( Above Photo Credit: NHL .com )
By: Mark Allred Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277
The American Hockey Leagues Providence Bruins are off to a great start to the 2017-18 season beating the Springfield Thunderbirds twice in a week. With the 2-0 record, the Baby B’s look to stay perfect on the season as they host the Toronto Marlies tonight when the puck drops at 7:05 from the Dunkin” Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island. Although the fantastic start can be directed to a total team effort, four players currently with the top minor-pro affiliate of the National Hockey Leagues Boston Bruins deserve honorable mentions.
After being demoted to the AHL Providence team after not impressing the Bruins Brass at camp last month, the 25-year-old left winger made the best of the situation with his new club in a league he’s very familiar with. Although his numbers at the NHL level aren’t mind-blowing only contributing five points in 17 games, his game at the AHL level continues to be strong posting 188 points in 199 games played.
Agostino and Cehlarik scored back to back goals! Check them out here!! pic.twitter.com/6sToLYYyxk
— Providence Bruins (@AHLBruins) October 14, 2017
Drafted in the fifth round in 2010 by the Pittsburgh Penguins the 6′-0″ 203-pound forward has made stops playing with the Calgary Flames and St. Louis Blues organizations before landing in Boston via free agency back in July of this year. So far in two games with the Baby B’s. Kenny has fit in well surrounded by a plethora of talent and has 1-4-5 numbers scoring his first goal last night in the 3-2 win over Springfield.
The 6′-2″ 203-pound Slovakian native is currently playing in his second full season in the AHL and has made the jump to the NHL Bruins club last season posting two points in 11 games. Last season was Peters rookie year and first playing in North America, but the difference in rink size and international play didn’t seem to affect the left winger as he contributed 39 points in 49 games.
— Ian Steele (@IanSteeleABC6) October 7, 2017
This year the big power forward is tied for the team lead posting 2-3-5 numbers and seemingly not affected by the injury he sustained in the AHL’s Calder Cup Playoffs where the Providence team went all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals loss to the Syracuse Crunch in a best-of-seven game series 4-1.
Often compared to Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron for having a complete two-way game, the 20-year-old center and Stockholm, Sweden native has played quite well in the AHL after his demotion straight out of Bruins training camp. This season with Providence he’s scored in each of his two career games and has three points (2-1-3) in those two games. After a successful colligate career at Boston University where the 6′-1″ 183-pound forward posted 63 points in 78 games the Bruins saw enough from the talented center and signed him to a three-year entry-level contract and got him his first taste of NHL action at the end of last season.
Take a look at JFK’s goal!!! pic.twitter.com/Ciwfzu4DqW
— Providence Bruins (@AHLBruins) October 13, 2017
Look for the creative and skilled Forsback-Karlsson to have a good year in the minor-pro ranks of developmental hockey and wouldn’t be shocked if he makes a return to the NHL sometime this season barring injuries on the current club but might make a full appearance in the NHL next season as he continues to improve his game with the Baby B’s this year.
The 2010 sixth round selection of the B’s took a serious step forward in his development in his second year of minor-pro hockey and surpassed his average rookie season when he went 14-8-7 with a goals-against-average of 2.68 and .898 save percentage in 31 games. Last season as mentioned the 25-year-old Grand Forks, North Dakota native played in 31 and posted a 21-6-1 record, a 2.03 GAA and .930 save%.
This season so far McIntyre seems to be on the right track to do better than his past years with Providence as he remains unbeaten in his first two games. Both games Zane’s played against Springfield this week he’s given up 2 goals and has an impressive .930 save% in those contests. His game at the NHL level has not been great but did show signs of promise even tho he had an 0-4-1 record and GAA hovering around four in the eight games he got to play when the current Bruins backup Anton Khudobin was sent down after his terrible start to the 2016-17 year.