Providence Bruins: Introducing The New Arrivals

Photo Credit:  Last Word On Sports

By: Josh B.   |   Follow On Twitter @ToCauseway

In the calendar year, March typically signals the arrival of spring, March Madness, and most importantly, Canadian Major Junior and NCAA playoffs. Teams that have battled hard since October have their chance at immortality with names engraved on a championship trophy. Teams that do not qualify for playoff contention fade into their offseason.
As teams meet with elimination, draft prospects will occasionally depart their amateur, developmental teams for a spot in the Show, or with an NHL-affiliated farm team; more often than not, with the AHL. March 11th, 2018 was the first signing of Boston Bruins prospects out of their stockpile in the developmental leagues. Trent Frederic and Cameron Hughes turned pro after the Wisconsin Badgers season ended in Ann Arbor, MI, to Michigan State.
While Joona Koppanen was signed a year ago, on April 13, 2017, he played the first part of his new contract with his Liiga team (top Finnish league). While not a recent signing, nor amateur prospect, he is a newcomer to the “WannaBs” in Providence. More on him later.
Next, on March 20th, QMJHL St Johns Sea Dog Cedric Pare joined the Providence Bruins on an ATO, much the same as aforementioned Frederic and Hughes. The Patrice Bergeron doppelganger posted a remarkable standout season for the Sea Dogs, with 13G, 24A–37 points. The year before, he tallied only 5G, 11A—16 points. By signing an ATO, the kids are able to return to developmental leagues should their trial period reveal they need more seasoning.
Last but certainly not least is 6ft 7in Wiley Sherman. The Crimson blueliner is the only prospect mentioned drafted in the Peter Chiarelli era and is a senior at Harvard University. Much like former Bruins prospect Rob O’Gara, Sherman opted to finish his collegiate career before turning pro.

Let’s introduce you to each one in a bit more detail:

Trent Frederic

Photo Credit:

Trent Frederic needs no introduction. The 2016 1st round selection exploded onto the U20 WJC stage with 5 tallies for the USA team that eventually won the Bronze medal, securing the USA squad 3 consecutive medals in 3 consecutive WJC’s for the first time in history. His shot and release are first-rate, while size and strength down the middle make him an effective pivot.
Frederic was also the subject of some unwarranted controversy revolving around former Bruins director of amateur scouting Keith Gretzky. “[Frederic] is not going to be a top-two-line guy, we know that” was the quote that sparked Frederic to prove his critics wrong. Ranked outside of the top 50 players by most scouts, Frederic went on to have back to back 30 point seasons with the University of Wisconsin Badgers. In his second season, Frederic’s leadership earned him an “A” on his sweater. His quotes following the draft and Gretzky’s comments hint that he’s a prospect wise beyond his years: “I’m just kind of excited to be on the team,” he said. “It doesn’t really matter where you get picked. It’s just what you do from there.” “I guess I’ve got a little pressure [as a first-round pick], but I think I like that. So it makes me push myself harder. So it’s good.”

Cameron Hughes

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Cameron Hughes has the distinction of being the only draft selection already attending college when his name was called. The 2015 6th round selection has flown under the radar of most Bruins fans since the selection (development camps notwithstanding). 6’- 0”, 183lb Hughes most recently wore the “C” on his sweater for the 2017-2018 Badger campaign and has recorded 13pt, 25pt, 32pt, and 22pt seasons for Wisconsin beginning with his freshman year. He is described as a “skilled pivot with soft hands.” “Hughes needs to take a step forward with both his offensive output and his defensive play before he’ll get a look at the NHL level.”[3] As of today, Hughes has already contributed an assist at the professional level, during a 4-1 thumping of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on March 18th, 2017.

