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Ranking the Boston Bruins' Top 15 Prospects

Chris BlanchardContributor IIIFebruary 5, 2013

Ranking the Boston Bruins' Top 15 Prospects

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    With former No. 1 prospect Dougie Hamilton now settled in Boston, the time has come to re-evaluate the Bruins' top youngsters. 

    Four Bruins prospects recently showed off their skills at the World Junior Championships, while others continue to impress in the AHL, OHL and NCAA.

    Here is a look at the best of Boston's crop of youths: 

15. Cody Payne

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    Current Team: Plymouth Whalers, OHL

    Age: 19 

    Drafted: Fifth Round, 145th Overall, 2012

    Florida native Cody Payne has improved dramatically since being drafted last summer. This season the power winger is taking fewer penalties and scoring roughly five times as many goals as he did last season. 

    Through 48 games, his 33 points mark a 29-point increase over his total from a year ago. After a streaky start to the season, Payne managed a point-per-game clip in January. 

    He'll need plenty of seasoning over the next few years, but he could turn into a solid third-line winger in Boston. 

    2012-13 Stats: 

    Team League GP G A P +/-
    Plymouth Whalers OHL 48 15 18 33 9

14. Carter Camper

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    Current Team: Providence Bruins

    Age: 24

    Drafted: Free Agent

    Carter Camper is the oldest player on this list, but he shouldn't be underestimated. 

    The 5'9" former University of Miami captain went undrafted due to his size, but his scoring ability is the real deal. 

    The hard-working forward ranks first in points among Providence players who have not been called up to the NHL this season, and he could see spot duty in Boston later this year.

    2012-13 Stats: 

    Team League GP G A P +/-
    Providence Bruins AHL 36 5 23 28 -5

13. Brian Ferlin

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    Current Team: Cornell University, NCAA-ECAC

    Age: 20

    Drafted: Fourth Round, 121st Overall, 2011

    Cornell sophomore Brian Ferlin has a lot in common with fellow Bruins prospect Cody Payne. Both 200-pound power forwards grew up in Florida, and both are expanding their offensive skills this season. 

    After a strong freshman campaign for the Big Red, Ferlin got off to a slow start in 2012-13. Though his play was hardly lacking, he struggled to rack up points. However, he has started to build momentum of late, and he is beginning to catch some attention. 

    He's a long-term project, but he could be a strong two-way winger at the next level. 

    2012-13 Stats: 

    Team League GP G A P +/-
    Cornell University NCAA 21 5 8 13 +4

12. Lars Volden

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    Current Team: Jokipojat, Finland2 (On loan from Espoo Blues, SM-liiga)

    Age: 20

    Drafted: Sixth Round, 181st Overall, 2011

    Though overshadowed by Malcolm Subban and Niklas Svedberg, Lars Volden has shown tons of potential in Finland this season. 

    While playing for the Espoo Blues, Volden led the entire SM-liiga in goals-against average (2.01) while ranking fourth in save percentage (.927) right behind Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Anders Lindbäck, who spent the lockout in Finland. 

    Now on loan with Jokipojat in Finland's second tier, Volden is continuing to thrive, though playing against weaker competition. More top-flight European experience could help the Norse goalie climb the Boston ladder. 

    2012-13 Stats: 

    Team League GP GAA SV%
    Espoo Blues SM-liiga 11 2.01 .927
    Jokipojat Finland2 12 2.78 .915

11. Tommy Cross

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    Current Team: Providence Bruins, AHL

    Age: 23

    Drafted: Second Round, 35th Overall, 2007

    After captaining Boston College to the NCAA title last spring, Tommy Cross has his heart set on a return to Beantown. 

    The balanced defenseman has impressed in Providence and could translate his leadership ability and work ethic into an NHL roster spot fairly soon. 

    2012-13 Stats: 

    Team League GP G A P +/-
    Providence Bruins AHL 23 1 5 6 +3

10. David Warsofsky

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    Current Team: Providence Bruins, AHL

    Age: 22

    Drafted: Fourth Round, 95th Overall, 2008 (St. Louis Blues)

    Like Providence teammate Tommy Cross, David Warsofsky played his college hockey in Boston and has a national championship on his resume.

