Bruins goaltending pipeline

By Anthony Loring





New Page 1

The Boston Bruins search for a No. 1 goaltender continues
with no answer in the immediate future. But on the horizon awaits some serious
talent.



If the season began today, the Bruins would have Andrew
Raycroft
as the defacto starting goaltender. Raycroft is a very talented
young goaltender, and has been groomed well over the course of his three
professional seasons. But lack of experience isn’t something you want in net
if you plan on being competitive. The Bruins would rather acquire an experienced
goaltender in the form of a Sean Burke or Felix Potvin, someone who can be a
mentor for Raycroft while at the same time giving the Bruins a solid night in
and night out performance in net. But so far have been unsuccessful in getting
that experienced goaltender.



The Bruins present isn’t too bright. The same cannot be
said of the future in net as we take a look at the Bruins goaltending pipeline.



Andrew
Raycroft


Raycroft has accomplished as much as possible in three
professional seasons with the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League.
In 2002-03 he won 23 games with only ten losses and three ties with a 2.50 goals
against average and a save percentage of .917, helping Providence to the third
best record in the AHL. He also appeared in five games with Boston winning two
and losing three while posting a 2.40 goals against average and a .918 save
percentage. Quick reflexes and the ability to quickly shake off letting in a
goal, Raycroft exudes confidence in his ability. His teammates have confidence
in him as well. He’s like the old west gunman who doesn’t blink an eye or
show any emotion in a showdown. Raycroft deserves a shot at the No. 1 job in
Boston, and whether or not he gets it won’t change the fact that down the line
he’ll be some team’s No. 1 goaltender and do very well in the league.



Year

Team

League

GP

W

L

T

GAA

SVPT

2002-03

Boston Bruins

NHL

  5

 2

 3

 0

2.40

.918

2002-03

Providence Bruins

AHL

  39

23

10

 3

2.50

.917

2003-04 Projected Role: Boston Bruins No. 1 goaltender
barring any trades.



Hannu Toivonen

Toivonen, the Bruins 2002 first round choice (29th
overall), enjoyed an outstanding campaign overseas posting 16 wins and only two
losses to go along with four ties and a goals against average of 2.26 in the
Finnish league. He was quickly signed by the Bruins and will most likely develop
his game in Providence under the watchful eye of new Providence Bruins head
coach Scott Gordon, replacing Raycroft who makes the full time jump to the NHL.
Toivonen is the most talented of the Bruins stable of young goaltenders, and is
a mature young man with a good head on his shoulders that will make it a lot
easier for him to realize that potential.



Year

Team

League

GP

W

L

T

GAA

SVPT

2002-03

HPK Hameenllnna

SM LIIGA

 24

16

 2

4

2.26

.911

2003-04 Projected Role: Will share duties in Providence with
either a minor free agent signing or Peter Hamerlik as he adjusts to the North
American environment.



Peter Hamerlik

Redrafted in 2002 after Pittsburgh could not come to terms
with him, Hamerlik was a very good goaltender on a very bad Kingston (QMJHL)
hockey team. Hamerlik is not as polished as Toivonen or Raycroft, or even
Kaltiainen, but still could be a back up in the NHL someday if he works on his
consistency. He’ll probably start next year in the ECHL mainly because the
Bruins would prefer an experienced guy in Providence to back up and mentor
Toivonen.

Year

Team

League

GP

W

L

T

GAA

SVPT

2002-03

Providence Bruins

AHL

  1

 0

 0

 1

3.69

.909

2002-03

Cincinnati Cyclones

ECHL

  5

 2

 1

 1

3.35

.874

2002-03

Kingston

OHL

  47

19

22

 2

3.58

.900

2003-04 Projected Role: Will likely start the year in the
ECHL on loan to gain some experience.



