Providence Bruins Prospect Player Profile: Cameron Hughes

HUGHES

(Photo Courtesy of Boston Bruins)

By: Tim Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

Cameron Hughes was drafted in the 6th round 165th overall in the 2015 NHL Draft. When he was drafted, he was coming off a somewhat tough Freshman year at the University of Wisconsin. He played center for the Badgers and at times looked like he was physically overmatched. Despite this, the Bruins saw something they liked and drafted him. He is an exceptional skater and possesses a high hockey IQ. These qualities led the Bruins to drafting the Edmonton, Alberta native. Let’s dive in and see how he’s done since being drafted. 

The 2015-16 season was Hughes’ Sophomore year at the University of Wisconsin. He had hoped it would be a year in which he would take a big step forward as a prospect after a somewhat disappointing Freshman season. In 32 games with the Badgers, he netted 5 goals while dishing out 20 assists for 25 total points and a +/- rating of –11. This was that step forward the young Badger was looking for. He saw an increase in point production as well as his overall play. He started to build more confidence as the year went on and finished it out strong. The center’s skating ability really shined through the season. He is a strong skater who also possesses a smooth stride. Overall, it was a season that could be built upon moving forward.

Hughes’ Junior year was a big one. He was given the “A” on his sweater at the start of it. Some people may not see this as a big deal, but it is something that many teams do value. It shows that the player has great leadership qualities, and his character is something you rarely need to worry about. With his new-found leadership role, he had a good season for Wisconsin. In 36 games with the Badgers, he netted 7 goals while tallying 25 assists for 32 total points and a rating of –7. His play improved a great deal. He was starting to show off his offensive ability more. Especially his improved shooting ability. Again, the 2016-17 season was successful and his senior season was one both he and the Bruins could look forward to.  

The 2017-18 season brought big things for Hughes. It was his senior year at Wisconsin, and he saw his previous leadership role grow even further when he was named the team’s Captain. This was a big deal and a great honor. The newly appointed Captain was able to make the most of this honor in 37 games with the Badgers he potted 8 goals while dishing out 14 assists for 22 total points and a rating of –12. It was a good 4 years at Wisconsin for the former 6th round pick. He showed growth in each year. His skill and leadership qualities were evident on the ice while playing, and after the season he signed an entry-level contract with the Boston Bruins. The recent Wisconsin grad was able to get his feet wet in the pro game getting in 14 games with Providence. Although he didn’t find the back of the net, he did dish out 3 assists for 3 points and rating of –1. It was a good 2017-18 campaign for Hughes that gave him a taste of what was to come next season.  

Coming into this season, it was Hughes’ first full professional year of hockey. He does have soft hands and good offensive ability, but some things the first year pro needed to work on were his play without the puck and defensive awareness. So far this season has been very good for the former Badger. In 25 games for Providence, he has netted 8 goals while dishing out 8 assists for 16 total points and a rating of +5. He has done well to showcase his offensive ability while also improving on areas the Bruins wanted him to. If he continues this successful first season in Providence, you may even see him up with Boston next season.  

If Hughes is given time to develop, which he almost certainly will be, he could end up being a second- or third-line center. This would be big for the Bruins, not only because of his offensive or skating ability but also because of his leadership qualities. Character and leadership are invaluable to teams. The Bruins have done well-drafting players that possess this in bunches. It has been a long road since being drafted for the former Badger. When you’re taken in the 6th round of the draft not a lot is really expected of you. However, he has taken that and run with it. He’s worked hard to improve his game and prove that he belongs in professional hockey. It’s always stated that hard work pays off, and the young center is proving that he is one of the countless instances of this.

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Boston Bruins Prospect Player Profile: Urho Vaakanainen

(Photo Courtesy of NBCSports)

By: Tim Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

Urho Vaakanainen was drafted in the 1st round 18th overall in the 2017 NHL Draft. When Vaakanainen was drafted, it was said, that he was not only the most NHL ready defenseman but also the best all-around defenseman in the entire draft. He already at a young age possessed elite skills as a stay-at-home defenseman. He was even getting compared to NHL Hall of Famer Scott Niedermayer. Now those are some giant skates to fill, so let’s dive into the player and see why he had such a lofty comparison.

