Subban leads deep group of Boston Bruins prospects

By Richard Murray

Malcolm Subban - Boston Bruins

Photo: Goaltender Malcolm Subban has made a smooth transition to professional hockey, and has a 2.39 goals against average through 26 AHL games. Subban was selected 24th overall by the Boston Bruins in the 2012 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Michael Tureski/Icon SMI)

There are not too many significant changes to the Boston Bruins Spring Top 20. There were a couple notable graduations however, led by former number one prospect Dougie Hamilton.

Reilly Smith and Torey Krug also graduated from prospect status and have proven to be solid NHL contributors. The diminutive Krug has revamped the Bruins powerplay and made it an actual threat this season.

1. (2) Malcolm Subban, G, 8.0C
Drafted 1st round, 24th overall, 2012

Subban has jumped onto the scene in Providence and has been more than impressive in his first professional season. Although, Niklas Svedberg is the starter in Providence, Subban has stolen some playing time away from the Swedish netminder.

The Rexdale, Ontario native is 12-8-4 in 26 AHL games this season. The middle Subban brother has a very respectable 2.39 goals against average, a .916 save percentage, and one shutout.

He still needs a few more seasons to develop at the AHL level, but he should be an impact goalie sooner rather than later in the NHL. Subban was involved in trade rumors at the trade deadline and could be moved considering Tuukka Rask's stature with the organization.

2. (3) Ryan Spooner, C, 7.5C
Drafted 2nd round, 45th overall, 2010

When Chris Kelly went down for a period of time earlier this season, Spooner got the call to pivot Boston's third line. The young Bruins forward had his ups-and-downs, but overall Spooner did not look too out of place in the Bruins lineup. Although he did not fine the twine during his 22-game stint in the NHL, he did dish out 11 assists and was used on the Bruins second power play unit.

It took David Krejci a few kick of the tires before he stuck with the big club, so it would not be unusual for Spooner to need to do the same.

In 38 AHL games this season, he has 36 points (eight goals, 28 assists).

3. (4) Alexander Khokhlachev, C, 7.5C
Drafted 2nd round, 40th overall, 2011

The young Russian phenom has adjusted well to the AHL, posting a near point-per-game pace this season. Khokhlachev will likely finish this season in Providence, but he could easily compete for a job next season if he keeps up his torrid pace.  Through 54 games this season, Khokhlachev has sniped 19 goals and totaled 50 points.

After returning to North America after a 26-game KHL stint last season, he appears committed to making the NHL.

4. (5) Joe Morrow, D, 7.5C
Trade with Dallas Stars, July 4th, 2013

Morrow has fit in well down in Providence and is putting up respectable numbers thus far in 2013-14. Through 46 games the 6'1 defenseman has racked up 26 points (five goals, 21 assists.)

He is a good puck-mover, but will spend some more time in the AHL with the Bruins depth at the NHL level. He could also be used as trade bait in the offseason.

5. (9) Seth Griffith, C, 7.0C
Drafted 5th round, 131st overall, 2012

The former over-age draft pick has carried his scoring production straight into the AHL this season. Through 57 games, Griffith has 19 goals and 24 assists. Boston is deep at forward, so with a few years of development at the AHL, he could be an impact player.

6.  (9) Ryan Fitzgerald, C, 7.5D
Drafted 4th round, 120th overall, 2013

Fitzgerald and Boston College are wrapping up a very successful 2013-14 season. On BC's second line, Fitzgerald has produced putting up 27 points (11 goals, 16 assists). He is undersized and needs time to get stronger, but the Boston native is in good hands with head coach Jerry York.

7. (11) Zane Gothberg, G, 7.0C
Drafted 6th round, 165th overall, 2010

Probably one of the most underrated prospects the Bruins have, Gothberg has done nothing but perform. In 2012-13, he picked up his first NCAA Tournament victory last season and is looking for more this season. This season with North Dakota, Gothberg was 17-8-3. He posted a 2.08 goals against average, a .922 save percentage, and recorded two shutouts.

"I don't think internally that Zane is flying under the radar," Sweeney said at this past summers Bruins development camp. "We know that Zane is very good, and he has grown a lot. [It's exciting] because when we [drafted him] we hoped that he continue [his growth]."

Gothberg has battled some injuries this season, but seems to have recovered well.

8.  (12) Matt Grzelcyk, D, 7.0C
Drafted 3rd round, 85th overall, 2012

The Charlestown, Massachusetts native missed most of this season with a separated shoulder. Before getting injured he was on pace for another solid season with 11 points through his first 19 games. Boston University has more than struggled this season and could have benefitted from Grzelcyk's presence during their playoff run. He has not played since the World Junior Championships.

