The Bruins have called Niklas Svedberg’s number and the young goalie will get his first start in the NHL tonight against the Nashville Predators.
Svedberg played in the AHL this season and last season was one of the top goalies in the AHL as a member of the Providence Bruins. He has played in 47 games last season for Providence and won 37 of them, which was good for second best in the league. Svedberg also had a .927 save percentage, which was good for fourth best in the AHL last season.
This season, Svedberg is 13-5-3 with a .909 save percentage and a 2.87 goals against. “It’s a good feeling,” Svedberg said. “Right now I’m just trying to stay calm and focus on the game and what I’m going to do out there. That’s my only focus right now.”
Svedberg was also part of the Swedish Hockey League from 2008-2012. In 2011-12, as a member of Brynas, Svedberg split goaltending duties with a former NHL goalie Johan Holmqvist. Though he split the time, Svedberg became a post-season hero as he entered in game four of the quarter finals. Svedberg and the Brynas team went on to take nine-of-ten and three being shutouts. Homlqvist started in game five of the championship series, but Svedberg came in to close the series out with a 2-0 victory.
He played 29 regular season games that season in the Swedish Hockey League where he boasted a 2.47 goals against and a .912 save percentage. In that post season run, Svedberg went 11-1 with a .947 save percentage and 1.70 goals against. After seeing the performance, Neely, Julien and the Boston Bruins came knocking.
“I’m looking forward to seeing him in net tonight,” said Julien, who was admittedly impressed with Svedberg’s performance in the AHL.
Svedberg was initially slated to make his debut last Saturday against Ottawa after being recalled the Bruins on Friday, but Rask played instead due to a necessary, last minute, roster move from the Bruins. Chara couldn’t play, so the B’s had to call up defenseman Zach Trotman and send Svedberg back down to Providence.
After the disappointment, and despite his mother being in attendance that night, Svedberg will finally get his chance tonight in front of Boston and his mother. Based on his past, the moment shouldn’t get too big as he makes his first appearance in the NHL and the Bruins can see what they have in Svedberg.
The other Boston goalie Chad Johnson was brought in on a one-year deal by the Bruins and it’s likely that the Bruins want to see what future they have with Svedberg. Johnson was nothing more than a bridge contract in order to get Svedberg some American hockey experience seemingly.
Julien said Svedberg needed to make adjustments to American hockey and we’ll finally get to see what progress Svedberg has made. The puck drops at 7:00PM at the TD Garden.