The Vegas Golden Knights made moves to acquire young talent via trade and through waivers. It began with a shocking decision to place goaltender Calvin Pickard on waivers. However, it didn’t take them long to find his replacement as they claimed goaltender Malcolm Subban from the Boston Bruins.
George McPhee and the front office didn’t stop there. Before their season opener, Vegas acquired prospect Tobias Lindberg and a sixth-round pick from the Toronto Maple Leafs with Pickard heading the other way. McPhee made a shrewd move acquiring a prospect and draft pick for an expendable asset.
Malcolm Subban Looks to Revive Career
As a former first-round selection, Subban has yet to become a mainstay in the National Hockey League. The 23-year-old only started two games for Boston, and both went disastrously. In those games, the numbers aren’t pretty for Subban. He possesses a career goals-against average of 5.82 along with a .727 save percentage.
On the other hand, in the American Hockey League, his statistics look different. In 127 games played, Subban posted a GAA of 2.40 with a .918 SV% for the Providence Bruins. These numbers aren’t awful; they are slightly above numbers for a goaltender. The problem for him is translating his AHL performance to the NHL.
Goaltenders tend to take the longest in terms of development, so this isn’t the end of the road for him. Furthermore, he isn’t the first nor will he be the last goalie to flame out with the team that drafted him and never fulfill the expectations that come with a being a first-round selection.
Subban should take this life lesson and draw inspiration from another first-round netminder in Devan Dubnyk. After his disastrous years with the Edmonton Oilers, Dubynk’s career was in serious doubt. After regaining his confidence with the Arizona Coyotes, he’s now an All-Star goaltender with the Minnesota Wild. Vegas is hoping that, with some coaching, they can help turn Subban’s career around.
Subban became an afterthought in Boston. Thus, a move to Vegas presents a fresh start for the young netminder. Also, learning from a veteran like Marc-Andre Fleury could benefit him in the long run as well.
Tobias Lindberg Aiming for Opportunity
After coming over to Toronto as part of the Dion Phaneuf deal, Lindberg appeared to have a future there. Nearly two years have passed, though, and he has become an expendable asset with their plethora of wingers. With Vegas, Lindberg has the opportunity to play at the NHL level, something he wouldn’t have seen in Toronto.
A former fourth-round pick by the Ottawa Senators, the Swedish forward has only six games of NHL action under his belt. Most of his professional career has come in the AHL where he’s played 100 games, putting together 50 points (17 goals and 33 assists) between his time with the Binghamton Senators and Toronto Marlies. A far cry from the offensive production during his season with the Oshawa Generals.
Like any young player, he’s yet to find a consistent scoring touch. His wrist shot and passing are key components to his game to along with his big frame. Nevertheless, skating is a glaring hole in Lindberg’s game that has stalled his progression. If he can improve his skating, then he can round into a third-line winger who can contribute offensively.
Nonetheless, a winger with size is a prospect Vegas would gladly take. Lindberg is playing for his third organization but could become a fixture in Vegas. At 22, he’s young enough to show his potential and play his way into their plans.