The Providence Bruins opened the 2013-14 season with an overtime win and a blowout loss against divisional opponent the St. John's Ice Caps over the weekend. There were some positives, but for the most part, they looked out of sync. They should be a much better team this year than the one we saw this weekend.
There is a lot of potential on this team, but a lot of uncertainty. The team is fairly young, with an average age of 22.75. They have a good mix of young, new players, experienced AHL players, and players on the cusp of the NHL. Of the 24-man roster, eight players are undrafted. Where they played before the AHL caries from 12 NCAA players (including two from Dartmouth, two from Princeton, and a Harvard grad), eight OHL players, 3 from the WHL, and 1 from the Swedish Elite League. The teach is made up of 11 Canadians, 10 Americans, two Swedes, and a Russian.
Get to know them below and be ready for the home opened this Friday, October 11, at the Dunkin Donuts Center!
Winnetka, Illinois, USA | March 23, 1990 | 23 years old
Undrafted | 3 years NCAA at Dartmouth | Signed as UFA | 1st year of 2-year ELC
Lindblad should be well-known among Bruins fans because he was, for some weird reason, the main focus of the second episode of Behind the B. He was cut early and expected to spend the season in Providence anyway. Having never been drafted, he played at Dartmouth, earning best rookie honors at Dartmouth and the Ivy League. After his junior year, he signed with the Bruins, going pro instead of finishing his final year at Dartmouth.
Before going to Dartmouth, he played two seasons in the USHL. He played in 108 games, had 29 goals and 66 assists. At Dartmouth, he played in 89 games, scored 29 goals, 51 assists, 80 points, a whopping 8 penalty minutes. His rookie year, he had 7 of his 15 goals on the power play.
When joining Providence at the end of the year last season, he had one goal and four assists in four games, including a shorthanded goal, and was a plus-three. He left Providence at the conclusion of the regular season to finish his exams at Dartmouth.
Unfortunately he was injured in the season opener on Friday, although the extent of his injury is unknown at this point ("unknown" meaning...I just don't know.)
London, Ontario, Canada | March 28, 1991 | 22 years old
Drafted out of OHL | 4th round 120th overall by Chicago in 2010 | 2nd year of 3-year ELC
Flick was traded to the Bruins at the trade deadline last season in exchange for Max Sauve. He had spent the two seasons with Chicago's AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs, and part of a season with the ECHL's Toledo Walleye.
Flick spent three seasons in the OHL with the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors (now just the Steelheads). In 181 games, he had 46 goals and 43 assists...and 393 penalty minutes. As a member of the IceHogs, he had 188 penalty minutes in 96 games, but only 18 points.
Flick is currently centering the fourth line. In five games with Providence last season, he had no points and seven penalty minutes.
#11 Tyler Randell
Scarborough, Ontario, Canada | June 15, 1991 | 22 years old
Drafted out of OHL | 6th round 176th overall by Boston in 2009 | 3rd year of 3-year ELC
Randell spent five seasons in the OHL, including part of his last season as an overage player after being sent back down from Providence. He was with the Belleville Bulls for his first two years and Kitchener Rangers for the subsequent three years. In 267 OHL games, he had 111 points and 392 penalty minutes. He reached 20 goals in 2010-11, as well as his career high in penalty minutes in a season with 160.
He split last season with the ECHL affilaite, South Carolina Stringrays, playing 22 games there and 23 in Providence. He also played 30 games with Providence in 2011-12, in which he scored his only two AHL goals and had no assists. He has a combined 101 penalty minutes in his two stints with Providence.
Moscow, Russia | September 9, 1993 | 20 years old
Drafted out of the OHL | 2nd round 40th overall by Boston in 2011 | 1st year of 3-year ELC
Khokhlachev was drafted out of the Windsor Spitfire's of the OHL. When he joined Providence at the end of the OHL season last year, it wasn't his professional debut. He spent the first part of the season, during the NHL lockout, in the KHL. With Moscow Spartak, he played 26 games but had only 2 goals and 5 assists. He also represented the Russia at the 2012-13 World Junior Championship and won a bronze medal; the year before that, he won a WJC silver medal with Russia.