Joona Koppanen

Photo Credit:  Finnish Junior Hockey @FINjrhockey

Originally signed in 2017, the Finnish pivot spent the first part of his 3-year ELC with the Tampereen Ilves of the Finnish Liiga. Koppanen is tall, and somewhat lanky, standing 6’-5”, and 192lb. He was drafted in 2016, 6th round (135th overall) by the Bruins from the Jr. A SM-liiga, the top Finnish junior league. Koppanen also appeared in the same WJC tournament Frederic appeared in, where Joona contributed with 3G, 1A. His point production over the past 3 years has been slightly varied, with 57 in 2014-2015, and then 26, 54, and 14 in each of the following years respectively. Eliteprospects has him listed as “on loan” to the AHL, so his appearance in Providence might be a trial run for next year.[4]
Koppanen has the size to be an effective pivot and will gain the strength over time. His 2016-2017 campaign impressed, with a 1.42 points per game pace, and a final total of 57 in 38 games. His reach and defensive prowess are his strengths. However, he only has an “average” shot.[5] He has the reach and hockey IQ to make a solid role-playing NHL depth forward, but while his development league numbers were impressive, once he made it to the Finnish “major” leagues, his point production dipped. Like his upside, but I’m guardedly optimistic about his future.

Cedric Pare

Photo Credit: Grandstand sports Network

The lone representative from the Canadian Major Junior league (CHL), Pare must have been inspired after the Bruins selected him in the 6th round of the 2017 draft (163rd overall). After a pedestrian 5G, 11A season in the QMJHL 2016-2017, Pare more than doubled up both columns to the tune of 13G, 24A in 2017-2018. The Bruins love their big, strong-bodied centers, and French-Canadian Pare is no exception at 6’-3”, 205lb. In a continuation of a theme, the 19-year-old was signed first to an ATO, with his ELC kicking in next year. I’m excepting to see him in the Providence lineup in the remaining weekends this season.
Pare has excellent reach, and coupled with a strong frame, has been extremely effective at the dot for his QMJHL club. In his draft and draft+1 year, his faceoff% was over 50% consistently. The Bruins Brass acknowledged he is a “project” especially in the skating department, but at least till now, his excellent vision and play away from the puck has more than made up for it. He could shape into an energy or role-playing forward or more, depending on his developmental trajectory.

Wiley Sherman

Photo Credit:  Trifecta Network Sports

Playing alongside 2014 draft pick Ryan Donato, 6′-7” Wiley Sherman is set to graduate from Harvard and to the world of professional hockey. Sherman is the only prospect on this list from the Peter Chiarelli era, drafted in 2013 5th round (150th overall). Both he and Donato have won the NCAA NCAC championship twice: 2014/15 and 2016/17 respectively. If you’ve attended any of the development camps over the past 4 years, Sherman has been impossible to miss with his incredible size, and the best reach out of the newcomers to Providence. His point totals while at Harvard are low, but Sherman plays a shutdown defensive-defenseman role that doesn’t lend itself to showing up on the score sheet. His skating is fluid and effective for a 6’-7” beast, and with his huge wingspan, can gap opponents very well. Sherman is by no means a flashy player, but more of a blue-collar workman.

Providence Bruins Weekend Recap

Photo Credit:  Providence Bruins

By: Josh B.   |   Follow On Twitter @ToCauseway

Tl;Dr Recap for those who just want the stats:

3/16/18 Providence (36-20-5) vs. Rochester (30-17-16) 7:05 PM

Goalies: Zane McIntyre, 28 of 31 shots, 0.903 SV%; Adam Wilcox, 35 of 38 shots, 0.921 SV%, Replaced by Jonas Johansson, 9 of 10 shots, 0.900 SV%.

Box Score W/Scoring Summary:

PVD 5-3 Regulation W, Improves to (37-20-5), RCH drops to (30-18-16)

3/17/18 Providence (37-20-5) @ Lehigh Valley (40-16-8) 7:05 PM

Goalies: Jordan Binnington, 31 of 34 shots, 0.911 SV%; D. Tokarski, 33 of 33 shots, Shutout.