Matti Kaltiainen

Kaltiainen, the starting goaltender for the Boston College
Eagles (NCAA), made the jump from back up to starter last season replacing Tim
Kelleher in net. Never mentioned in the same breath as Toivonen or Raycroft,
Kaltiainen is a pretty good prospect and if anything underrated by most. He had
his growing pains last year, but leading your team to a Frozen Four appearance
is nothing to take lightly. BC came up short, but for a young goaltender like
Kaltiainen it was a good experience. What Kaltiainen benefits from most is not
only a great head coach and teacher in Jerry York, but also the fact that the
Boston Bruins are just down the street. He’s in a great position to learn how
to play the game the right way. Expect Kaltiainen to play one or two more years
of college and to then sign with the Bruins and spend a few years honing his
skills in Providence.



Year

Team

League

GP

W

L

T

GAA

SVPT

2002-03

BC Eagles

NCAA

 30

18

 9

 3

2.21

.903

2003-04 Projected Role: Boston College Eagles No. 1
goaltender, could be the key to making a successful run in the Frozen Four.



Jordan Sigalet

Drafted 209th overall in 2001 out of Bowling
Green, Sigalet played on a poor NCAA team and his goals against average
suffered. On the other hand, he saw plenty of puck, a league high 33.0 shots per
game, and posted a save percentage of .910. His .909 career save percentage is
tied for the school record. This year he will have his brother Jonathan
Sigalet
on the Bowling Green squad, which should help his comfort level on
and off the ice. Sigalet still has a couple years left of college hockey before
it’s time for the Bruins to decide whether or not to sign him. And right now
it looks like he’s packed in a very deep goaltending stable. Don’t be
surprised to see the Bruins trade his rights down the road if they feel they can
get something for him.



Year

Team

League

GP

W

L

T

GAA

SVPT

2002-03

Bowling Green

NCAA

  20

 6

11

 2

3.28

.910

2003-04 Projected Role: The Bowling Green starting
goaltender, it will be another trying year for the Falcons.



Mike Brown

Drafted by the Bruins in the fifth round of this past years
NHL Entry Draft, Brown plays on a weak team and he sees a lot of shots. His save
percentage did not eclipse the .900 barrier that most teams use to gauge a
goaltender, but don’t let that fool you. Brown was thought of highly enough to
make the U.S. National Team for the Under-18 World Championships. He played in
four games and posted a 2.27 goals against average and a save percentage of .922
along with one shutout. That play earned him an invite to the upcoming U.S.
junior camp at Lake Placid in later this month. Brown probably won’t be seen
wearing a professional uniform any time soon whether it be for the Bruins or the
Baby Bruins, but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t hit his stride all of a
sudden and force the Bruins to take a serious look at signing him not unlike
what happened with fellow OHL alumni and current Bruins goaltender Andrew
Raycroft.



Year

Team

League

GP

W

L

T

GAA

SVPT

2002-03

Saginaw

OHL

  39

 8

23

 3

3.68

.891

2003-04 Projected Role: Starting goaltender for the Saginaw
Spirits of the OHL



Kevin Regan

Another goaltender drafted in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft in the
ninth round, Regan is a local guy straight out of high school. He has already
made the decision to play for the Waterloo Black Hawks of the USHL before
joining the University of New Hampshire next year. Regan is a hit or miss
prospect. Like other recent Bruins draft picks, Regan saw a lot of puck this
past year with St Sebastian’s. The Bruins thinking on this is that the more
shots on net you face the faster you can develop and learn to read plays before
they happen. Don’t expect to see Regan sign if at all until three or four
years down the road.



Year

Team

League

GP

W

L

T

GAA

SVPT

2002-03

St Sebastian’s

USHSE

 28

 

 

 

1.80

.916

2003-04 Projected Role: Starting goaltender for the Waterloo
Black Hawks.

The Bruins organization appears to have a motto of going for
pure quantity when it comes to the goaltending pipeline; acquire many goalies
and hope one pans out.  All and all,
the seven Bruins goaltending prospects all have one thing in common, potential.
Not a one of them can you say for sure will never make it to the NHL, as they
all have talent. Only two can you be certain of being NHL caliber though, and
that is Toivonen and Raycroft.

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