The 2017-18 season was Vaakanainen’s first since being drafted. Being such a young player, he decided to stay in Finland and play for SaiPa of Finland’s top hockey league Liiga. This was important because one of the few major knocks on Vaakanainen was that he lacked experience. In 43 games with SaiPa Vaakanainen netted 4 goals while dishing out 7 assists for 11 total points and a +/- rating of +8. He also played in the teams 9 playoff games where he didn’t find the back of the net, but he did dish out 1 assist for 1 total point and a rating of +1. Overall it was a very successful season for Vaakanainen. The Bruins were very high on his defensive skills, and skating ability. So much so that they signed him to an entry-level contract, and he was slated to play the 2018-19 season in Providence.  

Coming over into his first professional season in North America there was some buzz around Vaakanainen.  Vaakanainen added to an already deep young defensive core and a prospect pool that included Charlie McAvoy, Torey Krug, Matt Grzelcyk, Jakub Zboril, and Jeremy Lauzon. Those guys are good and have a bright future ahead of them, but even with how good they currently are and could be Vaakanainen may end up being the best of the bunch. He possesses elite skills as a stay at home defender. To top that off he has great vision on the ice, is a mobile defender, and he’s also elite on the penalty-kill. His play is wise beyond its years. He doesn’t have any major glaring weaknesses either. A few things that the Bruins did want him working on was improving his shooting skills, and playmaking ability. These are things that can come with time. 

Vaakanainen impressed in preseason this season but ultimately began the year in Providence because of the depth the Bruins had at defense. How he did flash that defensive ability and showed that he was close to being NHL ready. Vaakanainen played in 6 games for the Providence Bruins. He registered 0 goals and 2 assists and a rating of 0. Even bigger than those stats, however, was the fact that he had 14 shots in those 6 games. Showing that he was trying to improve the areas of his game that the Bruins wanted him to. The Bruins were very impressed, and with early injuries to the defense, Vaakanainen was called up to Boston. He played in 2 games with Boston where he didn’t register a point and had a rating of -1.  

Unfortunately, in that second game, he suffered a vicious elbow to the head and got a concussion. He has been out since October 23rd. He has skated a little bit since, but there is no timetable for his return. It was unfortunate that Vaakanainen did get injured because even in the limited sample we saw he looked good. He looked like he belonged in the NHL. Ultimately, Urho Vaakanainen has shown a reason for us as fans to be excited. The Bruins have many young, exciting defensemen either currently in the NHL or waiting in the wings in Providence. A few years down the road the Bruins could have one of the best young defenses in all the league anchored by Vaakanainen, and that is something to be excited about.   

Boston Bruins Prospect Player Profile: Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson

(Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

By: Tim Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson was drafted in the 2nd round 45th overall in the 2015 NHL Draft. When he was drafted, he was a smooth skating two-way center who had an impressive offensive game. While he could score on his own, his passing ability and vision on the ice are what really won over scouts. He was even crowned “Patrice Bergeron 2.0” by then fellow prospect Matt Grzelcyk. That’s some high praise to live up to, so let’s dig into what’s happened since being drafted and see why he garnered such high praise.  

After being drafted, Forsbacka Karlsson was slated to begin the 2015-16 with Boston. Boston University that is. During his Freshman season with the Boston University Terriers Forsbacka Karlsson played in 39 games potting 10 goals and dishing out 20 assists for 30 total points and +/- rating of +4. This was a good first season since being drafted for Forsbacka Karlsson. He was able to show off his offensive skill especially distributing the puck. He also was able to show that because of his slick skating, his defensive game was almost as impressive, if not more so than his offensive game. This garnered high praise from the Bruins organization. Both Forsbacka Karlsson and the Bruins hoped it was a season to build upon going forward.  

The 2016-17 season was Forsbacka Karlsson’s Sophomore season at Boston University, and he came into it wearing the “A” on his sweater. This is a big deal, he was already showing at a young age he had those intangible leadership qualities that teams look for. In 39 games with the Terriers, Forsbacka Karlsson improved a lot on his first season netting 14 goals and dishing out 19 assists for 33 total points and a rating of +11. This was a great season for Forsbacka Karlsson and something that stood out even more than his offensive ability was the way he played in his own zone. His defensive responsibility is what separated himself from other prospects around the same age. It was such a good season he even got into 1 game with the Boston Bruins at the end of the year. He didn’t register a point in limited ice-time, but he got a little taste of what it was like to play on the big stage of the NHL. 

