Malcolm Subban to start for Bruins? Plus five other NHL debuts we can’t wait to see

Matt Larkin
Malcolm Subban. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Goaltender Malcolm Subban, promising Boston Bruins prospect and brother of P.K., will start his first NHL game Wednesday, according to speculation from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. Boston travels to Edmonton, and scuttlebutt suggests Subban, 21, will be showcased to an Oilers organization intent on acquiring him. Tuukka Rask has a day between games after playing Monday night, and backup Niklas Svedberg is perfectly healthy, so Subban’s call-up is interestingly timed. As of Tuesday afternoon he hadn’t been confirmed as the starter for the Edmonton game, however.

“If we’re bringing him back, which is what we had talked about at some point, it’s probably to give him an opportunity here along the way,” Bruins coach Claude Julien told the Boston Globe this week.

Subban’s debut has been highly anticipated. He went 24th overall in the 2012 draft, he represented Canada at the 2013 world juniors, and he’s running out of things to prove with AHL providence, posting a .920 save percentage two straight seasons.

What other drafted prospects can we not wait to see in the NHL? Here are five debuts we await with bated breath.

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Connor McDavid waits, dekes, fires for highlight reel goal

Jared Clinton
Connor McDavid (Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

Every time we get a glimpse of one of Connor McDavid’s goals, it’s not hard to see exactly why he’s projected as the top pick in the upcoming draft.

During Monday’s Family Day game against Mississauga, Erie’s McDavid showed patience and poise beyond his years with a remarkable goal against Steelheads netminder Jacob Brennan. After slipping around a check from Stefan LeBlanc and a hack from Brandon Devlin, McDavid made a quick move to his forehand and slipped the puck behind Brennan for a beauty. Read more

Jets prospect Nikolaj Ehlers switches handedness with must-see moves

Josh Elliott
Nikolaj Ehlers

The Hockey News scouting report on Nikolaj Ehlers describes him as “supremely skilled and talented with the puck, able to create plays and finish on his own.”

Maybe it’s time we add “with either hand” to the end of that description.

The left-shot, left wing Dane put on an incredible show against the QMJHL’s Shawinigan Cataractes on Friday, switching handedness in the middle of heavy traffic in the neutral zone.

Yes, Ehlers switched handedness, as in suddenly started playing as a right-shot forward.
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Jets/Sabres blockbuster: Who are the prospects in the trade?

Matt Larkin
Joel Armia. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

Evander Kane!

Tyler Myers!

Zach Bogosian!

Drew Stafford!

Connor McDavid!

Shock and awe! Wednesday’s blockbuster between the Winnipeg Jets and Buffalo Sabres was among the biggest in-season swaps in years. The average fan has a strong sense of what Buffalo received in Kane and Bogosian and what Winnipeg has in Myers and Stafford. But what about the other names involved in the trade? Here’s a scouting report on each.

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If Sabres are tanking, who could blame them?

Jack Eichel (left) and Connor McDavid  (ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Most would have to acknowledge, the optics of it don’t look great. After pulling off a blockbuster eight player trade Wednesday morning, Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray traded a bona fide No. 1 goaltender (Jhonas Enroth) who had compiled a .939 save percentage in his previous two games for a backup who is statistically one of the worst goaltenders at the NHL level (Anders Lindback) and a conditional third-round pick.

The move led a lot of observers to opine that the Sabres, already four points in arrears of the Edmonton Oilers for 30th place overall, were tanking the season in an attempt to get the best possible shot at the first pick overall and the coveted Connor McDavid. One tweet yesterday said jokingly that Murray had seen his team almost win a game Tuesday night against Ottawa and decided something had to be done. Read more

Prospect Watch: A pair of aces for 2015 in Swift Current

Ryan Kennedy
Glenn Gawdin (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

Swift Current, Saskatchewan is home to around 15,500 people, making it the smallest market in all of major junior. But that hasn’t stopped the local Broncos from forging an illustrious history in the Western League, with alumni such as Joe Sakic, Geoff Sanderson and Brent Sopel, plus two playoff titles and a Memorial Cup championship in 1989.

The town has a movie theater and that’s the main source of non-hockey entertainment for the Broncos. Draft prospects Jake DeBrusk and Glenn Gawdin both cited Dumb and Dumber To as their favorite recent flick, but these kids have shown a lot more promise than Harry and Lloyd.

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Prospect Hot List: Christian Fischer’s connection to the Tkachuks

Team USA's Christian Fischer (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)

Well, I’m writing this week’s Hot List in Toronto because the Beanpot tournament in Boston was postponed due to weather. Not fun, but at least I can try again in two weeks. In the meantime, the Five Nations tournament just wrapped up in the Czech Republic, with Russia winning and Team USA boasting the highest scorers in Matthew Tkachuk (Keith’s kid) and Jack Roslovic. Below you’ll find some of the best performers from that shindig plus other prospects from around the hockey world.

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Toronto Maple Leafs prospect William Nylander can learn from a Finnish foe

Ryan Kennedy
William Nylander dodges Greg Pateryn (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

When the Toronto Maple Leafs brought 2014 first-rounder William Nylander over from Sweden last month, they were giving the talented teen a chance to escape a bit of a gong show with his Modo team back home, while also learning the rigors of the North American game in the AHL.

Five games and two points into his career with the Toronto Marlies and Nylander is still adjusting.

“It’s getting better,” he said. “A little more time and it will be like normal.”

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