|Zane Gothberg ready for school||07.01.12 at 11:42 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Zane Gothberg came into his first development camp a quirky 17-year-old who had recently finished high school. Two years later, he’s the most seasoned veteran of the camp among six goaltending prospects.
In town for his third camp, Gothberg has more experience on the Ristuccia ice than the likes of first-round pick Malcolm Subban or the older Parker Milner. When he first arrived in 2010 (his draft year — Gothberg was a sixth-round choice of the B’s), he was ready to embark on his USHL career. After two successful seasons with the Fargo Force, he’ll head to the University of North Dakota in the fall.
Gothberg had to be patient after committing to North Dakota. Both Brad Eidsness and Aaron Dell were upperclassmen last season, so the coaches decided it would be best for Gothberg to spend another season in the USHL.
With Eidsness graduated, Gothberg, who had a 2.22 goals-against average and .921 last season for Fargo, will finally begin his college career with the hope of competing with Dell for playing time in the WCHA.
“There’s a good opportunity presenting itself,” Gothberg said. “Going in, I’ll be competing for the starting job. Competition only brings out the best in you, so I’m looking forward to it and it will be a good year. I’m really ready to step up to the next level and see what I can do there too.”
It’s a good thing Gothberg likes the competition, because with as many netminders in town for development camp as there are, he has to do even more to get the attention of coaches and the fans packing the stands. Providence coach Bruce Cassidy said as much Sunday, pointing out that the number of goalies and the fact that not all the drills involve shooting means that the netminders aren’t being worked quite as hard this summer.
“It’s different in the sense that there’s a lot more goalies and you don’t see as many shots,” Gothberg said. “The shots that you do see, your senses are kind of heightened because you’re not so fatigued from the previous day or two. Camp’s been good, seeing shots and really focusing on tracking shots and going from there.”
Two years ago, Gothberg made quite the first impression on the Boston media by explaining that he liked to “keep the room spunky and stuff” and added that he could occasionally be found getting pumped up before games by listening to Miley Cyrus. Though his musical taste has changed a bit — he’s more of a Jason Aldean guy these days — his eccentric personality hasn’t. That’s why it isn’t a surprise that he’s getting along with Subban, whose joking nature has helped him make a similar impression on the media.
“He’s a great kid, a great guy,” Gothberg said of Subban . “He likes to joke around here and there, and that’s just like [the rest of the Bruins’ goalies], and I respect that. He’s a good goaltender. Everyone here is too. … We definitely have a good time.”
|Bruins sign Swedish goaltender Niklas Svedberg||05.29.12 at 3:07 pm ET|
The Bruins announced Tuesday that they have signed Swedish goalie Niklas Svedberg to an entry-level contract.
Svedberg, 22, stands at 6-foot-2 and 176 pounds. He played the last two seasons in Swedish Elite League for Brynas IF Gavle. He had a 2.47 goals-against average and .912 save percentage in 29 regular-season games this past season, with a 1.70 GAA, .947 save percentage and four shutouts in 13 playoff games.
The Bruins did not indicate whether Svedberg will be present at this summer’s rookie development camp, but if he is he will join a group of goaltending prospects that includes Lars Volden and Zane Gothberg, both of whom were sixth-round picks in the last two drafts.
|Zane Gothberg can’t mask his excitement||07.08.11 at 2:37 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — In case you’re having trouble spotting Bruins goaltending prospect Zane Gothberg at Ristuccia Arena, it shouldn’t be hard. While Michael Hutchinson rocks a Bruins-themed mask, and Lars Volden looks like a souvenir from the Rolling Rock brewery’s gift shop, the colorful Gothberg wears a mask that that is uncharacteristically plain. Blank white, no design.
“This year, our team [the USHL’s Fargo Force], we don’t fund really for custom goalie helmets,” Gothberg explained at the Bruins’ development camp. “I didn’t know if it would be a one or two-year span where I’d be playing for my team that I’m with now.
