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Oilers claim Colby Cave on waivers

The Oilers have dipped into the waiver wire yet again, this time claiming forward Colby Cave from the Boston Bruins.

Cave is an undrafted free agent who signed with the Bruins in April of 2015. Interestingly enough, signing Cave to a three-year entry-level deal was one of the last things Peter Chiarelli did was general manager of the Bruins before getting fired, so there’s obviously a level of familiarity with this player. He’s now in the first year of a two-year, two-way deal worth $675,000 annually.

After three full seasons in the AHL, Cave is seeing his first real extended look at the NHL level this year. He played three games in an NHL cup of coffee last year and has played 20 games this year. Through 23 career NHL games, Cave has one goal and five points. Looking at Cave’s stats in the AHL and even in the WHL, he has never really been a big-time offensive producer. It seems his role is more as a depth player who can win faceoffs, play hard in the defensive zone, and kill penalties.

Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy spoke highly of Cave after a game in which he scored his first NHL goal back in December, suggesting his offensive game is coming around.

I’ve coached Colby in the minors before and seen him come up. He’s a terrific kid, team player all the way, will do whatever is asked of him,” Cassidy said. “He’s done a little more offensively in Providence this year and it’s translated here. He’s had a lot of good looks, not a ton but it’s usually once a game he gets a good look and this one gets in the back of the net.”

The Oilers are now over the 23-man roster limit. I imagine that Joe Gambardella, who doesn’t require waivers and is spending most of his time in the press box, will be sent back down to the AHL.

***UPDATE*** According to Jason Gregor, it is Joe Gambardella that will be assigned back to Bakersfield.

COLBY CAVE’S CAREER SO FAR

Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/-
2014-15 Providence Bruins AHL 1 0 0 0 0 0
2015-16 Providence Bruins AHL 75 13 16 29 27 -3
2016-17 Providence Bruins AHL 76 13 22 35 52 2
2017-18 Providence Bruins AHL 72 11 22 33 29 -1
2017-18 Boston Bruins NHL 3 0 0 0 2 0
2018-19 Providence Bruins* AHL 15 6 12 18 13 9
2018-19 Boston Bruins NHL 20 1 4 5 8 -1
NHL Totals 23 1 4 5 10

Source: Elliotte Friedman, Verified Twitter Account, 1/15/2018 – 10:02 am MST