In the OHL, Koko played three seasons with the Spitfires. He appeared in 152 games, scored 81 goals and 112 assists, and 80 penalty minutes. Despite only spending half the season with Windsor last year, he had an Ovechtrick. That's right. Three hat tricks. They came in different games, but I declare it to be an Ovechtrick nonetheless.
His transition to the AHL hasn't been seamless. Although he joined the team for the playoffs, he was a healthy scratch for every game. I expect him to have a solid first full AHL season though.
#14 Craig Cunningham
Trail, British Columbia, Canada | September 13, 1990 | 23 years old
Drafted out of WHL | 4th round 97th overall by Boston in 2010 | In 3rd year of 3-year ELC
This is Cunningham's third year in the AHL. He spent five years in the WHL, playing for the Vancouver Giants. He was part of the 2006-07 Memorial Cup championship Vancouver Giants team that was captained by Milan Lucic. He himself captained the Giants in his final season, 2010-11, before being traded to the Portland Winter Hawks late in the season.
Cunningham played 330 games in the WHL, posting 103 goals, 161 assists, and 264 penalty minutes. He ranks third all-time in points for the Giants. Given the number of games he played in his WHL career (he ranks second all-time in Giants games played) and thus far through his AHL career, he apepars to be incredibly durable. He was the only P-Bruin to appear in every game in 2011-12 and was a healthy scratch in the one game he sat out last season. He has a total of 45 goals in two AHL seasons. His rookie year, he scored 20 goals, and improved to 25 goals in his sophomore season, which was last year.
Cunningham is a great power play asset and has a great shot. Of his 45 AHL goals, 15 have come on the power play, and 9 have been game-winners.
#15 Anthony Camara
Toronto, Ontario, Canada | September 4, 1993 | 20 years old
Drafted out of OHL | 3rd round 81st overall by Boston in 2011 | 1st year of 3-year ELC
Camara was part of the Team Canada that's failure to medal at the WJC was a pretty big disappointment. He, along with Dougie Hamilton and Malcolm Subban, lost to Russia in the bronze medal game. Camara making the team in the first place, however, was considered a great achievement for him.
In four OHL seasons, split with the Saginaw Spirit and Barrie Colts, Camara has 66 goals and 56 assists in 245 games - and 454 penalty minutes. In just six games at the WJC, he had 31 penalty minutes.
Stockholm, Sweden | September 15, 1990 | 23 years old
Drafted out of Shattuck St. Mary's| 4th round 116th overall by Minnesota in 2009 | 1st year of 2-year ELC
Swedish-born Fallstrom came to Minnesota to attend high school at Shattuck St. Mary's. In 114 games 60 goals and 94 assists over two years. He was drafted by the Wild. While in college, he was traded from the Minnesota Wild to Boston in 2011. Along with Craig Weller and a 2011 2nd round pick that became Khokhlachev, Fallstrom was sent to Boston in exchange for Chuck Kobasew.
Playing at Harvard, Fallstrom played in 114 games in four seasons, he had 33 goals and 37 assists. His junior year was the most productive with 13 goals and 12 assists. His senior year, he was an alternate captain, and he also led the team in scoring that year with 21 points.
Upon the conclusion of the collegiate season, he joined the Providence Bruins. In 10 games, he had four goals and one assist before returning to Harvard when the AHL regular season ended to complete exams. In his 2013-14 debut on Saturday, he was a minus-one but had five shots on goal.
