By Thomas Harrington
The Anaheim Ducks signed goaltender Kevin Boyle to a one-year entry-level contract at the end of March, at about the same time they signed Kalle Kossila to his entry-level deal. He’s played four years of NCAA hockey: two at University of Massachusetts Amherst and two at University of Massachusetts Lowell. Boyle’s goaltending numbers improved every season he was in the NCAA. After signing his contract, Boyle joined the San Diego Gulls for the end of their season, but did not appear in any games. Given that the Gulls had Anton Khudobin and Matt Hackett in net and were fighting to make the playoffs, it’s not surprising that San Diego went with veteran netminders at that point in the season.
Boyle’s freshman season at UMass Amherst didn’t light the world on fire, as he played in 21 games and posted a goals against average of 3.00 and an .895 save percentage. He was the only Amherst goalie on the team who had a winning record as he went 8-7-4. In Boyle’s sophomore year, things didn’t get much better as he had a goals against average of 2.73 and a save percentage of .897 in 20 games with a record of 8-10-2. In his junior season Boyle transferred to UMass Lowell, and as per NCAA rules was not able to play for any games that season with UMass Lowell.
He was back on the ice for the 2014-2015 season and saw his numbers significantly improve. He appeared in a career high 34 games and had a goals against average of 2.42 and a save percentage of .915 and had a record of 18-9-6 with three shutouts. In his final season in the NCAA, Boyle played in 39 games and finished with a 1.83 goals against average (tied for fourth in the NCAA), a save percentage of .934, a record 24-10-5, and seven shutouts. His 24 wins were fifth in the NCAA and his seven shutouts were tied for third. He was named the NCAA (Hockey East) Goaltender of the Year that season. He also set the record for minutes played by a goalie in a season at UMass Lowell by playing over 2,350 minutes, besting the old mark set by current Ducks goaltending consultant Dwayne Roloson. Boyle also posted a school record 58 saves in a triple overtime victory in March. He was one of five finalists for the Mike Richter Award, given to the NCAA’s top goaltender.
At the recent Ducks development camp, Boyle participated as the only rookie goalie under contract with Anaheim right now. He was a member of the white team and helped them skate off with a 4-2 victory. For game summary and highlights visit: Development Camp Scrimmage.
This coming season, Boyle will be fighting for playing time with Dustin Tokarski and Matt Hackett. Depending how things shake out, he could end up in the ECHL to get more playing time, or end up serving as the Gulls’ back up for the season. It’s a great sign how his numbers improved every year he played in college, but he’s going to need to translate that success into professional hockey now. If he can, he’ll be a bargain and useful in San Diego. If not, he’s only on a one-year deal and will be a restricted free agent in a year’s time. Given Anaheim’s lack of goalie prospects (their only other is currently Garrett Metcalf), I think it’s likely the Ducks re-sign him next summer to another two-way contract. If he lights the world on fire in the AHL, it’s possible he could make play a game or two with the Ducks this season, but I think it’s highly unlikely. With John Gibson and Jonathan Bernier in Anaheim and Tokarski in San Diego, it would take either a lot of injuries or some amazing play from Boyle to make his way to the NHL this season. If he does work out, we could see him in Anaheim in a couple of years as Gibson’s future backup. If not, the Ducks can let him walk or trade him for other assets.
Goaltenders are notoriously hard to predict, so it’s impossible to know how he’ll turn out. His progress in the NCAA is encouraging, but this season could be telling in terms of what kind of goaltender he’ll turn into. For now, he’s a wait and see prospect, and hopefully we’ll continue to see him continue to progress this season.
Next up will be Nick Sorensen’s prospect update.
To view past Prospects Profiles, draft info, and others news visit: Meet The Prospects
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