The future of Boston’s goaltending is very bright.
On Thursday, 23-year-old Providence goalie Niklas Svedberg captured the Baz Bastien Trophy as the AHL’s best netminder.
Svedberg — who the Bruins signed as a undrafted free agent last year — went an impressive 36-8-2 this year with a 2.15 GAA and .925 save percentage.
His 36 wins rank second in the league this season, and are the second-most by a rookie in the 77-year history of the AHL.
Svedberg spent last season with Brynas of the Swedish Elite League before jumping to North America. In his first American League campaign, he was named to the All-Rookie and First All-Star teams and became the first rookie to win the top goalie trophy since Jim Carey did it in 1994-95.
As mentioned above, Svedberg is just one of the talented young netminders within the Boston organization.
Tuukka Rask, 26, is thriving in his first year sans Tim Thomas, posting a 17-8-4 record with a .929 save percentage and 1.99 GAA. He’s in the mix for the Vezina Trophy.
Backup Anton Khudobin, also 26, is having a fine year too. He’s appeared in a career-high 13 games, posting an 8-3-1 record with a .925 save percentage and 2.20 GAA.
Oh, don’t forget about Malcolm Subban, 19, the Bruins’ first-round selection (24th overall) at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. He was the second goalie off the board, represented Team Canada at the World Juniors and recently captured OHL Playoff Player of the Week.
All of this begs the question — what will the Bruins do with these guys?
Rask is a RFA after this year, Khudobin a UFA. Svedberg is on the books until 2014 (at $1 million per season) and Subban’s inked a three-year entry level deal (also, GM Peter Chiarelli’s already said he’s not going to trade Subban.)
It’ll be interesting to see how Boston plays it this summer.
One thing’s for certain — it’s a good problem to have.