#17 Seth Griffith
Wallaceburg, Ontario, Canada | January 4, 1993 | 20 years old
Drafted out of OHL | 5th round 131st overall by Boston 2012 | 1st year of 3-year ELC
Griffith is in his first year as a pro, but has yet to play, sitting out the first two games as a healthy scratch. His OHL career with the London Knights over four seasons was very successful. He appeared in 207 games, netting 102 goals and 129 assists along with 131 penalty minutes. The Knights won the OHL Championship in his final two seasons, the latter of which he was an alternate captain. He was also a First Team All-Star and winner of the Jim Mahon Trophy for the OHL's top scoring right wing.
#18 Justin Florek
Marquette, Michigan, USA | May 18, 1990 | 23 years old
Drafted out of NCAA | 5th round 135th overall by Boston in 2010 | 2nd year of 2-year ELC
Florek was drafted out of the CCHA's Northern Michigan University. In four full seasons, he 53 goals a 63 assists over 157 games. As a senior, he was the team captain and led them in goals scored. He was the teams MVP, among several other awards given out by the team. He was also named to the CCHA Second All-Star Team and was a finalist for the CCHA award for best defensive forward.
In his first season with Providence last year, he has appeared in 71 games and scored 11 goals and 16 assists. He's a pretty versatile winger who kills penalties and was a great addition to the team's gritty line that featured Bobby Robins and Christian Hanson (and before he was traded, Lane MacDermid. Moment of silence.)
#19 Carter Camper
Rocky River, Ohio, USA | July 6, 1988 | 25 years old
Undrafted | 4 years in NCAA for University of Miami (Ohio) | Signed as UFA | 3rd year of 3-year ELC
Camper had a fantastic rookie season for Providence. He was signed as a UFA after going undrafted and had four great years at Miami. Over four years he played in 156 games, had 69 goals and 114 assists, and appeared in the NCAA tournament each year, advancing to the Frozen Four twice and to the finals once when they lost to BU.
He has the second most assists and points in Miami history. As a rookie, he was named to the CCHA's All-Rookie team; his sophomore year, he was named to CCHA's First All-Star Team and NCAA West's Second All-Star Team. In his senior year, Camper was team captain, a Hobey Baker finalist, a CCHA First Team All-Star, NCAA West Second Team All-Star, and CCHA Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
He was signed by Boston upon the conclusion of his collegiate career, and in his first full season, he appeared in the AHL All-Star Game. His sophomore season last year wasn't as successful. He was injured early on and struggled with consistency. He did, however, break out in the playoffs. He had a hat trick and an overtime winning goal among his team-leading 13 points in 12 games (8 goals and 5 assists).
#22 Jared Knight
Battle Creek, Michigan, USA | January 16, 1992 | 21 years old
Drafted out of OHL | 2nd round 45th overall by Boston in 2010 | 2nd year of 3-year ELC
Knight was one of the draft picks that came from the Toronto Maple Leafs for Phil Kessel. He was drafted out of the London Knight's of the OHL, where he spent all four years of junior hockey. He has 102 goals and 107 assists, and 160 penalty minutes, in 250 career games. He produced 21 goals and 34 points in 47 playoff games. In his final season, he served as alternate captain.
Knight transition to the pros was rocky because he got injured almost immediately to begin last season. He probably tried to return too soon and re-injured it almost immediately; then did the same again when he tried to make his second return. He was finally healthy for the end of the season and the playoffs, but was in and out of the lineup as a healthy scratch. He is healthy thus far this season, and has a power play goal in two games this season.
I like Knight's game, although I haven't seen much of it yet. He is small and plays with an edge but remains offensively talented, reminding me a lot of Brad Marchand.
#24 Ryan Spooner
Kanata, Ontario, Canada | January 30, 1992 | 21 years old
Drafted out of OHL | 2nd round 32nd overall by Boston in 2010 | 2nd year of 3-year ELC
Spooner's four years in the OHL were spent with the Peterborough Petes, Kingston Frontenacs, and Sarnia Sting. He has 113 goals and 146 assists for 259 points in 230 career OHL games. When he joined Providence full-time last year, he had a phenomenal rookie season, named to the AHL All-Rookie Team while finishing first in the AHL in rookie assists and points. He also finished first on the team in scoring.
