( Photo Credit: NHL.com )
By: Mandi Mahoney | Check me out on Twitter @phonymahoney
The Ontario Hockey League’s Niagara IceDogs have announces that Bruins prospect Jack Studnicka has been named as one of the squad’s Alternate Captains. One of the Bruins’ top prospects, Studnicka was drafted 53rd overall in the second round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, and is currently playing his fourth, and likely last, season in the OHL.
The right-hand shooting center was traded to the Niagara IceDogs from the Oshawa Generals along with Canucks prospect Matt Brassard as part of a blockbuster deal in exchange for defenseman Lleyton Moore and six draft picks on January 8th. Since he was traded to Niagara, Studnicka has scored seven goals and assisted on eight, for a total of 15 points in just nine games with his new team — not too shabby. He also scored a hat trick in a 7-2 routing of the Flint Firebirds on January 19th.
Jack is currently sitting at 49 points in 39 OHL games this season and is tied for fifth in scoring for the IceDogs. Studnicka is no stranger to being in a leadership role, as he Captained the Oshawa Generals last season. It runs in the family, apparently, as his older brother Sam, also a center, was named Captain of the OHL’s Sarnia Sting in 2016.
IceDogs Head Coach Billy Burk has been impressed by the crafty center since he joined the Niagara squad:
Jack is one of the most detailed players in the league and he carries himself like a pro at practice and away from the rink. He is a natural leader and even though he has only been here a few weeks, he completely embodies what it means to be an IceDog. The strength of this team is the character of our players. Jack will do a great job along with Ben, Akil and Jon in leading our group on hopefully a long run.
Studnicka had an excellent training camp with the Bruins this season, and also played for Team Canada in the IIHF World Junior Championship, where the Tecumseh, Ontario native scored one goal and assisted on three for four points in five games. It would be no surprise to see him land on the Providence Bruins’ roster in the American Hockey League at the end of this OHL season.
Jack’s name has been bandied about in Bruins trade rumors in exchange for a scoring wing, but it seems like moving him could turn out to be a bad idea since he is a talented scorer and is considered to be one of the OHL’s most complete player. That said, Studnicka clearly has the skills and intangibles NHL coaches and GMs love, so his being named a Captain on his second team in a row may up his value to other teams a bit.
The way the Bruins’ NHL roster looks at the moment, however, it wouldn’t be that crazy to think that if the 6-foot-2 center can capitalize on his time in the AHL, Studnicka could land in Boston next season. Given that the sky is the limit for Jack, he could very well find himself in a three-way tie for third line center on the NHL roster with Swedish center Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, and Trent Frederic, who made a splash in his National Hockey League debut against Winnipeg Tuesday night. At the moment, Studnicka seems like a pretty special player, and it’s great to see him be rewarded.