Colby Cave will continue battling for an NHL job under the Black and Gold banner.
General manager Don Sweeney announced Saturday the club reached a two-year, two-way deal with the 23-year-old forward. The NHL cap hit is $675,000, a minor bump ($20,000 in average annual value, according to CapFriendly) from the entry-level deal he signed in April 2015.
Cave, undrafted after playing four years with the Western Hockey League’s Swift Current Broncos, has been steady the last three years in Providence. His point totals: 29, 35 and 33 points, in 75, 76 and 72 games.
He was alternate captain the last two seasons. He has also been durable, skating in all but five of the P-Bruins’ regular-season contests the last three years. Four of those absences came last year during two NHL call-ups.
Cave, who is 6 feet 1 inch and 200 pounds, played in three games over two stints last season, wearing No. 26, recording zero points and landing two shots on net.
With centers Ryan Spooner and Riley Nash ill, the left-shot Cave made his NHL debut against Winnipeg on Dec. 21. He began the night a second line with Jake DeBrusk — his former linemate in Swift Current — and Anders Bjork. He skated fourth-line minutes on his second recall, filling in for injured winger Tommy Wingels, during the club’s two-game Florida swing last April.
The latter of those contests made him a heel in Sunrise, Fla. Last April 5, he sent Panthers star Aleksander Barkov tumbling into the BB&T Center boards, putting the gifted center on the shelf for the final two games. The Panthers missed the playoffs by one point.
Cave, from Battleford, Saskatchewan, signed with Boston after posting a 35-40—75 line in his final year in Swift Current. He was captain the final two of his four seasons there. He finished with a healthy 202 points (95 goals, 107 assists) in 287 WHL games.