(Photo Credit: Lydia Vigneau / Providence College Athletics)

By: Jason Cooke | Follow me on Twitter / X @cookejournalism

Riley Duran is living out a dream. A Woburn, MA native, Duran reported to his fourth Boston Bruins development camp on Monday where he joined a group of 20 hungry forwards to make their mark with the organization. For the hometown kid, any chance to sport the spoked B across his sweater is an honor and a privilege.

But this time around, Duran has even more to be excited about. He’s eyeing his first full professional season with the Bruins after a three-year stint at Providence College and a brief appearance with the Providence Bruins last spring. His aspirations to crack the big club are as close as ever.

“I’m pumped up,” he said after Monday’s session. “Especially skating with some of the guys before this, it’s cool. Especially getting to know the guys in Providence and getting to know the guys here. I’m pumped and really excited to get going.”

The 2020 sixth-round draft pick has been in the development circuit for quite some time, but Duran is finally beginning to feel like a pro. He’s been skating with members of the organization over the summer, including Patrick Brown—his AHL linemate. He’s been trying to take in as much as possible to prepare for training camp this September.

“Just get bigger and stronger,” he said of his primary offseason goals. “There’s a lot of things you have to work on, but just skating here, they’ll teach you everything.”

The 22-year-old suited up for all 35 games with Providence College last season, unleashing a team-high 101 shots on net. He posted 16 points, bringing his NCAA career totals to 27-28-55 in 102 games. After signing a two-year entry-level contract with the club in March, he reported to the AHL on an amateur tryout. He fit in seamlessly, recording four points in 11 games with the team.

“It was awesome,” Duran said of his first taste of professional hockey. “Getting in there first day on a road trip to Hershey, and then it was a week-long road trip and we got three games in there. It was an awesome experience.”

He scored his first goal in just his third game, and he did so in Duran fashion. Known for an ultra-quick release, he labeled a laser into the cage while skating in stride to light the lamp for his first career tally.

“It was a little bit slower in a way,” Duran said of his jump to the AHL. “Everyone’s more mature. I got to play with Patrick Brown, who’s a great player and wins a lot of draws. That helped me out big time.”

His finishing ability was on full display during Tuesday’s session, showcasing his scoring touch around the net on a catch-and-shoot drill on Philip Svedebäck. Whether it was a smooth deke move or a quick snapshot in the slot, Duran’s skills stood out from the rest.

And after the first two days of development camp at Warrior Ice Arena, Duran is emerging as one of the top prospects on the ice—in all areas. Player Development Coordinator Adam McQuaid, who keeps close tabs with AHL Providence, was impressed with how the youngster fit into the new landscape so quickly.

“He’s just a simple player,” he said on Tuesday. “He comes to work. He does the little things well and I was impressed with his board play, especially at the pro level already. I think he really established himself as a player that the coaches could rely on, which can be hard for a young player.

“I was also impressed with his poise with the puck and ability to make plays. We saw that at times at Providence College and knew it was there, you just don’t know how it’s going to translate.”