(Photo Credit: Richard T. Gagnon/Getty Images)

By: Tom Calautti | Follow me on Twitter @TCalauttis and Linktree

Black N’ Gold productions’ countdown of the top-ten Boston Bruins prospects continues this week as we creep beneath two months until the NHL season begins. Last week BNG revealed Riley Duran as the number eight prospect in the Bruins’ system, with Marc McLaughlin and Frederic Brunet coming before him. The position of number seven on our prospect ranking belongs to Luke Toporowski.

Toporowski, son of former NHL tough guy Kerry Toporowski, first joined the Bruins organization in the summer of 2022 on a two-year AHL contract. The Bettendorf, Iowa native went undrafted in 2019 despite being mentioned in NHL Central Scouting’s Top 100 Ranking for that year’s draft. This forced Toporowski to traverse an unorthodox path to an NHL contract, despite pre-draft praise from Scotty Bowman.

Following his draft year, Toporowski returned to the WHL and played his third straight season for the Spokane Chiefs. The label ‘undrafted’ lit a fire under him as he exploded for 29 goals, 31 assists, and 60 points over 62 games in the 2019-20 season. He made a pit stop in the USHL the following season, posting 14 goals and 19 assists for 33 points in 32 games.

It wasn’t until the 2021-22 season that Toporowski emphatically proved draft prognosticators wrong. He returned to the WHL and split time between Spokane and the Kamloops Blazers. That season he racked up 35 goals, 28 assists, and 63 points in only 49 games, earning him a spot on the WHL Second All-Star Team. On top of that, Toporowski showed out in the playoffs for Kamloops, contributing nine goals, 14 assists, and 23 points in 16 games.

After the end of the 2021-22 season, Don Sweeney and Co. lept into action, signing Toporowski to a two-year AHL contract in July of 2022. The WHL alum spent last season in Providence and continued his impressive play, despite the change in competition. After 47 games with the Providence Bruins, Toporowski potted 15 goals and added 14 assists for 29 points in his rookie season. The Bruin brass was impressed because, on July 1, 2023, they signed Toporowski to a two-year entry-level contract following his first AHL season.

The most promising thing about Toporowski is that he’s produced at every level. He’s one of the few prospects in the Bruins system that you can point to his goal totals and see the numbers clear as day. He has an incredible shot that he can load up and release quickly, firing away with immense power and precision. His hands are quick enough to get his shot off through traffic, and he can also tee it up when given time and space.

The other great things about Toporowski are his motor and speed. He stands only 5’11” but can always be found mucking it up in the corners and throwing his weight around on the forecheck. He’s a speedy winger with a nasty side that almost seems he enjoys battling for pucks in the corners and fighting for space in front of the net. His speed, tenacity, and shot make him a threat from all over the offensive zone when the puck is on his stick. He never gives up on plays and is the undersized skater you can’t help but root for.

It’ll be interesting to see how the lines shake out for the Providence Bruins on opening night, but I think it’s in the team’s best interest to get Toporowski as many minutes as possible. One thing is certain, if the Bruins are going to be short on draft picks, diamonds in the rough like Toporowski are precisely what they need to reboot their system. If he’s given time on the powerplay and skates in a top-six role, I can almost guarantee that he’ll put up 20 goals and may even spend some time in Boston this season.