Box Score W/ Scoring Summary:

PVD 3-0 Regulation L, Drops to (37-21-5), LV Improves to (41-16-8)

3/18/18 Providence (37-21-5) vs. Bridgeport (31-24-8) 3:05 PM

Goalies: Zane McIntyre, 44 of 45 shots, 0.977 SV%; Kristers Gudlevskis, 39 of 44 shots, 0.886 SV%

Box Score W/ Scoring Summary:

PVD 4-1 Regulation W, Improves to (38-21-5), BRI drops to (31-25-8).

Game Summaries:

Providence Bruins vs. Rochester Americans (3/16/18)

Rochester’s only trip to the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence ended in a thumping for the visiting team. After surrendering an early goal in the first two minutes, the game took on a goal-for-goal tradeoff for almost 30 minutes of regulation. Rochester’s Adam Krause tipped a point shot from teammate Zach Redmond past Zane McIntyre 1:17 into the first period. It took Providence almost the entire first to solve the Rochester defense, but Adam Payerl popped the Rochester netminder’s bottle off a rink-wide feed from teammate Kenny Agostino to knot the score 1-1.

Almost 6 minutes into the second period, Alex Nylander tapped in a second rebound, as teammates Colin Blackwell and Hudson Fasching were both stoned by McIntyre. The tap from Nylander lazily slid over the goal line, but the score was now 2-1. This time, Providence wasted no time to tie the score. Rochester goalie Adam Wilcox fought off two initial Providence riflemen, but played the puck into dead ice, away from teammates, and into an easy spot for RHD Conor Clifton to skate in off the blue line and blast a hard, accurate shot past the resetting Wilcox for the equalizer. Providence took the lead for the first time with 11 minutes and change remaining in the 2nd as Austin Czarnik scored his first of three goals with help from Ryan Fitzgerald and Tommy Cross.

Providence entered the 2nd intermission up 3-2, but less than 5 minutes into the 3rd period, Rochester tied the game. After a flurry in front of McIntyre’s net, Rochester’s Danny O’Regan slammed the puck home on a frantic backhander to tie the game. Powerplay phenom Austin Czarnik would again pull the Bruins ahead by one with another goal on the man advantage. With Rochester’s goal empty in the dying minutes of the game, Czarnik found the empty net on a 200-foot bid for the net, completing the hat trick and a 5-3 win in regulation.

Providence Bruins @ Lehigh Valley Phantoms (3/17/18)

Saturday night, Providence skated against Atlantic Division leader Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Their second matchup of the season ended worse than the first, with the Phantoms blanking the Bruins. Despite a spirited first period and the goaltenders making unbelievable stops, it was a second period Providence powerplay where Lehigh Valley struck first. Tyrell Goulbourne created a turnover by his team’s bench, carried the puck behind the Providence defense, and fed teammate Radel Fazleev in front who sniped a shot over Jordan Binnington’s right shoulder.

The embarrassment of special teams would not end there, however. Later in the period, down by only a goal, Providence drew another penalty. In an eerily reminiscent situation, Phil Verone picked the puck off a Providence skater and took off toward Jordan Binnington, beating the goaltender on a great individual effort. Providence failed to put pressure on Lehigh Valley and Dustin Tokarski in net during the third period and surrendered a third goal for the final nail in the coffin. Colin McDonald made an initial bit for the net, but teammate Steven Swavely finished off the rebound to put the Phantoms ahead by 3. Tokarski turned away all 33 shots he faced, blanking the Providence Bruins who had scored 5 the night prior.

Providence Bruins vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (3/18/18)

After getting blanked by Lehigh Valley, Providence closed out its weekend with a statement game on short rest after a ~ 500-mile commute back to Rhode Island and a 3PM matinee start time. From the opening faceoff, Providence made its presence known, swarming Bridgeport on the forecheck and scoring an early goal 40 seconds into the game. Off an offensive zone draw, newcomer Trent Frederic won the puck back to Tommy Cross who slipped the puck to his partner Conor Clifton. The latter scooped up the puck and made a back foot snap-shot beating the Bridgeport goaltender.

