( Photo Credit: Candice Ward / Getty Images )

By: Mark Allred | Follow me on Twitter / X @BlackAndGold277

The National Hockey League Boston Bruins have high hopes for their 2024 fifth-round draft pick, Jonathan Morello. The young forward, selected in the fourth round (154th overall), recently joined his fellow draftees at the Bruins’ development camp at the Warrior Ice Arena in Brighton, Massachusetts, and is eager to make a strong impression as he continues to develop.

If you’re looking for a safe and reliable sportsbook in the US legal sports betting states have grown to over 27 locations for your online gambling needs. Check out some of the best top-ten sportsbooks, such as Fanduel, DraftKings, Bet365, and BetMGM. Please gamble responsibly.

Morello’s journey to being an NHL draft selection began with a dream-come-true weekend that saw him officially join the Boston Bruins organization at the Sphere in Las Vegas, Nevada, this past weekend. The St. Michael’s standout has already shown promise during camp, impressing coaches and fans with his skill, work ethic, and determination.

As the Ontario, Canada native acclimates to the pace and rigor of an NHL development camp; he has found guidance from an invaluable source: former Bruins defenseman and current Player Development Coordinator Adam McQuaid. Known for his gritty style of play during his tenure with the Bruins, the former Stanley Cup winner has been mentoring the newcomers, particularly in aspects crucial to agility, body positioning, and the physical side of the game, especially for a forward like Morello who thrives on being better at cutting to the net and gaining inside position.

McQuaid’s experience and tactical insights have become a cornerstone of development in the B’s organization and, for a forward like Morello, the perfect mentor moving forward in his hockey career. “Adam has been incredibly helpful,” said Morello. “His advice on cutting to the net and gaining an inside position has significantly impacted my development this week, and I will work on the tips he gave moving forward. He emphasizes the importance of timing and physicality, essential elements in becoming effective offensively in the NHL.”

One of the key areas McQuaid has focused on with Morello is his board battles and stability in close areas, along with net front positioning when opposing defensemen are wearing down on forwards at the top of the crease. This technique requires a combination of speed, agility, and precise timing to navigate through defenders and create scoring opportunities. By working closely with Morello, McQuaid has helped the young forward understand the nuances of this critical skill, from recognizing the right moments to drive towards the goal maintaining control under pressure.

Gaining an inside position—positioning oneself between the defender and the net—is another fundamental aspect McQuaid has stressed for many prospects coming through the organization during his tenure since joining the team post-retirement. For a forward like Morello, mastering this can significantly enhance scoring chances and offensive effectiveness. McQuaid’s tips on using body leverage and anticipating defensive moves have already started to reflect in Morello’s practice performances.

Morello’s progress is evident not only in his improved techniques but also in his increasing confidence. His efforts did not go unnoticed, as he showcased a keen ability to integrate McQuaid’s teachings into his play during scrimmages and the drills at this year’s development camp.

As Morello continues to develop, the Bruins are optimistic about his future. His time at this year’s development camp marks the beginning of what could be a remarkable career. With mentors like Adam McQuaid and the many player development staff out on the ice this week guiding him, Morello is well-equipped to handle the challenges ahead and strive toward becoming a key player for the Boston Bruins in the future.

Morello focuses on absorbing all he can from this first NHL development camp experience. He is determined to make the most of every opportunity presented as he enters his first year at the USHL level, joining the Dubuque Fighting Saints this fall. Jonathan is a Clarkson University commit and will join the Golden Knights as a freshman in the 2025-26 campaign. Bruins fans have plenty to look forward to as they watch his progression and development in the coming seasons, not only in the upcoming USHL campaign but also at the NCAA level shortly.

Jonathan had an impressive showing in the OJHL last season and was named the league’s recipient of the Top Prospect Award, posting 25-32-57 in 50 games playing for St. Michael’s. It’s not a brain-buster why the Bruins organization was intrigued by this center and his offensive upside when available in the late fifth round. With him playing in the USHL next season and a possible four-year collegiate career at Clarkson, the Bruins have time to mold this forward prodigy into something special as a 2024 later-round selection.