He is basically an NHL-ready centerman but has no place on the current Boston roster at center, and is ineffective at wing, thus will be spending his second year in the AHL as of now. To date, Spooner has 66 points in 69 career AHL games. He is by far the most talented player on the team, and quite fun to watch.
#25 Matt Fraser
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada | May 20, 1990 | 23 years old
Undrafted | 4 years in WHL | Signed as UFA by Dallas | 1st year of 1-year contract
Fraser came to Boston as part of the off-season Rich Peverley trade. He was never drafted, but was signed by the Dallas Stars in 2010. He spent the majority of his two seasons with Dallas with their AHL affiliate the Texas Stars. He was second in goals scored in the AHL his rookie year as well as last year, and was named to the All-Star team. He also led the AHL in power play goals last year. In 13 total NHL games played with Dallas, Fraser has 1 goal and 2 assists.
#32 Nick Johnson
Calgary, Alberta, Canada | December 24, 1985 | 27 years old
Drafted out of AJHL | 3rd round 67th overall in 2004 by Pittsburgh | 1st year of 1-year contract
After being drafted by Pittsburgh, Johnson went to Dartmouth for four years. In 133 games, he had 57 goals and 68 assists. His rookie year, he was named to the ECAC All-Rookie Team. His senior year, he was team captain, first on the team in scoring, and named to the First Team All-ECAC and First Team All-Ivy League.
Upon finishing college, Johnson signed with Pittsburgh and scored his first NHL goal in his first NHL game, which was in January 2010 against Washington. He spent the majority of his three years with the Penguins in the AHL. After signing a one-year deal with the Penguins in 2010, he was claimed off of waivers by Minnesota, spending the entire 2011-12 season with the Wild. In 77 games, 8 goals and 18 assists.
In 2012-12, he signed with the Phoenix Coyotes. After spending the lockout in the ECHL, he split the half NHL season in Phoenix and their AHL affiliate, the Portland Pirates. He signed with Boston this off-season as a UFA. Johnson has played 104 career NHL games, scoring 14 goals and 12 assists along with 52 penalty minutes. In the AHL, Johnson has 55 goals and 71 assists along with 142 penalty minutes in 127 games.
Johnson has shown that he is able to play well in the NHL, and performs well when sent down to the AHL. Although he was close to making the NHL roster this year, he has shown great chemistry with the top line in Providence, Spooner and Fraser, and has two goals already including the overtime game winner in the season opener.
#2 Ben Youds
Maple Grove, Minnesota, USA | April 20, 1988 | 25 years old
Undrafted | 4 years NCAA at Minnesota State University (Mankato) | Signed as UFA | AHL contract
Youds is the only player on the team without an NHL contract. He is on a standard AHL player contract, which he was signed to this off-season, although he hasn't played in either of Providence's games yet. Youds attended Shattuck St. Mary's and then played four years of college hockey at Minnesota State University. In 145 games, Youds had 11 goals and 56 assists along with 184 penalty minutes. He was named to the WCHA All-Academic Team three of his four years.
After college, Youds split the last two seasons between the AHL's Rockford IceHogs and ECHL's Toledo Walleye. He played in the ECHL All-Star Game last season, and has a total of 35 points in 44 ECHL games. In the AHL, Youds has 26 points in 80 games.
#3 Tommy Cross
Simsbury, Connecticut, USA | September 12, 1989 | 24 years old
Drafted out of Westminster High School | 2nd round 35th overall by Boston in 2007 | 2nd year of 2-year ELC
Cross played for four years at Boston College, winning three the Beanpot three times in a row, three Hockey East titles, and two NCAA championships in 2010 and again in his senior year in 2012. His sophomore year, he was named to the Hockey East All-Academic Team, and his senior year, he captained the team. In 134 NCAA games, Cross has 60 points and 171 penalty minutes.
