The Boston Bruins began their seventh annual development camp today. The twenty three participants are getting a chance to hone their skills and see how they stack up against a NHL training regimen. The Bruins will be running the players ragged over the next few days to see who amongst them might be ready for training camp in September. On ice drills, followed by off-ice conditioning will help the staff see who among the prospects and draft picks could be ready for training camp two months from now.
This is Malcolm Subban’s second year in the development camp program. He (along with fellow attendee Zane Gothberg) represents the future of Bruins goaltending. Subban is the only professional player on the roster this year. He played for Providence last year and put up adequate numbers for the Baby B’s. He went 15-10-5 with a 2.31 GAA and a .920 save percentage.
Subban was given an opportunity to put on the spoked ‘B’ during last year’s preseason play. His first NHL level performance was certainly a trial by fire. A lackluster offense and missed calls by defensemen opened up a shooting gallery on Subban. The Detroit Red Wings were able to score eight goals on him in that game. To his credit, he didn’t have a Patrick Roy level meltdown after the game. He showed poise that a lot of other players didn’t have in that shellacking. He was put in against his brother P.K. Subban when the Bruins played the Montreal Canadiens after Claude Julien pulled Chad Johnson in the second period. He played thirty minutes plus of shut out hockey, allowing the Bruins to beat the Habs 6-3.
The Bruins have had pretty solid goaltending these last few seasons, but they’ve had trouble keeping a back up in the last few years. Chad Johnson‘s departure left a pretty big gap in the net for Boston. The matter appeared closed when the organization signed fellow P-Bruins netminder Niklas Svedberg to a one year, one way contract. Then the matter got re-opened when the Bruins signed Jeremy Smith to a one year, two-way contract. While the organization says there is no goalie controversy, the additional hiring does have a few people shaking their heads, especially in a tight salary cap year.
A good show by Subban means he’ll be invited to training camp in September. He’ll get to face off against Svedberg, Smith, and likely Tuukka Rask in net. While we all know Tuukka will be the number one for the foreseeable future, Svedberg has had rough patches and Smith is a statistical unknown at the NHL level. Expect to see Subban play in at least one NHL game this season as the organization grooms him to be the future after Rask in Boston.