The Boston Bruins are positioned to contend for the Stanley Cup into the foreseeable future, but general manager Peter Chiarelli also has done a fine job of continuing to collect young talent.
Chiarelli traded forward Tyler Seguin, the No. 2 pick in the 2010 NHL Draft and a potential cornerstone player, this offseason, but there was future value in the return as well as the obvious present talent of forward Loui Eriksson.
Defenseman Dougie Hamilton, the player drafted with a high pick acquired in the Phil Kessel trade, graduated to the big club last season. A couple of players at the top of this list could join him in Boston as early as the start of the 2013-14 NHL season.
"Obviously you want to develop your talent and bring them in and let them play," Chiarelli said during summer development camp. "Sometimes there's not room for them and sometimes you use them as chips in deals, but you always have to develop.
"It will be good; there will be some young guys that will breathe new life and new enthusiasm into the team."
Here's a look at Boston's top 10 prospects, according to NHL.com:
1. Malcolm Subban, G: The Bruins have one of the best young goalies in the NHL, Tuukka Rask, and one of the top prospects at the position after selecting Subban with the 24th pick in the 2012 NHL Draft.
Subban went 29-11-4 with a .934 save percentage for the Belleville Bulls in the Ontario Hockey League last season. He went 11-4-2 with a .933 save percentage in the playoffs.
The 19-year-old brother of Montreal Canadiens defenseman PK Subban was Canada's No. 1 goaltender at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship and played well in the tournament until the United States lit him up in a semifinal loss.
Rask signed an eight-year contract this offseason, but Subban (6-foot-2, 200 pounds) needs more development time, and the Bruins are in no hurry to decide what to do with the young goaltender for the long term.
"I don't think [Malcolm is] in a rush, nor should he be," Bruins assistant general manager Don Sweeney said at summer development camp. "He should just sort of embrace what's in front of him at that moment. And I think he does a good job of that. He's a really competitive guy. So he's going to want the net, and you love that in a goaltender."
2. Joseph Morrow, D: Morrow was a first-round pick by the Pittsburgh Penguins (No. 23) in the 2011 NHL Draft and immediately became one of the organization's top prospects. Then he was one of the Dallas Stars' top prospects. Now he's near the top of the Bruins' list.
It was a whirlwind few months for Morrow, who was traded to Dallas for Brenden Morrow in March, then again in July to Boston in the deal for Seguin and Rich Peverley.
Morrow (6-1, 204) had five goals and 19 points in 66 games as a rookie in the American Hockey League last season. The 20-year-old has plenty of potential and could help the Bruins in the near future.
"He is still a young player," Chiarelli said. "A very strong skater. Finding his way, but we have a lot of time for him and we think he can develop into a top-four NHL defenseman with the right development."
3. Alexander Khokhlachev, C: Khokhlachev began 2012-13 in his native Russia with Spartak Moscow in the Kontinental Hockey League but returned to the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League in early January, the team he played for the previous two seasons.
He had 48 points in 29 games, but when the Spitfires didn't make the playoffs he joined the Providence Bruins in the AHL and had two goals and an assist in 11 games.
Khokhlachev (5-10, 183) turns 20 years old in September. The Spitfires have retained his OHL rights, but the 2011 second-round pick (No. 40) could play for Providence if he doesn't make the Bruins' roster during training camp.
4. Ryan Spooner, C: Spooner was a second-round pick (No. 45) by the Bruins in 2010 and had a successful rookie season in the AHL. The 21-year-old scored 17 goals and a team-leading 57 points in 59 games before getting two goals and five points in 12 games during the Calder Cup Playoffs.
He is one of several young players who could contend for a spot on Boston's third line. If the 5-10, 180-pound forward doesn't make the team, he could end up competing with Khokhlachev for the No. 1 center spot in Providence.
5. Niklas Svedberg, G: While Rask was dominating in his first full season as a No. 1 goaltender in the NHL, and Subban was dominating the OHL, Svedberg was having a very successful season at Providence. He went 37-8-8-2 with a .925 save percentage but struggled during the Calder Cup Playoffs, when Providence blew a 3-0 series lead in the second round.
Though Chad Johnson was signed to a one-year, one-way contract, Svedberg (6-foot, 176) could win the NHL backup job during camp. At some point, finding Svedberg, 23, and Subban enough starts will become something the Bruins have to deal with, but their goaltending depth gives Chiarelli a position of strength to deal from in the near future.
Torey Krug burst onto the scene for the Bruins in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, starting with his first NHL goal on May 16. WATCH NOW ›
6. Torey Krug, D: Krug had a great college career at Michigan State but was never drafted and spent most of 2012-13 with Providence. When he was given a chance to play for the Bruins during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the 22-year-old became something of a cult figure in Boston when he scored four goals in his first five games.
Krug (5-9, 180) has limitations, but he's probably a safer bet to have a 12-year NHL career than most of the players ahead of him on this list. He should see regular action for the Bruins this season and could be a second-pair defenseman who helps on the power play.
7. Jared Knight, C: The "other guy" from the Kessel trade, the 2010 second-round pick (No. 32) could join Seguin and Hamilton as an NHL regular at some point in the next two seasons, if he can get past the hamstring problems that sidelined him for much of 2012-13.
The 21-year-old forward could be in the mix for a spot on Boston's third line in camp, but after being limited to a total of 16 games (six during the playoffs), Knight (5-11, 186) might need more time with Providence.
8. Matthew Grzelcyk, D: If Bruins fans love Krug, wait until Grzelcyk arrives. At 5-9, 174, Grzelcyk is a Charlestown, Mass., native who is about to start his sophomore season at Boston University (yes, the 19-year-old takes "homegrown talent" to a new level).
The third-round pick (No. 85) in 2012 had 23 points in 38 games as a freshman and is a strong candidate to play for the United States at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.
9. Anthony Camara, LW: Camara, who turns 20 next month, was a third-round pick (No. 81) in 2011. He took a big step forward last season for the Barrie Colts in the OHL, scoring 36 goals and 60 points in 50 games and nine goals and 16 points in 16 playoff games.
Camara (6-foot, 194) scored 30 goals in his first three OHL seasons combined. He's likely to earn regular playing time for Providence in 2013-14.
10. Seth Griffith, C: A fifth-round pick in 2011 (No. 131), Griffith has proven he can rack up points at the OHL level. The 20-year-old had 33 goals and 81 points in 54 games for the London Knights, his second straight 80-point season. Now it's time for the 5-9, 192-pound forward to prove he can produce in the AHL.
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