Bruins Future Watch: Weekly Update on Boston’s Top Prospects for Nov. 14

by NESN Staff

November 14, 2013

Editor?s Note: Future Watch is a weekly feature that looks at the performance of the Bruins? top prospects. It will be written by assistant editor Nicholas Goss.  

All stats are from AHL competition unless noted otherwise.

Ryan SpoonerProspect Name: Ryan Spooner

Rank: 1

Position, Team: Center, Providence (AHL)

Stats through Nov. 14: 11 GP, 2 G, 12 A, 2 +/-. 30 SOG

Analysis/Notes: Spooner was called up to the NHL for two games earlier this month and played well, adding speed and scoring depth to the bottom-six. He tallied an assist in both games he played and created several good scoring chances with his impressive vision and playmaking in the attacking zone. He also took six faceoffs, winning three of them. This is one aspect of his game that still needs to get better to earn regular NHL minutes, but there was noticeable improvement from the preseason.

Spooner returned to the AHL after the Bruins defeated the Anaheim Ducks and tallied seven assists in his first two games back in Providence.

morrowProspect Name: Joe Morrow

Rank: 2

Position, Team: Defenseman, Providence (AHL)

Stats through Nov. 14: 13 GP, 2 G, 8 A, 0 +/-, 30 SOG

Analysis/Notes: Morrow has been one of the P-Bruins’ most consistent players this season, especially on the power play. The smooth-skating defenseman uses a powerful shot from the point to fire pucks on net, while also moving the puck quickly and accurately to stretch the opponent’s penalty kill structure and open shooting lanes from the face-off dot.

Morrow has tallied at least one point in eight of 13 games this season and is currently on a three-game point streak. He’s proven to be a quality addition to the Bruins’ prospect pool after arriving in the Loui ErikssonTyler Seguin trade over the summer.

Niklas SvedbergProspect NameNiklas Svedberg

Rank: 3

Position, Team: Goaltender, Providence (AHL)

Stats through Nov. 14: 5-1-2, 3.14 GAA, .904 SV%

Analysis/Notes: Svedberg lost his first game in regulation last week, giving up four goals on just 17 shots. He struggled in his next start with five goals allowed, which was the first time all season that he had given up four or more goals in back-to-back games.

Svedberg’s recent struggles aren’t too much of a concern. His defensemen in front of him have not helped him out by letting the opponents take a lot of shots from high-quality scoring areas each game. With that said, Svedberg hasn’t made the important third-period saves over the last two weeks that we are accustomed to seeing from him, but all goaltenders go through slumps. We will have a better idea if this recent stretch of disappointing play is temporary or a real issue by the end of next week.

Prospect NameAlexander Khokhlachev

Rank: 4

Position, Team: Center, Providence (AHL)

Stats through Nov. 14:  13 GP, 4 G, 6 A, 3 +/-, 24 SOG

Analysis/Notes: Khokhlachev has been one of Providence’s best players over the last two weeks with four goals and two assists in his last five games, which also includes a three-game point streak. He hadn’t found the back of the net before this recent five-game outburst, but he’s being much more aggressive in the attacking zone and it’s paying off.

He’s also playing more physical, battling harder for loose pucks and skating with much more purpose and speed through the neutral zone. Khokhlachev’s improvement at both ends of the ice is an encouraging development for the Bruins.

Malcolm Subban Scott Stajcer goalie fight editProspect NameMalcolm Subban

Rank: 5

Position, Team: Goaltender, Providence (AHL)

Stats through Nov. 14: 2-3-0, 2.48 GAA, .913SV%

Analysis/Notes: Subban lost his first three starts of the season, but he rebounded nicely to win his last two games and improve his GAA and save percentage by a considerable amount in that span. The former first-round pick looked more comfortable in net over the last two games. He was being aggressive by coming out to challenge shooters, using his athleticism to move from post-to-post quickly and making huge saves on the penalty kill.

However, Subban made the most headlines in the last week for his goalie fight in Sunday’s win over Hartford instead of his stellar performance in net. He fought Wolfpack netminder Scott Stajcer, and the bout ended in a tie with just a couple of punches thrown by each player.

Subban’s improvement after a rough start to the season is a positive sign for the Bruins. The team has high hopes for him and should be pleased with his recent efforts in net.

Nick Goss? Updated Prospect Rankings (as of Nov. 14)

1. Ryan Spooner

2. Joe Morrow

3, Niklas Svedberg

4. Alexander Khokhlachev

5. Malcolm Subban

Follow Nick Goss on Twitter here.

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