The 2017-18 brought a big change for Forsbacka Karlsson. It was his first professional season, and he spent the entirety of it in the AHL with Providence. He wasn’t fully developed as a prospect yet, but he had the tools to be a good offensive forward who could also be shut down defensively. All that was left was taking those tools, developing them, and putting them together on the ice. Forsbacka Karlsson was able to get into 59 games for Providence netting 15 goals and dishing out 17 assists for 32 total points and a rating of +3. He also played in Providence’s 4 playoff games netting 1 goal with 0 assists for 1 total point and a rating of –2. It was good first full professional season for Forsbacka Karlsson to build on moving forward.  

Coming into this season Forsbacka Karlsson was in the running for the third-line center job out of training camp. He ultimately was sent down at the end of camp to Providence to work on some things. One big thing the Bruins wanted him working on was shooting the puck more. He is more of a pass-first forward looking to get others involved before scoring himself. While in Providence he did get into 10 games scoring 1 goal and distributing 3 assists for 4 total points a rating of –2. Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy was impressed with his play and with injuries piling up for Boston, Forsbacka Karlsson was called up to the big club. In 9 games with Boston, he does have 2 goals and 0 assists for 2 total points and a rating of –2. His primary role has been more limiting the opposition’s scoring chances because of the injuries to the Bruins defense. However, I would look for his role to increase as he gets more comfortable and more players start to get healthy. 

Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson is one of the Bruins best prospects moving forward. He has all the tools to become a good shutdown forward who can also contribute in the offensive zone. While he was dubbed “Patrice Bergeron 2.0” by teammate Matt Grzelcyk early on as a prospect, another player I have seen Forsbacka Karlsson compared to is David Backes from his days in St. Louis. Now, these are both lofty comparisons to live up to but with a little time, and effort they are ones that Forsbacka Karlsson could live up to. Overall, with the Bruins’ current forwards and the ones on the verge of making it, the present and future are both very bright for the Boston Bruins.  

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Providence Bruins Prospect Player Profile: Peter Cehlarik

(Photo Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports)

By: Tim Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

Peter Cehlarik was drafted in 3rd round 90th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft. When he was drafted, he was known as a big skater who was powerful on the ice. He has the ability to shield the puck from opposing players. He also had good vision on the ice and was able to pass the puck accurately to his teammates. When he was drafted then Bruins, GM Peter Chiarelli compared him to Michal Handzus. This is high praise. Handzus had a solid 15-year career in which he had multiple seasons of 40+ points, while also being able to contribute in the defensive end as well. Let’s take a look at how Cehlarik has done since being drafted.  

The 2013-14 season was Cehlarik’s first since being drafted. He was only 18 playing for Lulea HF of the Swedish Hockey League which is Sweden’s high league. He played in 32 games for Lulea netting 2 goals and helping with 2 assists for 4 total points and +/- rating of –4. He also appeared in 2 playoff games for the club where he didn’t register a point and had a rating of 0. Overall as an 18-year-old playing his first full year in a new league he showed some flashes of good play offensively while also showing he had room for growth. I would call Cehlarik’s first season in Sweden a successful one.  

The 2014-15 season was a year in which the Bruins hoped Cehlarik would grow and develop more. It was his full second season playing for Lulea in Sweden, and the hope was that he had grown more comfortable over the year and that his play would show that. This absolutely seemed to happen as Cehlarik improved greatly in his second season. In 46 games with Lulea Cehlarik netted 6 goals while tallying 13 assists for 19 total points and a rating of +1. He also was able to help in 8 playoff games potting 1 goal and dishing out 1 assist for 2 total points and a rating of –1. It was an extremely positive season for Cehlarik in which the Bruins were pleased with his progress. He was still a year or so away from playing in North America, but it was a season he could build upon.  

The 2015-16 season was one that again the Bruins were hoping that Cehlarik could develop and progress with his play. Cehlarik absolutely did just that. In 46 games for Lulea, he netted 11 goals while dishing out 9 assists for 20 total points a rating of +7. In a deep playoff run for Lulea, he netted 3 goals while adding 2 assists for 5 total points and a rating of +3 in 11 games. The Bruins were extremely pleased with this season. So much so that they signed him to a 3-year entry level contract. He showed that he could potentially be a good mid-line player with the ability to put the puck in the net. This is something that every team needs to be successful.  

