Alumni Profile: Andrew Raycroft
Andrew Raycroft only spent one season in a Kingston uniform, but it may have been the best season the franchise has ever seen by a goaltender. The Belleville, Ontario native was traded to the Kingston Frontenacs by the Sudbury Wolves following the 1998-99 season. He took over the starting role in Kingston for the 1999-2000 season and never looked back despite having future NHL goaltender Mike Smith backing him up. In his one season in Kingston, Raycroft tied a franchise record with 33 wins. He finished the season with a 33-20-5 record and a 3.43 GAA to go along with his 0.918 SV%. Those numbers earned him a slew of trophies. He was awarded the Red Tilson Trophy as the OHL MVP along with OHL and CHL Goaltender of the Year awards.
Prior to joining the Frontenacs, Raycroft had been drafted by the Boston Bruins in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft with their 5th round pick, 135th overall. After his stellar season in Kingston, he made the jump to pro hockey for the 2000-01 season. His NHL debut came in a relief appearance early that year while his first NHL win came days later on October 9th against the Florida Panthers. During his first three seasons as a pro, he would spend most of his time with the Providence Bruins of the AHL.
Following a strong 2002-03 campaign with Providence that saw him post a GAA of 1.36 and a 0.955 SV% in the playoffs, Boston renewed his contract during the summer of 2003. That cemented Raycroft’s spot with the big club for the 2003-04 season and he wouldn’t disappoint. He posted a 29-18-9 record with a 2.05 GAA and a 0.926 SV%. Those numbers earned him the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s Rookie of the Year.
The NHL lockout in 2004-05 saw Raycroft initially sign in Sweden but end up in Finland to stay on top of his game. Unfortunately, the lockout killed the momentum that Raycroft had in his first full season in the NHL. He struggled with the Bruins when the NHL resumed and was eventually traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Tuukka Rask.
Raycroft had an up and down first season with the Leafs. He recorded 37 wins to set a franchise record for wins in a season by a goaltender (which has since been broken by Fredrik Andersen), but he struggled in GAA and SV% and the Leafs didn’t make the playoffs. The following year he struggled with the Leafs and was placed on waivers before being bought out by the club.
Andrew would spend some time with the Colorado Avalanche, Vancouver Canucks and Dallas Stars before his NHL career ended. He finished with a record of 113-114-27 while recording 9 shutouts at the NHL level.
Raycroft would finish his playing career in Europe spending time in Italy and Sweden before hanging up the skates for good following the 2013-14 season.
After his playing career, Raycroft joined the UConn Huskies as an assistant volunteer coach for two seasons.
Andrew Raycroft currently lives in the Boston area where he is actively involved with Bruins alumni programs. He has been nominated for induction into the Belleville Sports Hall of Fame which will take place this coming September.