Prospect Profile: David McIntyre

In recent drafts the New Jersey Devils have built a solid foundation of defensemen, wingers and goaltender. However, one area that is a bit thin however is the center position. At the NHL level Travis Zajac is entrenched at the #1 center spot for the next few years. The Devils also have Jason Arnott signed through the end of next year. In the next two to three years there will be a need for the team to develop centers from within the organization. Most Devils fans are expecting Jacob Josefson or Adam Henrique to fill some of the voids on the 2nd/3rd line role. They aren't the only players who may contribute at the center position though. One of newest additions to the Devils organization who may make an impact in the near future is David McIntyre.   McIntyre was signed to a  two year entry deal on May 5th, 2010

A former 5th round draft pick in 2006 by the Dallas Stars, he has already been traded twice in his short career.  He was traded on December 14th 2007 to Anaheim with a conditional pick for Brian Sutherby and then traded by Anaheim less than two months later to the Devils for defenseman Sheldon Brookbank.   You always question the reasoning behind both parties when trading a player still in college who was not a high draft pick. Why is the team giving up/moving him? What value can he add to our organization?

Regardless of the reasoning by the Stars or Ducks for trading him, the Devils might have lucked out in the acquistion of McIntyre. How much did they luck out? Well it's not on par with the luck that the team had when it gave up Tom Kurvers for a future first round pick (Scott Niedermayer), but it might be on par with a Randy McKay for Troy Crowder compensation award. Why am I so optimistic about McIntrye? Is it his development at Colgate? Is it the potential line names Doc Emrick could invent with two Davids (Clarkson and McIntyre) on the same line? Read on after the jump to find out.

 

McIntyre, ranked #16 on Hockey's Future Devils Top 20 list, was originally drafted in 2006 (5th round, 138th overall) by the Dallas Stars.  According to Hockey's Future McIntyre had been a late bloomer.  Passed over by the OHL and their entry draft, McIntyre ended up playing for the Newmarket Hurricanes of the Ontario Provincial Junior Hockey League (OPJHL for short) a league that is comparable in talent to the North American Hockey League (NAHL) per BehindTheNet.ca

 

David McIntyre Career Stats




Year Team League GP G A Pts
2004-05 Newmarket Hurricanes OPJHL 46 17 14 31
2005-06 Newmarket Hurricanes OPJHL 46 42 50 92
2006-07 Colgate University NCAA 40 9 8 17
2007-08 Colgate University NCAA 39 15 17 32
2008-09 Colgate University NCAA 37 21 22 43
2009-10 Colgate University NCAA 35 11 28 39
2009-10 Lowell Devils AHL 12 3 2 5

 

In his age 17 season he posted decent numbers in his first OPJHL season, but he was passed over in the NHL draft in his first year of draft eligibility.  After his commitment in the fall of 2005 to Colgate University to play NCAA Hockey in the ECAC McIntyre went back to the Hurricanes and put up a stellar season.  With a statistical line of 42g-50a-92pts he was his team's top scorer and was third overall in scoring for the entire OPJHL.  In a press release in November of 2005 announcing McIntrye's commitment, Colgate Raiders assistant coach Brad Dexter was excited as he said "McIntyre is a great skater who should add a lot of speed and skill to our lineup".  

After being passed up in the 2005 draft McIntyre was eligible for the draft again in 2006.  Central Scouting Systems had him ranked as the 114th North American skater in the midterm rankings and then because of his success with Newmarket he shot up to a final ranking of 88th.  Projected by many to be a 4th round selection, he ended up being selected in the middle of the 5th round by the Dallas Stars.  The Stars likely saw a raw talent that could develop his game in college which would give the Stars 2-4 years to gauge his progress.   In their review of the Stars' 2006 draft Hockey's Future said the following about McIntyre:

McIntyre's combination of strong skating, edgy play, and scoring ability should lead Colgate coach Don Vaughn to give him plenty of ice time and make use of him in all special team situations during the 2006-07 season.