The 2016-17 season was a big one for Cehlarik. It was his first season in North America, and he started out playing for the Providence Bruins. In 49 games with the Providence Bruins Cehlarik netted 20 goals and helped with 18 assists for 38 total points and a rating of +11. He also got in 2 playoff games with Providence registering 0 goals and dishing out 1 assist for 1 total point and a rating of 0. He was playing so well that he got a look with the Boston Bruins. In 11 games with the big club, he didn’t register a goal but dished out 2 assists for 2 total points and a rating of 0. Unfortunately, a shoulder injury derailed the end of his first season in Providence, but overall it was a very successful season for Cehlarik to build upon. 

The 2017-18 season was one in which the Bruins and Cehalrik hoped he could contribute with the big club more. Unfortunately, this did not happen, but despite that, he still had a very good year in the AHL for Providence. In 35 games for Providence, he netted 11 goals while helping with 12 assists for 23 total points and a rating of +7. He also was in 3 playoff games for Providence potting 2 goals and 0 assists for 2 total points and a rating of 0. Cehlarik also managed to play in 6 games for the big club in Boston registering 1 goal, and 1 assist for 2 total points and a rating of +2. This was a good season for Cehlarik who started the year coming off of off-season shoulder surgery. He has shown his strength and scoring ability off and has developed nicely for the Bruins. 

Coming into this season, the Bruins had a good amount of depth at the wing position. As a result of this Cehlarik has started the year in Providence and is playing very well. In 16 games for Providence, he has netted 2 goals while dishing out 8 assists for 10 total points and a rating of 0. When a young player spends time in the AHL, it is easy to get discouraged when you’re not being called up. This doesn’t seem to be happening to Cehlarik, If he continues his good play in Providence, we could potentially see him get another shot with the Bruins this year. Especially if injuries continue to pile up. Overall, I think Cehlarik can be a very good player who contributes to a contending team in the NHL. I just hope that happens with Boston.

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Providence Bruins Prospect Player Profile: Ryan Donato

Donato

(Photo Credit: Steve Babineau – NHL via Getty Images)

By: Tim Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

Ryan Donato was drafted in the 2nd round 56th overall in the 2014 NHL Draft. At the time he was one of the best High School hockey prospects of the draft class. Some draft experts expected him to land somewhere in the third round of the draft. This led some to believe that Donato was only picked when he was because his father Ted Donato also played for the Boston Bruins. A few years later it’s clear now that Donato was drafted based on his talent and can really be a good player for the Boston Bruins in the near future.  

After being drafted, Donato finished out his senior year at Dexter School. He would also serve as team captain for Dexter during this season. In 31 games he netted 18 goals while dishing out 35 assists for a total of 53 points. He really was able to show off his hard shot, and his tenacity around the puck. Something else that Donato displayed was his defensive awareness making him a solid two-way player. After this, Donato also played in 8 games for the Omaha Lancers of the USHL. He potted 5 goals and tallied 5 assists for 10 total points with a +/- rating of –3. He also helped the Lancers in 3 playoff games scoring 1 goal with 0 assists for 1 total point and a rating of –1. Overall it was a successful first season since being drafted for Donato. 

After his senior season in High School Donato was bound for the Ivy League where he was committed to play at Harvard University. In his freshman year with the Crimson, he played in 32 games and netted 13 goals while tallying 8 assists for 21 total points and a rating of +4. It was a very good Freshman season for Donato who continued to develop his game and hone his skills. Donato also played for Team USA in the U20 World Junior Championships. He helped Team USA capture the Bronze medal in 7 games he scored 3 goals helped with 1 assist for 4 total points and rating of +4. It was a season that the Bruins were happy to see and one they hoped he would build upon in his Sophomore year.  

The 2016-17 season was Donato’s Sophomore year at Harvard, and he improved on his season in a big way. In 36 he netted 21 goals and tallied 19 assists for 40 total points and a rating of +19. Something that really stood out for Donato during this season was his high hockey IQ along with his tenacity around the puck. He also had 5 shots a game for Harvard. This was big because he was involved in so many of their scoring chances. It seemed like whenever he was around the puck, it was going in for the Crimson. It was a fantastic season for Donato, it was around this time that he was taken more seriously as a prospect going forward.  

