Braden Holtby – Goaltender
Braden Holtby has come a long way from his ECHL career to an exciting Stanley Cup playoff performance. After playing for the struggling Saskatoon Blades of the WHL, he was drafted by the Capitals in the 4th round of the 2008 draft. In 2009, Holtby made the jump to professional hockey and split the season between the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays and the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL). He posted an impressive 24 wins in 37 games for the Bears, with a 2.32 goals against average and .917 save percentage. He won 7 of 12 games with the Stingrays, and represented South Carolina in that season’s ECHL All-Star Game. Holtby made his NHL debut on November 5, 2010 against the Boston Bruins at the Verizon Center. After replacing Michal Neuvirth with ten minutes remaining and the game tied 3–3, Holtby stopped four Bruins shots as the Capitals scored two goals to give him the win. Holtby made his first NHL start two days later against the Philadelphia Flyers, a game the Capitals won 3–2 in overtime. Holtby recorded his first NHL shutout on March 9, 2011, stopping 22 shots in a 5–0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers. After posting a 4–0–0 record, a 1.05 GAA and a .965 save percentage, Holtby was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week for the week ending March 13, 2011. After a few short-lived demotions back to the Bears, Holtby returned to the Caps on the last game of the 2012 season due to Tomas Vokoun’s and Michal Neuvirth’s injuries. He then helped the Washington Capitals knock off the defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins in the first round of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, before falling in seven games to the New York Rangers in Round 2.
Courtesy of the ECHL