Anton Khudobin, G
May 7, 1986
Acquired from Minnesota in February, 2011 for Jeff Penner and Mikko Lehtonen
Signing status: Signed through 2013
Physical: Smallish, but cat-quick and athletic. Compact stance- does not take up much of the net, but relies on positioning and reflexes as opposed to taking away space from shooters. Aggressive, active goalie. Quick pads and good balance and recovery skills. Although active and the kind of goalie who will flop and flail at times under pressure, he's essentially a more of a butterfly technique-goalie who has solid fundamentals to draw from. Quick glove and blocker. Can be susceptible to getting beaten on high shots like many other undersized goalies. A battler; doesn't give up on any play and works himself into a rhythm, getting better as time goes on, much like Thomas does. Still working on his rebound control and anticipating where the shots are going to come from. Can lose focus and concentration at times- gave up a poor goal from long distance to the Colorado Avalanche last season because he quit tracking the puck carrier and lost situational awareness.
Intangibles: Several insiders have noted that Khudobin is a 'European version of Tim Thomas." He brings a similar mental makeup and attitude to the table with him. Instinctive in that he will abandon his technique in favor of getting anything he can on a shot. Popular teammate and character- will give Providence some legitimate top-notch puck-stopping prowess in the AHL. Mentally tough and able to shake off bad performances- does not go into prolonged slumps because of it. When "in the zone" can stop multitudes of shots- once posted a 70-save game while skating with the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL.
Boston Bruins 2011 Development Camp assessment
Did not attend
Anton Khudobin highlights courtesy of Houston Aeros Hockey Club (AHL)
Because of his age, we debated having Khudobin on the list, but in the end, he got the nod because he has some intriguing upside and potential as an NHL goaltender. His biggest challenge is being trapped behind two of the best in hockey in reigning Stanley Cup MVP and Vezina winner Thomas and Tuukka Rask. Khudobin was brilliant after being acquired from Minnesota at the trade deadline, going 9-4 for Providence while posting a .920 save percentage and nearly getting the Baby Bruins into the playoffs. He also has enough NHL experience to be a capable backup and see some playing time should anything happen to Boston's 1-2 injury-wise. Whether or not Khudobin will force a trade at some point is something to watch. He's a year older than Rask, but cheaper than what the Finn will command on his next contract in 2012. To keep Khudobin from bolting to the KHL, the B's gave him a two-year deal, with the second becoming a one-way situation paying him an NHL salary regardless of where he plays. It could be entirely possible that the B's see him as another diamond-in-the-rough who could be a long-term option for the team should he eventually get an opportunity. 10 years ago, Thomas joined the organization with an invitation to camp that he parlayed into a contract, but didn't get a real NHL shot with the Bruins until five years later at age 31. Time is on Khudobin's side.
"Khudobin played great for us, he gave us a chance to win every night once we acquired him. He’s had good numbers throughout the AHL in his other stops, even in his call-up to the NHL he had good numbers. He’s not that far off, unfortunately, Timmy [Thomas] and Tuukka [Rask] are pretty good, so the guys in front of him, he’s going to have to wait his turn. But, Anton’s more like a Timmy, little more unorthodox, battles, whereas Hutch [Michael Hutchinson] is a little more like Tuukka with the technique, so it’s a good comparison, and hopefully, hey, if they each become as good as the guys we’re comparing them to, the Bruins are in good shape."- Providence head coach Bruce Cassidy; July 8, 2011