Initially it was credited to a Blidh tip, however, Clifton would later be credited with the goal and Frederic would pick up his first professional point as his faceoff win begun the sequence. Half a period later, Providence struck again in quick succession to build a staggering three-goal lead. On the powerplay, Paul Postma held the puck in at the blue line and fed it up the left wing boards to Kenny Agostino. He dished cross-crease to Austin Czarnik who delayed a shot waiting for a lane to open and the goalie to bite, and Czarnik’s patience was rewarded with his 4th goal of this 3-in-3 weekend.

A few minutes later, Jordan Szwarz misplayed a cross-ice pass as he and Czarnik sped in over the Bridgeport line, but as the Sound Tigers attempted to clear the puck, the trailing Ryan Fitzgerald held the puck in the attacking zone, sending the disc floating through the air. Czarnik caught it, dropping it in front of him, and sliding it a few feet to Szwarz who cycled the zone and ripped the puck up over the blocker of the Bridgeport goalie. To begin the second period, Bridgeport broke McIntyre’s bid for a shutout. Steve Bernier held the puck behind the Providence net, passing along the dasher to teammate Mitch Vande Sompel at the left point. He fired a booming slap shot that was initially saved by McIntyre, but the rebound popped up and onto the stick of John Stevens camped at the far post for an easy tap-in.

Providence battled back and regained their three-goal lead off the stick of rookie Jakub Zboril. After some extended time in the attacking zone for Providence, Cameron Hughes collected a rebound off a Chris Breen slap shot and protected the puck enough along the boards to slide the puck to teammate Josh Hennessy behind the net. Hennessy turned and picked up Jakub Zboril purposefully drifting into the slot and threaded a perfect pass to the rookie defenseman. Zboril collected the puck calmly with the Bridgeport goalie scrambling and wound up a perfectly released wrister for his second goal of the season. Despite 20 shots from Bridgeport in the third period, they weren’t able to solve McIntyre again, and the Bruins won by a final score of 4-1 to end the week on a cheerful note.

Plus / MinusPlus:

+ Austin Czarnik had an offensive explosion: 4G, 1A complete with a Hat Trick against Rochester. Trent Frederic and Cameron Hughes both tallied their first professional point after signing ATO’s to finish off the 2017-2018 season. Jakub Zboril was rewarded for his development and work with the 2nd goal of his pro career. Ryan Fitzgerald and Kenny Agostino earned 3A each this weekend.

+ Providence scored 3 goals on the Powerplay this weekend and only gave up one goal on the kill.

+ Zane McIntyre had one of his best games of this season, turning away a pile of rubber against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. After losing several in a row to the Bridgeport squad, Providence’s record is now 5-4-1 against them this season, pulling ahead on the win column.

+ In each of the past 3 weekends, Providence has won 2 of 3 games, continuing to solidify their playoff berth and slowly work toward better seeding. If they win their next 2 matchups against Wilkes Barre Scranton Penguins, they can overtake the Baby Pens for 2nd in the Atlantic, and home ice advantage in the playoffs.

+ Zach Senyshyn didn’t have a point this week, but he passed the eye test with flying colors. With Zach’s blazing speed, his line would help set up in the offensive zone to wear down the defense and goalie for teammates to finish the scoring change.

Minus: – Providence gave up two ugly shorthanded goals to Lehigh Valley on Saturday night, losing for the second time in a row against the Atlantic Division’s best team.

– Zane’s shaky start against Rochester was reminiscent of earlier in the season when his numbers weren’t that great and the offense had to compensate for him letting in soft goals.

– Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson has yet to return from what’s mysteriously been dubbed “Upper Body Injury”. Speculation abounds it’s a concussion.

Report: Bruins Prospect Cedric Pare Is Heading To Providence

Photo Credit:

By: Mark Allred | Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Reports out of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey Leagues Saint John Seas Dogs organization is Boston Bruins prospect and Sea Dogs forward Cedric Pare is heading to the American Hockey League for the remainder of the season. With Saint John’s 2017-18 regular season ending on March 17th, 2018, the 2017 sixth-round selection became available to join the top minor-pro affiliate of the National Hockey Leagues Bruins in the AHL.

