Braden Holtby: Team: Washington Capitals Division: Southeast Division Conference: Eastern Conference
Regular Season: Record: 4-2-1 SV%: .922 G.A.A: 2.49
Post Season: Record: 7-7-4 SV%: .935 G.A.A: 1.95
At the start of the season Braden Holtby was nowhere to be found. In fact he was third on the Washington Capitals depth chart. Too be short he was playing in the AHL. Holtby was called up when the Capitals goalie situation became dire, they had no starter or back up. To make it worse playoffs were just about to start, but Braden Holtby answered the call. He posted an impressive save percentage in the playoffs at .935, and led the Capitals into the second round barring an unexpected circumstances. In game seven of round two Holtby stopped 29-31 shots in Washington’s 2-1 loss.
Needless to say Holtby was in the right playoffs, where underdogs did the unthinkable(look at LA Kings), and rookies dominated most of the talk throughout the playoffs (Chris Kreider and Braden Holtby). He did more than what his team expected of him and delivered outstanding results.
Holtby was a hot prospect before making his name know during his impressive playoff debut, but now he is expected to be on Washington’s roster at the beginning of the season. He also looks very appealing in next years Fantasy Hockey drafts, a gamble I might add. But a gamble that might pay off huge for you Fantasy roster.
On May 10, 2012, Holtby and his fiancée, Brandi Bodnar, welcomed a baby boy named Benjamin Hunter Holtby in Arlington, Virginia. Two days after the Capitals lost to the Rangers in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, nice way to end your playoffs eh?
Braden Holtby’s journey to the NHL:
Braden Holtby spent his junior years in the Westen Hockey League (WHL) playing for the Saskatoon Blades. During his first two seasons with the Blades, the Blades seemed to struggle and Holtby only had 42 wins in 115 outings. After being drafted in 2008 by the Washington Capitals Holtby spent his last season with the Blades. It was an impressive last season, he nearly equaled he win total winning 40 games in a 61 game season. In ’09 Hotlby jumped right into pro hockey splitting time between the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL and the Hershey Bears of the AHL. While playing for the Bears he posted an impressive 24 wins in 37 games, with a 2.32 GAA and a .917 SV%. He won 7 out of 12 games with the Stingrays and made the All-Star team for the ECHL.
Holtby’s NHL debut was in 2010 against the Boston Bruins. After replacing Michal Neuvirth with ten minutes left to go, Holtby stopped four shots and the Caps scored 2 to make the final 5-2 Washington. Two days later Holtby made his first ever NHL start against the Flyers, a game where the Caps won 3-2 in OT. Despite a 10-2-2 record, in March 27 he was assigned to the AHL Hershey Bears and remained quiet until game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The rest of you guys know how this story goes, Holtby goes on to make an un-probable playoff run probable for the Caps.
He was impressive as a rookie in the playoffs. Now when the new season starts Holtby will have to play outstanding, seeing that he is competing with Thomas Vokun for the starting gig. But the 93rd draft choice in 2008 still has to prove that he can put a good season together, not just 14 games. Holtby remain unproven, but it shouldn’t take the budding star long to prove himself as one of the best NHL goalies for years to come.