He joined Providence after he finished college. His first full pro season was last year, and it was split between Providence and the ECHL affiliate in South Carolina. He has 19 points in 24 ECHL games and 11 points in 46 AHL games.
Marshfield, Massachussetts, USA | May 30, 1990 | 23 years old
Drafted out of USDP | 4th round 95th overall by St. Louis in 2008 | 3rd year of 3-year ELC
Warsofsky came to Boston in 2010 in exchange for Vladimir Sobotka. He attended Cushing Academy prep school in Massachusetts, then played with the US national team development program. He attended Boston University for three seasons, and was an alternate captain his junior year. To go along with 68 points in 113 career games, his BU team won the NCAA and Hockey East championships in 2009. He won a gold medal at the 2010 WJC with Team USA. In 136 AHL games, Warsofsky has 8 goals and 40 assists plus 41 penalty minutes.
#6 Chris Casto
Stillwater, Minnesota, USA | December 27, 1991 | 21 years old
Undrafted | 2 years in NCAA | Signed as UFA | 1st year of 3-year ELC
Casto signed with the Bruins after his sophomore season at University of Minnesota-Duluth. In 77 games, Casto has 22 points and 30 penalty minutes. He also played junior hockey in the US for the Lincoln Stars and attended prep school at Hill-Murray in Minnesota. He is in his first full pro season.
Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada | December 9, 1992 | 20 years old
Drafted out of WHL | 1st round 23rd overall by Pittsburgh in 2011 | 1st year of 3-year ELC
Last year was Morrow's first pro season after leaving the WHL. He spent four full seasons with the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL, posting 33 goals, 151 points, and 251 penalty minutes in 227 career games. He was named to the WHL West First All-Star Team in his final season.
Last year, Morrow spent the year with Pittsburgh's AHL affiliate before he was traded to Dallas as part of the deal that sent Brenden Morrow to Pittsburgh. Morrow played 9 games with the Texas Stars. He was then traded to Boston as part of the Peverley deal in the off-season. In 68 AHL games, Morrow has 6 goals and 14 assists, including Providence's only goal in Saturday's 5-1 loss.
#8 Mike Moore
Calgary, Alberta, USA | December 12, 1984 | 28 years old
Undrafted | 4 years NCAA at Princeton | 1st year of 1-year contract
The BCHL is an unabashed fighting league (at least it was, I don't know if it still is). In one season, he had 148 penalty minutes, which is almost as many as he had in four years at Princeton. In 52 BCHL games, Moore had 6 goals and 21 assists. At Princeton, he posted career totals of 14 goals, 38 assists for 52 points, and 154 penalty minutes. He was captain in his senior year, which was his most productive offensively (7-17=24).
Upon the conclusion of his collegiate career, he signed with the San Jose Sharks as a UFA. He spent four seasons with the organization, mostly in the AHL. He has only six NHL games under his belt, all with San Jose in 2010-11. He did score his first NHL goal in his second NHL game, but returned to the Worcester, where he was named captain in the latter part of his final season.
He signed with Nashville last off-season, but spent the entire year with their AHL affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals (also the team Peverley broke into the pros with). After his one year contract expired, he signed with the Bruins this off-season. His career AHL totals are 19 goals, 69 assists, and 88 points. His career high in goals in a season is five, which he posted twice including last year.
#28 Kevan Miller
Los Angeles, California, USA | November 15, 1987 | 26 years old
Undrafted | 4 years NCAA at University of Vermont | Signed as UFA | 1st year of 1-year contract
Miller was born in California and came out east to play prep school hockey in Massachusetts at Berkshire. He then spent four years at Vermont, where he was captain his last two seasons. In 144 college games, Miller had 30 points and 97 penalty minutes.