The 2017-18 was an important season for Donato. He and the Bruins both wanted him to take an even bigger step forward than he had last year. He did not disappoint. In 29 games for Harvard, he netted a whopping 26 goals while tallying 17 assists for 43 total points and a rating of +15. Again, Donato’s high hockey IQ and tenacity around the puck took over, and he has a great season. It was so good that Donato landed himself a spot on the Olympic Team for the USA. In 5 games of Olympic play, Donato netted 5 goals while adding 1 assist for 6 total points and a rating of –1. The Bruins were so happy with Donato’s performance that they signed him to a two-year entry-level contract, and he played for the team right away. In 12 games for Boston, he grabbed 5 goals while dishing out 4 assists for 9 total points and a +2 rating. He also played in 3 games for the Bruins during their playoff run. He didn’t tally a point and had a rating of –3. Overall, it was an extremely successful season for Donato to build upon going forward.  

Coming into this season, the Bruins expected Donato to be a big part of the team. However, the year started off slow for Ryan. He didn’t get much ice-time and needed to work more on his defensive game. Before being sent down to Providence, he played in 11 games for Boston grabbing 1 goal and 0 assists for 1 total point and a rating of –4. The Bruins sent him down to Providence to hone his game and get more playing time. With the Providence Bruins Donato has been very successful in 10 games he’s netted 5 goals with 4 assists for 9 total points and a rating of –1. Donato seems to have taken the demotion well and is taking what the Bruins wanted to heart. He’s going out there and sharpening his skill while keeping a good attitude. It’s easy for a player to take a demotion personal and their play suffers because of it. This is something that hasn’t happened to Donato.  

Ryan Donato since being drafted has proven that he deserved to be drafted where he was. He has great stick-handling ability and vision. Combined with a high hockey IQ and a good work-ethic it makes for a lethal combination. The Bruins were smart to send Donato to Providence to get some seasoning and sharpen his game. One player comparison I have seen is our good friend Patrice Bergeron. Now those are some lofty skates to fill, but with some seasoning in Providence Donato could reach that level. If he does reach his potential the future of the Bruins top lines is as bright as ever.  

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Providence Bruins Prospect Player Profile: Zach Senyshyn

seny

(Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer-Getty Images)

By: Tim Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

Zach Senyshyn was taken 15th overall in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft. When he was selected, it was a decision that drew some criticism from fans and NHL Entry Draft experts. At the time, the Bruins had just traded away defenseman Dougie Hamilton and Milan Lucic to acquire the 13th and the 15th pick in the first round to compliment the clubs original pick at 14. With the Bruins, three straight picks in 2015 they set a modern-day drafting record. There were players still on the board that many prospect people felt should have been picked ahead of Senyshyn, who himself was a speedy player with some big offensive upside. Despite that, the Bruins saw something the in young speedster, and I am here to try and show you what that was.

Zach Senyshyn was drafted by the Boston Bruins because of his incredible speed, and his goal-scoring ability. His 2015-16 season in the OHL was his first since being drafted by the Bruins and did he ever show off his offensive upside. In 66 games with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds he pocketed 45 goals while dishing out 20 assists for 65 total points with a +/- rating of + 5. He also helped the team in a big way during the playoffs in 12 games he netted 2 goals while handing out 7 assists for 9 total points and a +/- of 0. This season drew a lot of praise from people, and it made the Bruins look great taking him when they did in the first round.

The 2016-17 season was a big one for Senyshyn. Both he and the Bruins hoped that he would build upon his big year and assert himself has a top prospect in the league. He did just that. In 59 games with Sault Ste. Marie, he netted 42 goals while tallying 23 assists for 65 total points and a rating of +16. Also, in 11 playoff games, he scored 4 goals added 1 assist for 5 total points and rating of 0. This was a great season for Senyshyn. He was able to not only show off his great speed but also his scoring ability. He seemed to outgrow playing in the OHL, and it was only a matter of time before we started hearing his name in Boston. The Bruins were so happy with the season that they signed him on to play for the Providence Bruins in the playoffs that same year. In 4 playoff games with Providence, he did not register a point and had a rating of -2. Overall it was a very successful second season since being drafted for Zach.

