As the Boston Bruins open training camp ahead of the 2014-2015 NHL season, a number of young players familiar to Providence Bruins fans are gearing up for another shot at a coveted NHL job, while a new crop of rookies arrive wide-eyed at camp, but ultimately destined to spend the season with the AHL Providence Bruins.
Left winger David Pastrnak will be attending his first NHL training camp after being selected 25th good start, picking up a goal in the recent NHL rookie tournament held in Nashville, garnering all-tourney honors in the process.
While Bruins brass has been delighted at Pastrnak’s rapid development, with general manager Peter Chiarelli reportedly suggesting that Pastrnak will receive a long look on the team’s top unit during camp, odds are the young Czech will find himself in Providence in time for the team’s season opener against the St. John’s IceCaps on October 10.
Following a solid rookie campaign in Providence last season, goaltender Malcolm Subban is participating in his third NHL training camp. Boston’s 2012 first round pick looked good in 33 games in Providence last season, posting a 15-10-5 record with one shutout, a 2.31 goals against average and .920 save percentage.
With the meteoric rise of older brother PK, who inked an 8-year, $72 million contract to patrol the blue line for the rival Montreal Canadiens, hockey fans have salivated at the thought of the brothers going head-to-head on the ice as part of one of hockey’s fiercest rivalries.
But beforeSubban gets his chance in net for Boston, he must first surpass Providence teammate Niklas Svedberg, who joins him at Boston Bruins camp. Svedberg was solid in his second season with Providence, posting a record of 25-15-14, 2 SO, 2.63, .910 as the team’s starter. The 25 year-old Swede, who signed with the Bruins as a free agent in 2012, was also called up to the big club on three occasions,
seeing action in one game, in which he earned his first career NHL win.
All indicators suggestSvedberg owns the inside track to get the job as backup to Boston starter Tuukka Rask, clearing the way for Subban to take over as undisputed starter in Providence.
Alexander Khokhlachev is also expected to get a long look at Boston Bruins training camp. The 21 year-old Russian led the Providence Bruins in scoring last season, potting 21 goals and 36 assists in 65 games, while enjoying two call-ups to the big club, where he saw action in once game.
However, the talented playmaker’s road to the NHL is currently jammed. With no fewer than five veteran centers ahead of him on the depth chart, Khokhlachev may have to demonstrate that he can quickly adapt to playing the wing if he hopes to break camp with the NHL Bruins in October.
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