 

 

David McIntyre Additional Stats
Year Team League Plus/Minus PP Goals FO Win Percentage Shooting %
2006-07 Colgate University NCAA -10 6 54% 10%
2007-08 Colgate University NCAA 11 3 49.40% 15%
2008-09 Colgate University NCAA 19 4 N/A 15%
2009-10 Colgate University NCAA 5 2 48% 8%
2009-10 Lowell Devils AHL 1 0 N/A 16%

 

 

As McIntyre entered college to play in the ECAC Conference he was coming to a team with high expectations.  Coming off two consecutive regular season ECAC titles Colgate was ranked as the #1 team in both the preseason coaches and media poll coming into the 2006 season.  Those expectations were never met as Colgate struggled early on in the season and was inconsistent throughout the year.  For his part, McIntyre started his freshman season strong, earning ECACHL rookie of the week in mid October of 2006.   He accumulated a total of 17 points (9g-8a) to be the top freshman scorer on the team.  The most impressive aspect of his freshman campaign was his faceoff win percentage.  Winning faceoffs at a rate of 54% is very promising for a freshman player.  In fact most of the team did well in this regards as former Lowell Devils Tyler Burton won faceoffs at a rate of 57% and teammate Jesse Winchester was tops at a 60% win percentage.  As a team, Colgate won faceoffs at 54%.

Colgate, per Hockey's Future ECAC preview, was expecting big things out of McIntyre in his sophomore year of 2007-2008. While the team did not play great, finishing with an even record, McIntyre was third overall in scoring for the Raiders and was second to Tyler Burton in goals scored.  He also had the highest shooting percentage on the team.  The only area where he didn't progress was his faceoff win percentage which dipped slightly under 50% at 49.5%.  He also took only 245 total faceoffs, which was 5th on the team.  This is not necessarily a bad thing as perhaps his teammates were so good (the top 4 players had FO win percentages of 58%, 58%, 56% and 55% respectively) that it served the team best to have others who were more skilled take the draws.   Since the individual game numbers were available I took a look at the beginning of the season vs. the end of the season to see how many faceoffs McIntyre took:

 

GP

# of Faceoffs

% of Overall Total

October

6

78

31.84%

November

8*

66

26.94%

December

2

9

3.67%

January

5

22

8.98%

February

9

14

5.71%

March

9

34

13.88%

*One Game's Stats were not available

From the table above you can see that his faceoff attempts tapered off as the season progressed, which is not a great sign for a player the Devils are hoping can play a 3rd line center role.  (Please note that the number of faceoffs in the box scores did not add up to the cumulative total that showed in the final season stats with a difference of 25 less faceoffs.) The season did end on a high note for McIntyre as his goal in a double overtime upset of #7 Clarkson gave Colgate a chance to play in the ECAC Championship Tournament in Albany where they eventually fell in the semifinals of the tournament to Princeton.  That particular goal was so big it helped Inside College Hockey name him National Player of the Week for his efforts.  

Coming into 2008, still in the Stars organization, he finally made it to the Stars Hockey's Future top 20 list and Mike Farkas elaborated on his potential in his 2008 audit of the Dallas Star system.

The Stars system also houses some longshot, offensive forwards.  David McIntyre from Colgate University is a tremendous skater with strong offensive acumen.  He has all the offensive tools to be mentioned with some of the Stars' upper-tier center prospects.  If he can continue to improve, McIntyre could quickly rise up the ranks in the Stars system. 

McIntyre, a rising ‘star' went back to Colgate for his junior season and put in a fantastic season. He led the team with 43 points (21g-22a), power play points with 13 (4g-9a) shots (139) plus/minus (+19) and having a 15% shooting percentage (sorry no faceoff stats available for this season).    His superb offensive season got him named as a finalist for the 2009 Hobey Baker Award, he also earned first team honors with the ECAC, All-College Hockey News, as well as first team All-American by Inside College Hockey.

His coach Don Vaughan had this to say about McIntyre after his nomination for the Hobey Baker award:   http://www.gocolgateraiders.com/news/2009/3/19/MHOCKEY_0319092147.aspx?path=mhock

"He has explosive acceleration and an offensive skill set to match. 

"David is one of the most dynamic players I have ever coached," continued Vaughan.  "He is certainly exciting to watch, but what I admired most about David this year was how he handled his new leadership role on the team and really embraced the added responsibility and did a great job of dealing with the extra attention that came with it."

 If that wasn't enough he also won his own team's Best Offensive Player Award and the Coaches Award.   He was also traded twice during the year (see above) ended up in the Devils organization.  

