to better advantage.

Intangibles: Relaxed, even quirky Gothberg personality masks a fierce competitor and highly successful Minnesota H.S. product. Struggled to find his comfort zone in the USHL early with Fargo, but played well in the World Jr. Challenge in November and returned to the league with a new focus. Played extremely well in the second half, matching starter Ryan Massa with some top performances and carrying the confidence of a veteran. Seems to display exceptional mental toughness and an ability to shake off bad goals with subsequent big stops/tough saves. One-of-a-kind personality and extrovert who keeps everyone loose. Among his favorite music at 2011 development camp: Wiz Khalifa.

Boston Bruins 2011 Development Camp assessment

Clearly improved his fundamentals and technique, but still raw in terms of his development and progression. When playing in control, he's tough to beat but bails on the basic butterfly pretty quickly when the opposition moves the puck. More instinctive and reactive at this stage, but will be a much better goaltender when he gets more playing time/experience and is able to anticipate and read the play better. Made a highlight reel save on Brian Ferlin on a breakaway after Ferlin picked Dougie Hamilton's pocket and cruised in alone. It wasn't pretty, as Gothberg ended up on his stomach, but he was able to pluck the puck out of the air as it was headed toward the twine and deny Ferlin a glorious scoring opportunity.

Development Camp interview with Zane Gothberg

video

Projection

Gothberg is a long-term project, but he has NHL starter upside with his natural talent and intangibles. Expect him to take the long road of one more season in the USHL, followed by at least two in the NCAA before he turns pro, followed by another several years in the minors. How quickly he signs will depend on how well he plays, but he will be 20 by the time he gets to Grand Forks and the University of North Dakota. Although a character in terms of his personality and laid-back style, he's a serious guy who understands the value of hard work and realizes that he has a long way to go. Watch this kid-- he could end up being a legitimate NHL prospect and someone to track closely as he moves on to the next level.

Quotable

“I have been privileged to coach Zane for the last three years. He has been a coaches dream to have on my team. The best things about Zane do not even involve his on ice performance, without being asked he put in the time to help out our youth programs and he just plan gets it. He is a very mature and confident young man. He makes our team better because of this. He has great leadership and his work ethic is where it needs to be to get to the next level. He has size and also quickness. If he continues to progress and I am sure he will, I see good things for Zane.”- Thief River Falls H.S. head coach Tim Bergland to NHL.com, 2010

“This kid is very good. He impressed me the first time I saw him. He's very controlled. He is a lot like Michael Lee (selected by the Phoenix Coyotes in Round 3, No. 91, in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft) from the previous year, only quicker. I like his quickness and net coverage. I like his strength. He's smart and reads the play well. There's not a lot that I don't like about his game. As the years go by, he's going to be a very good NHL goaltender."- NHL Central Scouting's Al Jensen to NHL.com, 2010

“We were really excited about Gothberg. He’s a bankable kid for us. We have some goaltending depth right now that we’re very comfortable with. He has excellent quickness. We really like the kid’s character; we had him higher than where he went.”- Bruins amateur scouting director Wayne Smith to New England Hockey Journal, Los Angeles; July 26, 2010

“It just shows you that every ounce of energy you have left, you have to put it forward otherwise these guys are going to beat you clean. Got snipped a couple of times out there but that was just cause mentally and physically I need to get to the next level. From here, it’s a good building block towards the future. Just hanging with the guys and soaking it all in.”- Zane Gothberg to hockeyjournal.com, Wilmington, Mass.; July 6-10, 2010

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