Coming into the 2017-18 season, it was a big deal for Zach Senyshyn. It was his first full season of professional hockey with the Providence Bruins, and they had hoped he would continue to grow and develop on the same trajectory that he had the last two seasons. His first full season in Providence was streaky, but it was also respectable. In 66 games with Providence, he grabbed 12 goals while helping with 14 assists for 26 total points and a rating of +3. While in 4 playoff games he had 0 goals and 1 assist for 1 total point and a rating of –1. Overall it was a season that Senyshyn can build upon going forward.

This season is another big one for Senyshyn. With other players from his draft having successful years in the NHL some people are getting impatient with his development. So far this season in 17 games with Providence Senyshyn has 5 goals while adding 2 assists for 7 total points with a rating of –9. He has started out slow, but in every year he played in the OHL his offensive output increased, and there is no reason why he would not be able to do that in the AHL as well. Something that is still showing is his speed. When he is flying up ice, it is like he was shot out of a cannon. This speed and his scoring ability should ultimately win out, and he can be a good player in the NHL.

One major thing to remember with Zach Senyshyn is he is only 21 years old. He has time to develop into a good NHL player. One comparison I have seen most often is that he can be a Chris Kreider. This would not be a bad thing. That would mean he is a good wing who is going to consistently score 40+ points a season in the NHL. While it may be frustrating to see other players the Bruins passed on in the 2015 NHL Draft be successful in the NHL, I preach to you be patient. Players all develop at different rates. If we are patient with Senyshyn that patience could be rewarded. The reward? A good NHL wing who is on the Bruins top 6 for many years to come.

Providence Bruins Prospect Player Profile: Trent Frederic

trentfred

(Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer – Getty Images)

By: Tim Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

When Trent Frederic was drafted 29th overall in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft, it left a lot of people scratching their heads. Frederic was drafted ahead of his projections. While he had good size and was defensively responsible as a center, he lacked the offensive explosiveness that one might look for from a player you draft at the end of the first round. Even the Bruins Director of Amateur Scouting at the time Keith Gretzky said that he wasn’t going to be a top-two-line guy. That doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in a draft pick. Frederic wasn’t supposed to be a successful draft that early, but the funny thing is someone forgot to tell him that.

Trent Frederic possesses good size and strength from the Center position and is a good two-way player. In his freshman season at the University of Wisconsin in 2016-17, he showed that off. In 30 games with the Badgers, he recorded 15 goals and 18 assists for 33 total points with a +/- rating of +2. These are stats that, if you’re the Bruins you really like to see. A lot of things can happen to a player after being drafted and then going into their first season in a new league. It can overwhelm a player and take them time to settle into their own. This is something that didn’t happen to Frederic. He played well and showed off why he was drafted as high as he was by the Bruins.

In Frederic’s Sophomore season at Wisconsin, he had a lot of expectations to live up to. He really showed that he had some good offensive ability, an ability that had been questioned after being drafted so high. He did take a step back a little bit offensively during the season in 36 games for the Badgers he recorded 17 goals and 15 assists for 32 total points and a +/- rating of –9. While his points were down a little something, important happened for Frederic during that season. He was wearing the “A” on his sweater for Wisconsin all year. He took on a bigger leadership role and did was successful with that. Knowing a player isn’t afraid to take on a leadership role, especially as a young player is a huge bonus for the Bruins.

After his Sophomore season, most people expected Frederic to stay at Wisconsin at least one more year. However, that is not what happened. He signed his entry-level contract with the Bruins and reported to Providence. Frederic’s first taste of professional hockey was a good one. In 13 games with the Providence Bruins, he netted 5 goals and tallied 3 assists for 8 total points and had a +3 rating. In 3 playoff games with Providence, he tallied 1 assist for 1 total point and had a –4 rating. Overall this was a successful second year since being drafted for Frederic. One guy Frederic idolized was fellow Bruin David Backes. Trent is from St. Louis and grew up watching David play. This was someone he tried to mirror his game after and this season he even drew some comparisons to him.

Going into this season, Frederic was one of the players in camp that were competing for the Third Line Center position for the Boston Bruins. He was competing with fellow prospects Jake Studnicka and Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson. He played well in pre-season camp, but ultimately was part of the last round of cuts heading into the season and he went down to Providence. Since then he has pocketed 5 goals and tallied 0 assists for 5 total points and a rating of 0 in 13 games with the AHL squad. Though his total scoring pace is down a little from his time in Providence last year, he is still developing well and showing that good two-way ability at center.