After his breakout season he landed as the Devils 20th ranked prospect by Hockey's Future, who noted his "feisty, abrasive play, he could make for an intriguing center for a checking line in the NHL.".  If you have the time, you can also listen to a radio interview with McIntyre The interview  is at the bottom of the page and his spot comes up at around the 35:30 minute mark and he gives a preview of his expectations of the upcoming season of 2009-2010, his initial impression of the Devils organization and his all around game. It's only about 6 minutes so it is definitely worth a listen. 

Coming into his senior season McIntyre was named a preseason first team selection by Inside College Hockey and the ECAC.   In 2009-2010 McIntyre saw his goal total drop by 10 but his point total stay similar as he accumulated 39 points.  His shooting percentage dropped to 8% and while his point totals stayed the same on the power play it was with 4 less goals.  He did take an increased amount of faceoffs, the second most on the team with 572 but only won 272 of those (47%).  Despite his decreased goal productions Hockey's Future said in January of 2010 that he was  "still an offensive force night in and night out and has the ability to score timely goals."  And in a Devils top prospect listing noted that  "He has shown great playmaking ability this year, perhaps the best of his collegiate career" ‘

Supported by the offensive breakouts of Austin Smith and Brian Day, McIntyre helped lead Colgate to a record of 15-15-6 but the team once again fell short in the ECAC tournament.   He was named to the ECAC all second team and walked away with two awards from his team both awards having focus on leadership. 

After the completion of his collegiate career McIntyre attempted to join the Lowell Devils via an amateur try out. He made the team and played in 12 regular season games and all 5 playoff games, registering 3g-2a-5pts in the regular season (all within the last 8 games of the season) and 1g-1a-2pts in the playoffs.  Video of the available goals via the official AHL website is available below. 

AHL Goal # Notes Video Link Time in video that Goal Scored
1 N/A N/A N/A
2 down low, rebound Video Link 45 seconds
3 down low, loose puck Video Link 20 seconds
4 (playoff goal) faked out defender, backhand goal Video Link 40 seconds 

The playoff goal was pretty impressive, right?  It made up for the two videos showing 'AHL goals' (i.e. down low, rebound when puck should have been frozen/cleared) that probably wouldn't have been scored in the NHL. 

Ice time stats aren't available for the AHL, but considering McIntyre's line mates seemed to have been Nathan Perkovich (ranked 18th by Hockey's Future) and left wing prospect Alexander Vasyunov (ranked 10th by HF) you would have to assume he was on the ice for about 12-15 minutes per game.  Likely it was not a hard transition because of the heavy ice time he had at Colgate it is still impressive that he was able to transition to the AHL game in Lowell.  In his AHL Prospects Review Jared Ramsden of Hockey's Future was impressed with his AHL debut saying that McIntyre is  "A tenacious, abrasive, two-way center who plays with an edge, McIntyre is an intriguing prospect. "   

Coming into 2010-2011 what should we see from McIntyre?  He will likely be groomed for a checking line/penalty kill role in Albany.  I wouldn't expect him to see the ice for the Devils unless there are injuries that force him into the lineup.  Based on his past development you would expect him to need at least a year and possibly more to excel at the AHL level.  Should he develop his game at Albany I would expect to see him get a few NHL games under his belt by the end of the 2011-2012 season.  That being said, I wouldn't be shocked to see him as a 4th line energy player either late this year or early next year.  With his physical play and skating ability he should be able to add energy to the Devils for 5-7 minutes per night.  Of course the limited play in New Jersey could be a detriment to his development considering the ice time he would have in Albany, but injuries and roster needs sometimes dictate promotion more than anything else.

Down the road I can see McIntyre playing a role as a 3rd line checking center and penalty kill contributor.  To do this he will need to improve his faceoff skills as I worry about his drop off in face off wins during his college career.  His best value to the Devils is as a center, as the Devils have plenty of depth at the wing.  That said, if the Devils end up with a future checking line with both Adam Henrique and McIntyre, that could be a prolific two way line.  At a minimum McIntyre does seem like a good addition to a 4th line adding energy, puck handling ability and above average skating skills.

In looking for a comparable player currently in the NHL I had hoped to state that McIntyre was comparable to John Madden.  While they do share career path similarities (both played tier 2 Canadian Junior Hockey, played out there full NCAA eligibility and excelled in the NCAA) I think a Madden comparison would be too aggressive at this point.  Let's give him a year in the Devils organization and I think we will be able to project his future a bit better.

Now it's your turn.  Do you think McIntyre has a future in the NHL? If so, as a 3dr liner or a 4th liner?  Sound off below!

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