Now, he does know where he’ll be playing, and that means another year in the USHL. Recruited to play at the University of North Dakota, Gothberg, who graduated high school a year ago, needed to wait and see what UND’s goalie situation would be before he knew which year he would head to college. With starter Brad Eidsness headed back for his senior year rather than turning pro, Gothberg will wait until the fall of 2012 before finally playing college hockey.
“Both Brad Eidsness and [junior] Aaron Dell are superb goalie. Eisness is sticking around for his senior year, and Dell will be around for his junior year, so it is what it is, and you’ve just got to make the best out of the situation,” the 18-year-old said.
While waiting extra long for college may be tough, Gothberg doesn’t seem to have any complaints, but for the happy-go-lucky netminder, it complaining wouldn’t appear to be his bag.
He was the backup for the Force last year, with Colorado native Ryan Massa getting the majority of the starts between the pipes. Gothberg played 23 games, posting a 2.23 goals against average and a .908 save percentage. Next year, Massa will be gone, and it will be Gothberg’s show.
“It’s a little bit of a different plan,” Gothberg said of going back to the USHL, “but at the same time, I think it would be good for me to see a lot of rubber this upcoming year and be able to carry that momentum into the college level.”
It also gives Gothberg another year of experience after a debut season in the USHL in which he admitted there were adjustments. While he’s now made the leap from high school to a new league, he had to learn how to adjust along the way.
“It was a bit of a change,” Gothberg said. “Just the schedule away from the rink, there was a lot of down time for me, just because I had graduated high school. I had to make the most of my time, whether it was doing yoga or just working out and stuff, just being around the guys and stuff or just hanging out at the rink all day. It was a different change of pace, and on the ice too, it took me a couple of games, I’d say after my fifth start, to get kind of a groove and be able to play at that level consistently and on a daily basis.”
Gothberg is in his second development camp with the Bruins, as he attended last year’s as a sixth-round pick in the 2010 draft. Given that he has yet to even attend college, he figures to be at quite a few more. Being Bruins property for a long time shouldn’t be tough on Gothberg, as the organization gives him plenty of netminders to look up to. Like everyone else, he watched Tim Thomas‘ Vezina/Stanley Cup/Conn Smythe Trophy in amazement.
“Obviously everyone knows about Timmy,” Gothberg said. “It was pretty ridiculous. He’s a great, great goaltender. It’s such a weird style that he plays, but at the same time, he is fundamentally sound. He does battle his butt off, and he does make a lot of great saves. That’s what it comes down to, is just stopping the puck. It doesn’t matter how you do it.”
While Gothberg’s mask could be considered dull, his personality, as documented last year, is anything but. When he isn’t providing one-liners for Jared Knight to post on his twitter account, he’s freely admitting to his musical guilty pleasures. Gothberg said last year that he has listened to Miley Cyrus to get pumped up for games, but these days, his tune selection is more Bruins themed.
Gothberg said his playlists have been heavy on Wiz Khalifa, the man responsible for “Black and Yellow,” the Bruins’ warmup song.
The 18-year old said that the original version of the song was “pretty impressive,” but that Brad Marchand’s attempt at spitting a few measures of it prior to the B’s championship parade was “awesome.”
|Zaney draft pick breaks goaltending mold||07.08.10 at 6:32 pm ET|
Bruins sixth-round draft pick Zane Gothberg is dialed in at development camp in Wilmington and thrilled to have the stands packed with fans as he looks to show the Bruins front office and die-hards alike what he’s got. A skater comes in and tries to go stickside on him, but the goaltender quickly reacts and uses his blocker to deflect the puck.
Disappointed, the crowd moans.
The next day, a skater beats him during drills for a goal.
No, the world isn’t out to get the Minnesota native, but when the skater in each instance happens to be second overall pick and center of attention Tyler Seguin, it’s a bit easier for the goalie to laugh it off.