    The undersized but offensively gifted Boston University alum was one of the last cuts from Boston's abbreviated January camp and could be in line for a call-up to the big leagues sometime soon. 

    Acquired from the Blues in exchange for Vladimir Sobotka in 2010, Warsofsky has a long ways to go before justifying the trade that brought him to Boston, but he has the talent to deliver. 

    2012-13 Stats: 

    Team League GP G A P +/-
    Providence Bruins AHL 37 3 10 13 -1

9. Jared Knight

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    Current Team: Providence Bruins, AHL

    Age: 21

    Drafted: Second Round, 32nd Overall, 2010

    Selected with a draft pick acquired in the Phil Kessel trade that also brought Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton to Boston, Jared Knight could someday make the well-known deal look completely lopsided. 

    Though injuries have limited him to just three games this season, Knight is a gifted forward with top-six potential at the next level. Last season he notched 52 points in 52 games as he led the London Knights to an OHL title. He should be lighting up AHL scoreboards soon, as long as he can stay on the ice.

    2012-13 Stats: 

    Team League GP G A P +/-
    Providence Bruins AHL 3 0 0 0 -2

8. Matt Grzelcyk

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    Current Team: Boston University, NCAA-Hockey East

    Age: 19

    Drafted: Third Round, 85th Overall, 2012

    Boston native Matt Grzelcyk has been a revelation on Comm. Ave. during his freshman season at Boston University. An offensive wizard on the blue line, Matt Grzelcyk could be a power-play weapon down the road. 

    He was the last cut from the American team that won gold at the World Junior Championships, but three-and-a-half more years of tutelage from BU coach Jack Parker should make him a tremendous asset at the NHL level. 

    2012-13 Stats: 

    Team League GP G A P +/-
    Boston University NCAA 23 2 14 16 +9

7. Anthony Camara

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    Current Team: Barrie Colts, OHL

    Age: 19

    Drafted: Third Round, 81st Overall, 2011

    Once considered to be little more than a big body bound for checking-line duty at the next level, Anthony Camara has changed a lot of minds this year by overhauling his offensive game. 

    After a dismal 14-point campaign a year ago, Camara has exploded for 28 goals and 22 points this season, with plenty of time left to augment his totals. 

    A hot start to the year earned him a surprise spot on Team Canada for the World Juniors, where he reminded the hockey world that his offensive improvement has not come at the expense of his notorious physical game. Camara received a suspension for dishing out the hardest hit of the tournament (video above), but a closer look reveals that the brutal blow was completely clean. 

    Though he may never justify comparisons to Milan Lucic, Camara should be a prototypical big bad Bruin.

    2012-13 Stats: 

    Team League GP G A P +/-
    Barrie Colts OHL 39 28 22 50 +13
    Canada WJC 6 0 2 2 +1

6. Seth Griffith

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    Current Team: London Knights, OHL

    Age: 20

    Drafted: Fifth Round, 131st Overall, 2012

    Seth Griffith has spent the season scoring at a blistering rate. Until recently he ranked first in the Ontario Hockey League in points, and he has since been surpassed by only Philadelphia Flyers prospect Nick Cousins. 

    Passed over for four rounds in the 2012 draft, Griffith could be a diamond in the rough. Debate rages as to how he'll translate to the NHL game, but his work rate, vision and nose for the net could make him a star. 

    He may never match his major junior dominance at the next level, but he certainly could be a top-six forward in a few years. 

    2012-13 Stats: 

    Team League GP G A P +/-
    London Knights OHL 51 31 46 77 +18

5. Torey Krug

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    Current Team: Providence Bruins, AHL

    Age: 21

    Drafted: Free Agent

    Former Michigan State Spartans captain Torey Krug is one of many undersized defensemen in the Bruins system, but he is probably the best. 

