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Untapped Potential: Richard Bachman

Image: Defending Big D

In ice hockey, goalies come and go. Some of them become household names, while others become obscure footnotes in a franchise’s history. At times, the sport can be cruel to upcoming once promising prospects. Many talented goaltenders never get a legitimate chance to regularly start in the NHL. Richard Bachman is just one example of this reality.

College Career

In the 2007-08 season, Bachman, a freshman at Colorado College, made a name for himself posting an impressive .931 SV% with an 1.85 GAA. His incredible year would earn the titles of Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year. He only the second player in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association history to capture both accolades in the same season.

As a sophomore, he would put together another solid year with a 2.63 GAA and  .914 SV%

AHL Rookie Year

Bachman was drafted in the 4th round, 206th overall by the Dallas Stars in the 2006 NHL draft. Four years later, the young goaltender excelled in his first full year in professional hockey by posting a 2.15 GAA as well as having as a solid 0.927 SV% with 55 games played in the 2010-11 AHL season. He was cementing himself as one of the bright prospects of the Dallas Stars.

NHL Rookie Year

On December 11th 2010, Bachman would be called up to back up Andrew Raycroft who was subbing for the injured Kari Lehtonen. On his NHL debut he drop-in to relieve his partner Andrew Raycroft and Bachman would stop 4 shots to earn a no decision.

In the following season, Bachman would be recalled from the AHL to become the primary backup replacing Andrew Raycroft. On December 13th 2011, the young goalie would earn his first career shutout, blanking the New York Rangers 1-0. He would go on to record a very respectable rookie year with a 2.77 GAA and .910 SV%.

Later Professional Career

After Bachman’s mixed 2012-13 season, he would sign with the Edmonton Oilers. The goaltender would compete with Jason LaBarbera for the backup position. Bachman would have a wonderful start in the 2013-14 season with his first start with the Oilers after stopping 47 shots. Shortly after, his progress would be halted with a hamstring injury where he would eventually be regulated down to the Oklahoma City Barons.  He would have a relatively average AHL season as he would post a .908 SV percentage plus a 2.99 GAA.

In the summer of 2015, the American goalie would sign with the Vancouver Canucks, where he would spend the rest of his professional North American playing career. Bachman would spend most of the next 5 seasons with the Utica Comets.


Bachman in his time with Utica. Image:

What Happened?

Bachman was partly a product of a good goalie prospect developing at the wrong time. His stent with the Dallas Stars was marred by the instability of the organization, at the time. He would then have injury issues and run into goaltending logjams in different organizations which would stunt his growth as an NHL caliber goalie.

Where is Bachman Now?

After retiring from professional hockey, Richard Bachman is currently the goaltending coach for the Iowa Wild in the NHL. Wild goaltending prospect, Jesper Wallstedt is sure to benefit from Bachman’s success and experience. He is continuing to pass the torch down to the promising young goalies of the future.


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