By: Tim A Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson
With the AHL season officially over, and the NHL season still hanging in the balance, I thought it would be a good idea to look back at some of the top Bruins’ prospects and how they did this season. First up is the 2017 Boston Bruins second-round draft pick, Jack Studnicka. Coming into the 2019-2020 season, there was a lot of buzz surrounding the young center. He was coming off a season in the OHL, wherein 60 games with both the Oshawa Generals and the Niagra IceDogs he netted 36 goals while dishing out 47 assists for 83 total points (stats provided by EliteProspects). There was even talk that Studnicka could make the big club out of training camp.
While the Windsor, Ontario, Canada native didn’t crack Boston’s roster out of training camp, he would go on to have an excellent first full season in the AHL with Providence. In 60 games, he netted 23 goals while dishing out 26 assists for 49 total points. That’s .82 points per game, which would translate to roughly 67 total points over a full NHL season (stats provided by EliteProspects). Studnicka showed not only his own scoring ability, but he was also show off his playmaking ability as well. As a fan, this is the performance you’d like to see from a young, inexperienced prospect.
Studnicka was playing so well that he earned himself a mini two-game call-up to Boston. While with the big club, he would register his first NHL point, which was an assist. The young center would also be one of two Providence players named to the AHL All-Star roster. He would go on to help lead the Atlantic Division to an All-Star Challenge victory, netting two goals while dishing out one assist for three total points in the final game. As well as the former second-round pick played all year, he seemed to pick up his game as the season went on. Studnicka would register points in 15 of his last 20 games played, netting nine goals while dishing out 14 assists for 23 total points in that time frame (stats provided by the AHL official website).
One part of Studnicka’s game that also stood out, that many may not have expected was his defensive ability. The former second-round pick proved that he was just as good defensively as he was in the offensive zone. He showed off his defensive prowess by leading the AHL in shorthanded goals, with seven. No other player had more than four. Studnicka proved to be versatile, playing well in every zone. One major question remains concerning Studnicka. What happens now? I’d expect the young center to start the 2020-2021 season in Boston. He’s proven that he can play in the AHL. He could also either play center or wing in the NHL.
The Bruins have been pretty adamant about keeping Studnicka a center. This is why I’d expect him to crack the roster as a center next season. The potential with Studnicka is through the roof. He’s someone that could eventually be a top-six center for a team for many years to come. Look for him to have even more buzz next season with how well he played in Providence this year. Studnicka had as good of a season as you good hope for in a young player. I cannot wait to see what the future holds. I hope everyone is doing well through the current tough time. Feel free to send me any comments or questions on Twitter. As always, GO, Bs, GO!