(Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr)

By: Tim A Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

Week one of the AHL season is finally here! The Providence Bruins are coming off a season that, despite being shortened, was successful! Our boys in black and gold ended the 2020-2021 season 15-6-2-2 (34 points). That was good for first in the Atlantic Division. This year’s Providence Bruins will look to build upon that this season! The spoked P has their first two games this weekend, and you do not want to miss them.

The hockey action starts on Saturday, October 16, 2021, when the Bridgeport Islanders come to town to take on the Providence Bruins at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island. The non-stop action wraps up on Sunday, October 17, 2021, when our boys in black and gold travel to Hartford, Connecticut, to take on the Hartford Wolf Pack at the XL Center.

Saturday, October 16, 2021, Providence Bruins vs. Bridgeport Islanders (HOME)

Going into the 2021 season, the Bridgeport hockey club changed its name from the Sound Tigers to the Islanders. Bridgeport is coming off a season that saw them go 8-14-2 (18 points). That was good for third in the Atlantic Division. The Islanders’ affiliate was another one of the teams Providence saw plenty of in 2020-2021, going 8-2-0-2 against them. Over the past five seasons, this has been a favorable matchup for the Bruins going 21-12-5-4 in that time frame. This game should be a nice win for our boys in black and gold.

Sunday, October 17, 2021, Providence Bruins vs. Hartford Wolf Pack (AWAY)

The Hartford Wolf Pack were one of the few teams the Bruins played last season. The New York Rangers affiliate was 14-9-1 (29 points) in 2020-2021. That was good for second in the Atlantic Division. Overall, Providence was 6-4-2 against Hartford last year. Over the past five seasons, this matchup has been difficult for our boys in black and gold, going 20-18-3 in that time frame. It should be an exciting, hard-fought game that you do not want to miss.

My Players To Watch This Weekend

Up Front

Jakub Lauko: Jakub Lauko has been one of the most promising young prospects for the Bruins since joining the organization as a third-round draft pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. The Czech native’s first professional season had been cut short due to a combination of injuries and COVID, but in 22 games, he netted five goals while dishing out four assists for nine total points. Despite the shortened year, the young forward’s 2020-2021 season was excellent. In 23 games, Lauko netted five goals while dishing out 14 assists for 19 total points. Look for him to shine this weekend.

On The Blue Line

Jack Ahcan: Jack Ahcan came to the Bruins organization last year as an undrafted free agent. The young defenseman spent the previous four seasons as a standout at St. Cloud State University, the last of which he served as the team’s captain. While at St. Cloud State, he set the team record for most assists by a defenseman and compiled an impressive 103 points in 144 games. Ahcan had a successful first professional season. In 19 games, he netted one goal while dishing out nine assists for ten total points.

In Net

Kyle Keyser: Kyle Keyser became a forgotten prospect after an injury-plagued 2019-2020 season. With Dan Vladar coming strong and Jeremy Swayman bursting onto the scene in 2020-2021, the young netminder spent most of the year in the ECHL. In 22 games with Jacksonville, he went 9-9-2 with 2.46 GAA; and a .917 save percentage. Keyser was also 3-1-2 with Providence, with a 2.56 GAA and a .913 save percentage. With Vladar in a different organization, and Swayman up in Boston, Keyser should get most of the playing time.

The start of the AHL season is an exciting time! With a shortened year in 2020-2021, it will be nice to get back to a full schedule. I hope everyone has enjoyed their offseason! Feel free to send me any comments or questions on Twitter. As always, Go, Bs, GO!