The following feature appears in the October 15th edition of the Boston Bruins Prospect Report. Download the complete report, which includes features, upcoming games and statistics on all Bruins prospects, by clicking here.
BostonBruins.com—The Boston Bruins have seen impressive production from their prospects in the major junior ranks, but the same has not been true in the AHL yet, as the Providence Bruins have stumbled out of the gate with a 2-4 record to begin the 2012-13 campaign.
Max Sauve is Providence’s top scorer in the early going, and now in his third pro season, needs to answer questions about his durability and stay off the IR. The 22-year-old has played just 90 AHL games in the two seasons prior to this one, but brings nice height at 6-foot-2, speed and quick hands to the mix. The 2008 second-round selection is one of the most naturally gifted scoring forwards in the system, and although he’s had some tough luck with injuries (he lasted just one shift in his NHL debut last year), the time is right for a breakout performance that could earn him league-wide recognition.
2009 first-rounder Jordan Caron potted his first professional hat trick recently, and has demonstrated his patented sublime release and heavy shot during the young season. When the Bruins drafted Caron out of the Rimouski Oceanic of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, the Sayabec, QC native was a young power forward who dropped to Boston at 25th overall because of concerns about his skating and overall offensive upside. He has shown flashes of being an effective NHL player, and his current club depends on him to be a consistent scorer who uses his 6-foot-2 frame effectively along the walls and in front of the net. With more than 70 games in the big show, he is Providence’s most experienced young forward.
2010 second-rounder Jared Knight (32nd overall) is battling a hamstring injury and missed Providence’s last four games. The Michigander and former London Knights star is day-to-day and expected back soon after going scoreless in the first two contests seeing fourth-line duty.
Providence’s offensive struggles are borne out by the defensive statistics thus far. The blue line corps has accounted for just one goal in six games (scored by Garnet Exelby) and Head Coach Bruce Cassidy has implemented a rotating system on defense early on, with Colby Cohen, Matt Bartkowski, Zach Trotman and Ryan Button going in and out of the lineup on the lower pairing. Trotman (1), Exelby (1) and Button (even) are the only defenders not in the red for plus/minus, though it’s still early.
Watch for Boston’s AHL affiliate to boost scoring as some of the more youthful elements on the club adjust to the demands and challenges of the pro schedule.
Talent analysis: The undrafted free agent is showing Providence fans why he was a key component in a Swedish Elite League championship with Brynas IF last spring. At 6-foot-1, the 23-year-old Svedberg has above average size and good quickness.
Active in his crease with the ability to get side-to-side rapidly, Svedberg is an aggressive, challenging netminder who stays square to the shooter and has big-game ability. With an exaggerated lower crouch, he can be susceptible to giving up the high shots, but he has extremely quick pads and recovers well for secondary scoring chances.
Svedberg will come out of the net to move the puck, which can lead to unforced turnovers. An emotional player, he needs to be careful about be- ing too physical against offending players too near his crease so as not to get his club into penalty trouble.
Outlook: A late-bloomer who is still developing, Svedberg is adjusting to the smaller ice surface of North America, but effectively backstopped Providence to the first two wins of the season. His fiery temperament can work against him at times, but his competitive, battling style allows him to steal goals and keep his club in games where they are outplayed.
Because he’s an experienced pro goaltender coming out of Sweden’s top league, he is capable of being a workhorse netminder in the AHL and is a prospect to watch this season as he gains experience in North America.
The next edition will round out the Providence lineup while also going to the NCAA to check on Boston’s collegiate prospects.