Bruins Prospect Vladar Remains Hot In AHL Starts

Photo Credit:   Dan Vladar Official Twitter Account @danvladar

By: Mark Allred   |   Follow On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Boston Bruins goaltending prospect Dan Vladar got the start last night in Laval, Quebec for the Providence Bruins after being recalled from the ECHL Atlanta Gladiators on March 6, 2018. The B’s got the 5-3 road win against the first year Laval Rocket franchise, and 2015 third round selection Vladar was up to the task as he appeared in his 12th career American Hockey League contest earning his sixth career victory. This was the second and last game these two teams will play in the 2017-18 campaign and Providence swept the series 2-0 with one win in either stadium.

With the recent news of National Hockey League starter Tuukka Rask’s minor injury, adjustments had to be made with Providence goaltender Zane McIntyre staying close by in case of emergency to his apparent club, Vladar got the uncommon Wednesday night start and his 12th career appearance. The 6′-5″ 195-pound netminder has developed very well in my opinion in his short time playing in the minor-pro levels of developmental hockey. His ECHL career record of 19-25-2 record, Goals-Against-Average of 3.29, and a .902 Save Percentage in 52 appearances shouldn’t be a knock on his progression in his second season with the Gladiators but shows he can step up to a higher level even though his 12 career AHL games are small sample size. His record this season is not eye-catching at 14-16-0 with his Atlanta team, but his potential is all there even tho the Gladiators struggle with defensive zone coverage.

When called up to Providence, Vladar definitely steps up his game under a better defensive structure and was fed to the wolves in 2016-17 with a plethora of injuries to the NHL Bruins that year, the Czech Republic native had a 4-0-2 record when needed and this season in three games is 2-1-0. What’s very impressive to me for a 20-year-old netminder like him is his numbers at the higher level. In 12 games like I already mentioned in the AHL, Dan has a career 2.29 GAA and an impressive .923 Save%.

Baby B’s other netminder this season is Jordan Binnington who’s on loan from the St. Louis Blues organization and having a fantastic 2017-18 campaign with a 13-6-1 record, 2.02 GAA and .927 Save%. I was not on board with the loan agreement and still believe Vladar was ready enough for the jump up to join McIntyre to make a pretty sick Providence tandem this season. Regardless of my opinion about the Binnington loan situation, AHL Bruins General Manager John Fergerson Jr. and Assistant to NHL Bruins GM Don Sweeney know far more than I when it comes to a hockey franchises sustainability but I would like to see Dan make the jump for a full-time role with the B’s AHL top minor-pro affiliate next season.

Bruins goaltending Coach Bob Essensa has spent a tremendous amount of time with Vladar during the summer sessions such as the mid-year development camp and Rookie Camps held annually in September. With the addition of  Goaltending Development Coach and former NHL’er Mike Dunham who spent ten years with the New York Islanders, the goaltending depth is in good hands when guidance is needed. As for all goaltenders this year in their respects developmental leagues, Coach Dunham makes his rounds all over North America to help and show support for B’s prospects in the crease. Coach Essensa can’t be everywhere and get baffled why this type of coaching addition wasn’t done awhile ago.

McIntyre’s last year of his two-way deal is after the 2018-19 season and would make a fantastic role model and teammate for the young Vladar if that’s what the B’s want to do.  Honestly, cant see the Bruins agreeing to another loan scenario with the Blues keeping Binnington active with Providence after this season so this might be an excellent opportunity to see what Dan has to offer and get a better idea of where he fits in the goaltending scheme of the future when thinking about adding assets from the draft either this year or next.

He’s a big kid with solid attributes and has to be given a shot with luck he’s having in the AHL, but as a B’s prospect guy I will continue to follow him and report wherever he ends up playing.

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