Colorado College's Richard Bachman will be one of a number of players this summer that will have to make a decision about turning pro. Not surprisingly, Bachman says he hasn't made up his mind yet.
There's a couple pros and cons to consider here... First off is what I like to call the Jeff Maund Rule, which is that it is almost universally a bad idea for a goaltender to leave school early. The odds are just too stacked against a goalie from the NCAA ever making the NHL and becoming a full-time starter. Aside from Ryan Miller and Rick DiPietro--he stinks, but because of the Islanders, not because of BU--there aren't too many goalies that have left school and gone on to be heard from ever again. You might as well get your degree while it's free and then kick around the minors.
Second, Bachman, along with Minnesota's Alex Kangas and Minnesota State's Mike Zacharias, is in a group of goalies that was dominating last season, but has looked pretty average this year now that there is a little more room for offense in the WCHA. Dallas may want to see more than one good year before making a huge commitment to him.
But Bachman probably has the right idea that timing is everything. Marty Turco will be 34 in August, and probably only has a couple years left. The Stars have Brent Krahn and Tobias Stephan behind Turco, but it's unlikely either has the ability to become a full-time starting goalie. Leaving now might allow Bachman a chance to get into the Stars system and prove himself to the Stars's management so that they feel comfortable handing him the starting job when Turco moves on. If Bachman stays in college too long, and Dallas goes out and finds another starting goalie, he could end up buried in the minors.
People always say a player never regrets staying an extra year in college, but this might be one of those exceptions. One wonders if Al Montoya's career would have been such a struggle had he joined the Rangers organization a year prior to Henrik Lundqvist, rather than starting the same season, and ultimately getting buried behind him. Bachman will certainly have a difficult decision to make over the summer.