Author’s note: Due to military duties, defenseman Zach McKelvie has not seen game action since his senior year at the U.S. Military Academy in 2008-09. As a result, there are no reliable game logs to assess.
There is no questioning McKelvie’s ability to stay in athletic condition in two years away from high-profile hockey. That being said, there is no substitute for playing the game in a formal setting and on a professional regimen.
McKelvie has some catching up to do on the Bruins’ minor-league depth chart and might end up splitting this year by an uncertain ratio between Providence and Reading.
The Providence Bruins’ resident bruising, brawling blueliner has yet to play in front of prized goaltender Anton Khudobin. McIver saw action in 60 games last year, but was sidelined with an injury for the rest of the run precisely one week and one game before Khudobin debuted in the organization.
Although, McIver still had enough time to retain a team-leading 176 penalty minutes.
• Took four shots on goal within the first five games.
• Logged a plus-3 rating as part of a 6-1 home win over Bridgeport Nov. 5.
• Amassed his only three points of the season, all of them assists, in a span of 15 games between Nov. 24 and Dec. 31.
• Twice went through three consecutive games without taking any penalties, once to open and once to curtain the month of January.
• Placed second-to-last on the team, only one point behind Matt Bartkowski, with a minus-16 rating. That rating also more than doubled a personal career-low in six professional seasons.
• Posted a negative rating in each of six consecutive outings between Nov. 6 and Nov. 19.
• Landed only eight shots on goal within his last 34 games-played after taking 14 shots in his first 26.
At the time of this year’s opening draw, it will have been more than seven months since McIver last saw formal, extramural game action. But as early as late March, he was taking easy, full-gear twirls around the Dunk pond, so he ought to be in reasonable game shape and raring to protect the likes of Khudobin and the team’s many leaned-on scorers.