2009-10: Zane Gothberg played for Thief River Falls High School in Minnesota. In 28 games, Gothberg recorded a 18-8-1 record along with a 1.81 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage.
2010-11: Gothberg played for the Fargo Force in the USHL – splitting the goaltending duties with Nebraska-Omaha recruit Ryan Massa. He appeared in 23 games for the Force and finished with a record of 14-8 with two shutouts. Gothberg had a 2.23 GAA and .908 save percentage. Massa handled the bulk of the playoff duty for Fargo. In one playoff appearance, Gothberg allowed three goals on 19 shots in a losing effort. Gothberg committed to playing college hockey at North Dakota in 2012-13.
2011-12: Gothberg took over as the starter for Fargo in his second USHL season. He played in 46 games for the Force and was 26-20 with four of the losses coming in overtime. Gothberg had 7 shutouts and finished with a 2.22 goals against and .921 save percentage. The Force finished fourth in the Western Division and reached the second round of the Clark Cup playoffs. Gothberg was 3-3 in the playoffs with a 1.78 goals against and .942 save percentage. He shared the USHL's goaltender of the year award with Green Bay's Ryan McKay.
Dexterous and athletic with strong puck handling skills, Gothberg’s style is a bit of a throw-back, combining elements of the butterfly technique with an ability to improvise and scramble, not unlike that of Blackhawk’s netminder Marty Turco. Competitive to the point where he hates to give up on a play, and long-limbed at 6’1” and growing, Zane is able to make stops that look out of reach. However, his hybrid style and reliance on reflexes make him prone to poor rebound control. Mentally, he appears very strong, as a 17 year-old the high-schooler showed no signs of being intimidated by the AHL, College and Major Junior stars he faced last summer. And over the course of this season he worked hard on his game in Fargo and made significant improvements over the course of the year. Overall, Gothberg displays some uncanny natural instincts, reads the play well, and has the poise and patience to wait out shooters in one-on-one situations.
The Bruins drafted Gothberg with the expectation that he would be a long-term project. Clearly, the raw talent is there. Look for him to work on refining his technique as he gradually moves up through the ranks, from the USHL next year, to North Dakota of the WCHA next fall, and the AHL in 3-4 years. As mentioned, his style compares to Marty Turco but it’s too early to know if he has that kind of upside or if he projects more as a Mike Smith type backup.