While he didn’t exactly garner a lot of praise after being drafted, Trent Frederic has turned that around and really given us a glimpse of why the Bruins drafted him so high in the 2016 NHL Draft. He has good size and strength and displayed that he can be a good two-way center. Not only that he has shown that he has good leadership abilities and isn’t afraid to take on that role with a hockey club. It’s also important to note that Frederic is only just 20 years old. He is going to continue to develop and get better. I believe that he should spend all this season in Providence and next year we can expect some great things from Trent with the Bruins in Boston. Trent may have been someone that people who not have drafted so high in the first round initially, but he’s turned himself into a player that teams will have wished they took a chance on.

Providence Bruins Player Profile: Jakub Zboril

( Photo Credit:  Boston Herald )

By: Tim Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

When Jakub Zboril was drafted 13th overall in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft defense was a major need that Bruins wanted to address. By most accounts they had. Zboril was thought of as good left shot two-way defenseman. He was not elite in any one area, but he also did not have any glaring weaknesses. He drew comparisons to NHL defenseman Keith Yandle, a top 4 defenseman that could be slotted into your lineup for many years to come. With all this praise and upside, you might be asking yourself “where is this guy, and what’s happened since being draft?” I am glad you asked because I am here to tell you just that.

After being drafted in June of 2015, Zboril finished up his second season in the QMJHL with the Saint John Sea Dogs. In 50 games had 6 goals 14 assists for a total of 20 points with a +/- rating of +10. The playoffs, however, is where he really turned it on. In 17 playoff games, he had 2 goals 8 assists for 10 total points and a +2 rating. Not a bad season for a young defenseman who had just been drafted. Zboril seemed to carry the momentum of the playoffs into the next season in 50 games with Saint John he amassed 9 goals and 32 assists for 41 total points with a rating of +19. In 16 playoff games, he continued his hot streak with 3 goals and 4 assists in 16 games with a rating of +10 which helped lead Saint John capture the 2016-17 QMJHL Championship.

The 2017-18 season was Zboril’s first the AHL. Entering his first full season in professional hockey with the Providence Bruins there were a lot of high expectations, but also some questions arose surrounding his work ethic. It was reported during his first few rookie development camps that he did not bring the necessary energy to compete at a high level. These first impressions while fair, or unfair have followed him throughout. The talent was never in question, it was just the work ethic and the ability to stay consistent. During the 2017-18 after starting off slow Zboril put together a nice season registering 4 goals and 15 assists for 19 total points and a rating of +12. He did not register a point and had an even rating in the teams 4 playoff games.

He did draw praise after his first full season with Providence. The Bruins wanted him to work on his defensive consistency during the season, and he did a pretty good job of that during the year. The offensive tools that were on display in the QMJHL were also evident during the year. Something else that came out of this year is by all accounts he adopted some good work habits on and off the ice. Zboril’s development seemed to be coming on nicely which is what you want to hear about your high draft picks.

Coming into this season the team still had high hopes for Zboril, but he may have been lost in the shuffle a little bit. 2016 first round draft pick Charlie McAvoy has played well since being drafted, and fellow 2015 defensive draft pick Jeremy Lauzon in some people’s eyes may have leaped ahead of Zboril with his play and development. To start off this year, Zboril battled a concussion in camp and had a slow start. However, recently he has played well and has 2 goals and 2 assists in his first 13 games this season. He still shows the offensive potential he had when drafted while also coming into his own defensively as well.

Zboril’s development may be coming along slower than some people and fans may like but easing a player into a role isn’t a bad thing. The Bruins have the luxury of playing the slow game with Zboril because of the play of guys like McAvoy and the development of Jeremy Lauzon. If the Bruins play this correctly and they do ease him into a role, I think it is something that will pay off huge dividends in the long run. In a year or two, the Bruins could have a young talented defense comprised of mostly players they developed on their own. When Zboril was drafted in 2015 that seemed like a pipe dream. However, if you’re patient and careful with Jakub Zboril’s development that pipe dream will be a reality, and it will be an absolute joy to watch.

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