Miller signed as an undrafted free agent after his senior year in 2011 to a two-year entry level contract. His first two seasons in Providence were good enough that he was qualified and re-signed this summer was a restricted free agent, and the final player cut from the Boston roster just a few days before the season opened. Thus far his AHL totals are 40 points and 178 penalty minutes in 136 games played. He suffered a recurring rib injury last year that probably effected his efficiency in the playoffs when Providence was already suffering from the loss of Torey Krug and Matt Bartkowski to Boston and Trotman to injury. He still posted five assists in nine games and a plus-four rating.
Miller was in the discussion for Providence's new captain this season, but was injured in the first game of the season on a dirty hit by human garbage Patrice Cormier. He obviously suffered a concussion but I have no idea how serious the diagnosis is.
#37 Zach Trotman
Carmel, Indiana, USA | August 26, 1990 | 23 years old
Drafted out of NCAA | 7th round 210th overall by Boston in 2010 | 2nd year of 2-year ELC
Trotman was drafted out of Lake Superior State of the CCHA. He played three seasons there, serving as an alternate captain in his junior year. At the conclusion of his junior year, he signed with the Bruins. He had 49 points and 42 penalty minutes in 114 games.
Last year, his first pro year, was a roller coaster after he sustained a concussion twice throughout the season, and then another one in the playoffs because the Penguins are bastards. He looked great before he got the initial concussion, but never seemed quite back to himself when he returned. He must have recovered well over the summer because he came to training camp looking back to his pre-concussion form. If he can stay healthy, he has a lot of potential. In 59 career AHL games, he has 19 points and 21 penalty minutes, but has yet to register either yet this season.
Sollentuna, Sweden | September 4, 1989 | 24 years old
Undrafted | Signed as UFA out of Swedish Elite League | 2nd year of 2-year ELC
Svedberg was signed as a UFA by the Bruins after leading his Swedish Elite League team, Brynäs IF, to the league championship in 2011-12 (sidenote: team captain that year was Jakob Silfverberg). After his impressive playoff performance that year, he was approached by a few NHL teams and chose the Bruins. Last season was his first season in North America, and the Providence Bruins weren't quite sure what to expect. Certainly nobody expected him to best by far the best goaltender in the AHL.
Svedberg carried Providence for most of the season. Although he had a disappointing playoff performance, he is still young and I expect him to only get better. Last season, he went 37-8-2, which tied the Providence team record for most wins in a season by a goaltender. He was the starting goaltender for the Eastern Conference in the All-Star Classic, Rookie of the Month for March, and named to the season-end AHL All-Rookie Team and First AHL All-Star Team.
He was the Baz Bastien Trophy winner for best goaltender in the league. I think he has the potential to be a competent and competitive backup for Tuukka Rask, but apparently that will have to wait. Meanwhile, he's just as good, if not better, than he was last year, when he made the season debut on Friday night and stopped 40 of 43 shots, shutting out the Ice Caps until midway through the third period.
#47 Malcolm Subban
Toronto, Ontario, Canada | December 21, 1993 | 19 years old
Drafted out of OHL | 1st round 24th overall by Boston in 2012 | 1st year of 3-year ELC
Subban played three full seasons with the Belleville Bulls of the OHL. In 118 games with Belleville, he posted a 64-42-6 record, 2.52 GAA, and 8 shutouts, including 5 in his last season.
Last season was his best yet. He went 29-11-4 in the regular season and 11-6 in the playoffs. In the regular season, he led the league with the best GAA, 2.14, and .934 save percentage. In the post-season, he took Belleville all the way to the Conference championship. His 2.00 GAA and .933 save percentage led all playoff goalies.
OHL coaches voted Subban the best puckhandling goalie as well as best shootout goalie in his final season. He also spent January of that season in Ufa, Russia, as Canada's starting goaltender. He went 4-2 and had a 2.76 GAA in Canada's disappointing showing.
Despite his poor showing in the preseason with Boston, and giving up four goals in his professional debut on Saturday, he actually made several great saves in the 5-1 loss to St. Johns. He got no defensive support and absolutely no goal support. He actually made 36 saves and had no chance on the first three Ice Caps goals (I missed the last one).