September is finally here, and that means hockey is on the precipice of making its glorious return. Wednesday marked the first day of Bruins Rookie Camp as players from far and wide flocked to Warrior Ice Arena to prepare for the upcoming Prospects Challenge. Here’s what I saw on day one:
Lohrei Continues to Impress: The Bruins may have hit the jackpot with Mason Lohrei. There were some noticeable standouts from Wednesday’s practice, but no one stands out quite like him. He dominated offensively in the three-on-three drills and showed off his active stick and defensive instincts in tight spaces.
Farinacci Makes Debut: Former Harvard Crimson John Farinacci suited up for the first time as a member of the black and gold. He came as advertised, demonstrating his attention to detail on breakouts, hard-nosed competitiveness below the goal line, and passing ability. He’s a great find by Don Sweeney and Co.
Kuntar Shows Off: Every time I watch Trevor Kuntar, I like him more and more. He’s a confident skater with quickness and agility, making him dangerous in transition. He’s a solid stick handler and gets his shot off quickly with a lot behind it. I expect him to make a big splash at the Prospects Challenge this weekend.
Line Combinations: We may have seen how some of the Bruin lines will shake out at the Prospects Challenge. John Beecher centered Farinacci and Kuntar on one line, and Luke Toporowski and Fabian Lysell flanked Georgii Merkulov.
Tip Drill: Merkulov had two impressive net-front redirections that resulted in goals during transition drills. If he can add a front-of-the-net aspect to his game, it’ll help increase his five-on-five production.
Consistency is Key: Frederic Brunet always practices well. Every time I watch him, he makes intelligent plays, holds his position, and limits mistakes. He’s another skater I expect to have a big weekend in Buffalo.
Camp Invites: Forward Ty Halaburda had a strong showing at rookie camp. He’s a small, high-motor forward with crafty hands and a high-motor. Grayden Siepmann is a speedy defenseman with a great shot and skating ability.
Search for a Center: John Beecher and Matthew Poitras attended camp on Wednesday. Poitras is so creative with the puck and can sense where his teammates are without actually looking for them. Beecher is an athlete through and through. He may not display the offense fans want, but he has a chance to be a legitimate shutdown center.
No Roughhousing: You can tell that it pains Jackson Edward to take part in some drills and not be physical. The London Knights defenseman loves to throw big hits and has the instinct to toe the line on every collision.
The Bruins will play three games this weekend against the Penguins, Canadiens, and Devils on Friday, Saturday, and Monday, respectively. Follow me on Twitter for live updates on each game, and check back here on Tuesday for a recap.