“It’s a little discouraging when he snipes you and stuff and the crowd goes wild,” Gothberg said with a laugh on Thursday. “You just get a little flustered and stuff out there. It just makes you that much better because you just have to know that they’re going to do that and prepare for it [the] next shot when he comes down or when any other player comes down.”
The peculiar thing with Gothberg, however, has nothing to do with the crowd’s reaction to him or any other goalie facing Seguin. It’s the fact that in a locker room full of young prospects, it’s the goalie that appears to be among the most outgoing and, to a degree, a serious candidate for draft class clown honors.
Though many goalies throughout the history of the game have kept more to themselves and been among the quieter players on teams, it’s Gothberg who was among the first to volunteer to lead exercises on the first day of team-buliding activities with Marine Eric Kapitulik. In the two days of on-ice activities thus far, it has appears that Gothberg, who as a 2010 draft choice is in his first development camp and meeting the other hopefuls for the first time, is one of the biggest characters of the lot of 27 (26 if you exclude Max Sauve, who has only been able to skate in between sessions).
“I just like to keep the room spunky and stuff, just have a good time and kind of goof off with the guys and stuff,” Gothberg, who has also played with the USA U-18 team, said after practice Thursday. “It’s a good opportunity hanging out with these guys from around the country and around the world too, so it’s a good time.”
Gothberg doesn’t see himself as the typical goalie. He’s not the type to sit by himself or try to get into a deep focus before the game. In fact, Gothberg says he doesn’t even put his headphones on until “five minutes before warmups” on game day, instead electing to “interact and hang out” with his teammates. When he does put the head phones on, “Hell’s Bells,” “Black Betty” and other hockey standards aren’t the sounds coming from his mp3 player. Instead it’s Lil’ Wayne, “a lot” of techno, and, when the mood should strike him, Miley Cyrus.
“Yeah, for sure, Miley Cyrus,” Gothberg said, laughing despite seemingly meaning it. “There it is. She’s amazing. Gets me every time. Gets me deep.”
Through the Cyrus talk (“Not Hannah Montana — just Miley. The original.”) that ensued, a reporter couldn’t help but ask the goaltender if he was actually serious. The laughter subsided a bit as Gothberg responded, “Yeah, for sure. It’s good.”
The 6-foot-1, 177-pound Gothberg has looked good thus far in development camp but any contributions the 17-year-old will make for the Bruins are a ways away. He is set to go to the USHL, where he will man the pipes for the Fargo Force for a season or two. From there, it’s off to the University of North Dakota, where he is committed to play under coach Dave Hakstol.
A football player through his sophomore year of high school, Gothberg gave the sport up to focus on hockey. He excelled at Thief River Falls high school, recording three shutouts as a senior 1.81 goals against average and .925 save percentage.
As Gothberg makes saves on top prospects and continues to display behavior that strays from his position’s norm, he may gain more attention among fans and reporters alike, though he understands he won’t draw attention like Seguin or 2008 first-rounder Joe Colborne. Either way, he’s alright with it.
“There’s been a couple of reporters on me and stuff, which is good, but every guy in this room deserves to have an interview or two here too,” Gothberg said. “It’s pretty easy to fall under the radar, but it’s alright.”
|Bruins take goalie in sixth||06.26.10 at 3:58 pm ET|
The Bruins broke up their string of five forwards in a row by drafting goaltender Zane Gothberg with the 165th overall pick, their allotted sixth-round selection. Gothberg is committed to the University of North Dakota after an upcoming stint with the USHL’s Fargo Force. The Bruins first three picks were centers, followed by a pair of left wings.
Gothberg had a 1.84 goals against average in his senior year at Thief River Falls high school in Minnesota with a 9.22 save percentage. The 6-foot-1, 177-pounder also played for the United States under-18 team.
Three shutouts as a senior helped earn the 18-year-old Gothberg the Frank Brimsek award, which is given to the state of Minnesota’s top senior goalie each year.