9. (7) Anthony Camara, LW, 7.0C
Drafted 3rd round, 81st overall, 2011

Now in his first year of professional hockey, Anthony Camara is not producing at the same pace as his last year of junior hockey, where he managed 36 goals and 24 assists in 50 games, but he has touched the score sheet for 22 points this season. It took Camara some time to develop at the junior level and it could take some time again at the AHL level.

The Toronto, Ontario native has nine goals, 13 assists and 45 penalty minutes. He is a big strong forward that could develop into a top-six player in NHL down the road.

10. (16) Peter Cehlarik, LW, 7.0C
Drafted 3rd round, 90th overall, 2013

Cehlarik has found himself in Sweden's pro league (SHL) after strong junior campaigns.  He still needs more time to develop as he only has four points through 32 games this season with Lulea.

In 18 games in Allsvenskan this season, he recorded 13 points. Cehlarik had three assists in the WJC for Slovakia.

11. (13) Niklas Svedberg, G, 6.5B
Signed as free agent, May 29th, 2012

Svedberg made his NHL debut earlier this season, and he picked up his first win with a 3-2 victory over Nashville. This season in the AHL, the Swedish netminder has not had the same success as last season. Malcolm Subban has started to steal some spots, but Svedberg has been recalled multiple times to Boston indicating he is still ahead of Subban on the depth chart. The Bruins also want to give Subban more time in the AHL.

In 2013-14, Svedberg is 20-14-3 with a 2.79 goals against average, .907 save percentage and two shutouts.

12. (NR) Maxim Chudinov, D, 7.5F
Drafted 7th round, 195th overall, 2010

It appears Chudinov may never make the trek across the Atlantic to Boston, but that in no way means he is not talented. Playing in the KHL this season he has 18 points in 50 games. He had a career-high 35 points two years ago, but his numbers have dramatically declined since then.

13. (NR) Zach Trotman, D, 6.5C
Drafted 7th round, 210th overall, 2010

It is about time Trotman has hit the Top 20 and he came come a long way since his draft day. The 6'4 defenseman has become a force in Providence this season and made his NHL debut. He has played two games in Boston so far this season without registering a point.

He is not an offensive ace by any means, but Trotman is solid at both ends of the ice. The Lake Superior product has chipped in 18 points through 42 AHL games this season.

14. (20) Rob O'Gara, D, 6.5C
Drafted 5th round, 151st overall, 2011

O'Gara recently saw his sophomore season come to close as Yale lost in two games to Quinnipiac, the team they beat en route to their first ever NCAA championship title.

This season, O'Gara scored his first NCAA goal and has four on the season. Through 31 games he has 11 points. The 6'4 defenseman is known for is defense, but can be a contributor in the offensive zone. He will never light the lamp with big offensive numbers, though.

15. (19) Linus Arnesson, D, 6.5C
Drafted 2nd round, 60th overall, 2013

The Swedish defenseman is still trying to develop more of an offensive game playing in the Allsvenskan in Sweden. Arnesson has a goal and five assists though 44 games. In seven games during the WJC, he had two assists.  Arnesson has solid mobility, so the offense could come sooner rather than later.

16.  (18) Brian Ferlin, RW, 7.0D
Drafted 4th round, 121st overall, 2011

Ferlin and Cornell will look to make a run in the ECAC and NCAA Tournaments, but the Big Red still has some tough competition ahead of them. This season, Ferlin has hit career highs in both goals (13) and points (27).

17. (14) Matt Fraser, LW, 6.5C
Trade with Dallas Stars, July 4th, 2013

One of the pieces of the Tyler Seguin trade may be proving to be nothing more than an AHL ace. In 14 NHL games earlier this season, Fraser recorded only two goals and was often regulated to third or fourth line duty. He has 24 points in 36 AHL games and might be nothing more than a top AHL player, at least until he can prove otherwise.

18. (NR) Craig Cunningham, F, 6.5C
Drafted 4th round, 97th overall, 2010

Cunningham seems to be getting close to being an NHL player. Although undersized, he works hard and creates offense. The Trail, British Columbia native made his NHL debut this season, but he failed to register a point. He will be back, though.

19. (NR) Kevan Miller, D, 6.0A
Signed as a free agent, October 21st, 2011

Miller has earned an NHL roster spot and a new contract with the Boston Bruins. The Vermont product has proven to be a solid addition in the Bruins lineup, often dressing a bottom pairing option or the seventh defenseman. Miller has dressed in 36 games for Boston this season and has five points.

20. (15) Jared Knight, RW, 6.5C
Drafted 2nd round, 32nd overall, 2010

Knight was once a top prospect in the organization, but he has fallen a bit off the track recently. Last season, he missed most of the year with an injury and has not been the offensive player the Bruins have hoped for this season. Knight has scored 18 points through 52 AHL games this season.

It will be interesting to see how Knight performs if given more of an offensive role later this season or next. He has good defensive abilities that could at the very least allow him to be a grinder down the road.

Follow Richard Murray on Twitter: @Richie_Murray

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