    Despite his small stature, Krug is no slouch in his own zone. He is a mature, hard-working defender who isn't afraid to throw his body around. On the other hand he is just as strong at the offensive end. 

    Although he started slow in his first full professional season, he has been on a tear of late. In five games since January 25, he has posted three goals, six assists and plus-five rating. 

    The 21-year-old joined the Bruins as an undrafted free agent late last season and has already enjoyed a taste of the NHL. He won't wait long to get another crack. 

    2012-13 Stats: 

    Team League GP G A P +/-
    Providence Bruins AHL 35 6 11 17 -3

4. Niklas Svedberg

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    Current Team: Providence Bruins, AHL

    Age: 23

    Drafted: Free Agent

    Niklas Svedberg has quickly established himself as a top prospect since signing with the Bruins this summer, after leading Brynäs IF to the Elitserien title in his native Sweden. 

    Svedberg dominated an early-season goaltending battle with incumbent Michael Hutchinson to become Providence's first choice in net. He then went on to earn a spot in the AHL All-Star Game. 

    His 20 wins rank second in the AHL, while his goals-against average and save percentage rest comfortably within the league's top ten. 

    With questions surrounding Boston's goaltending depth, he could make his NHL debut this season. 

    2012-13 Stats: 

    Team League GP GAA SV%
    Providence Bruins AHL 29 2.24 .924

3. Malcolm Subban

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    Current Team: Belleville Bulls, OHL

    Age: 19

    Drafted: First Round, 24th Overall, 2012

    The Bruins' most recent first-round pick has enjoyed a remarkable season in Belleville, pushing a low scoring squad into the OHL's elite. The athletic netminder ranks second among OHL goalies in goals-against average and third in save percentage. 

    Though he suffered plenty of undue criticism for his part in Canada's World Junior Championship disappointment, Subban turned in a strong performance at the U-20 showcase. 

    He started all but one of Canada's games, including group-stage wins over a gold-medal winning Team USA and tournament host Russia. 

    The supremely talented teenager is raw but projects to be an elite-level workhorse at the NHL level. 

    2012-13 Stats: 

    Team League GP GAA SV%
    Belleville Bulls OHL 32 2.20 .931
    Canada WJC 6 2.76 .901

2. Ryan Spooner

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    Current Team: Providence Bruins, AHL

    Age: 21

    Drafted: Second Round, 45th Overall, 2010

    Earning his first NHL call-up this week, Ryan Spooner may not be a prospect for long. The playmaking forward is set to make his debut against the Canadiens in Montreal on February 5. 

    He ranks second on the P-Bruins in points in his first professional season, and he may be ready to make an impact in Boston. 

    Though he hasn't been afforded much time to develop in Providence, the 21-year-old is mature beyond his years and has loads of offensive upside. Keep an eye out for him in the NHL over the next few weeks. 

    2012-13 Stats: 

    Team League GP G A P +/-
    Providence Bruins AHL 35 9 21 30 12

1. Alexander Khokhlachev

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    Current Team: Windsor Spitfires, OHL

    Age: 19

    Drafted: Second Round, 40th Overall, 2011

    Russian forward Alexander Khokhlachev is Boston's new No. 1 prospect. The high-scoring winger has top-six forward written all over him. 

    Though a brief stint in Russia's KHL didn't pan out as hoped, Khokhlachev has found ample opportunity to showcase his talents this season. He played alongside Nail Yakupov on Russia's top line at the World Junior Championships for the second straight year, producing five points in seven games en route to a bronze medal. 

    Following the tournament, Khokhlachev made the decision to return to the Ontario Hockey League to further develop his game. Back in Canada, he has lit up the scoreboard with 18 points in 12 games. 

    Though he will likely need to spend a year or two in the AHL before carving out a spot in Boston, Khokhlachev is overflowing with upside and has the most star potential of any Boston prospect. 

    2012-13 Stats: 

    Team League GP G A P +/-
    Windsor Spitfires OHL 12 9 9 18 0
    Spartak Moscow KHL 26 2 5 7 0
    Russia WJC 7 3 2 5 +3

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