Pare is a 19-year-old and is ineligible to play in the AHL on a permanent basis per CHL/NHL agreement stating any player under the age of 20 either has to sign a full-time NHL contract or be returned to his Major Junior team. The Pintendre, Quebec native, has yet to sign an Entry-Level contract, so his movement up to the minor-pro level means he will likely not get into any of the 12 remaining regular-season games with Providence or upcoming Calder Cup playoffs.  His level up, for the time being, is likely a move to keep him practicing and staying in shape while being surrounded in a professional atmosphere. If an injury happens to a player on the current Providence Bruins roster, he could be an asset and ready to play, but that remains to be seen of course.

The reason why I’m optimistic on Pare playing in any games with his stay around the Baby B’s is the fact that  2015 first-round selection Zach Senyshyn joined Providence after his commitment to his former OHL’s Ste. Marie Greyhounds was over Zach appeared in zero regular-season games in the Spring of 2017. He did, in fact, get involved in four post-season games in the playoffs with Providence but that was due to an injury to fellow prospect and fellow right-winger Peter Cehlarik and although played decent he didn’t contribute on the stat sheet.

The 6′-3″ 205-pound center finished his 2017-18 campaign and second full season in the QMJHL with 13-24-37 totals and career 54 points in 129 games. Playing most of his “Q” career as a bottom-six player, he was forced into a higher role on the team when the Sea Dogs traded Joe Veleno to the Drummondville Voltigeurs for a significant amount of draft picks seemingly setting up for a Saint John’s rebuild. After the Veleno trade in December of 2017, Sea Dogs first-year Head Coach Josh Dixon had confidence and knew what type of leader and player Pare would be with an increased role as a top-six forward and special teams member for the remainder of the season.

Unfortunately, the Sea Dogs had a disappointing 2017-18 season only posting 14 victories in 68 games ending up in the last position tied with the Shawinigan Cataractes with 39 points. With a boat-load of draft picks coming up for the Sea Dogs and their additions moving forward, the return of Pare to the “Q” and said leadership will be a valued asset to both him as a developing player and Sea Dogs organization who won the President’s Trophy as the best club in the 2016-17 season and a right to represent the QMJHL in the 2017 Memorial Cup  that was held at the WFCU Centre in Windsor, Ontario.

Below are some recent Saint John Sea Dogs game highlights and a few of Bruins prospect Cedric Pare’s better games last season.


Bruins Sign Donato To Entry-Level Deal


PHILADELPHIA, PA – JUNE 28: Ryan Donato meets his team after being drafted #56 by the Boston Bruins on Day Two of the 2014 NHL Draft at the Wells Fargo Center on June 28, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

By: Mark Allred   |   Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

The Boston Bruins announced earlier this evening that they’ve signed prospect and Harvard University forward Ryan Donato to an entry-level contract.  This year was a career season for the Crimson Junior as he posted 26-17-43 numbers in in 26 games and was the ECAC Player of The Year and a nominee for the prestigious Hobey Baker Award given to the best NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Athlete annually. The 21-year-old was also selected to the United State hockey team that played at the 2018 Winter Olympics and played very well with six points in five games (5-1-6).

Donato, a second-round selection of the B’s in 2014 has really taken a huge step in his development over the past year and deservingly generated a great deal of hype from those professional opinions down to the fans that pay close attention to the developing youth on a yearly basis. Although I knew Ryan was going to be signed at some point in 2018, my projection of when was way off as I had him coming to the National Hockey League during the offseason as I believed the Bruins would go with the roster that’s had so much success in 2017-18. Regardless of my projected timeline, I’m very excited to have him with this team and look forward to seeing him when he makes it on the roster with 12 games remaining in the regular season and upcoming playoff schedule.

This is what Ryan had to say shortly after signing his entry-level deal with his beloved Boston Bruins…..

“I am excited to announce that today I have fulfilled a lifelong dream, signing a NHL contract to play for the Boston Bruins,” Donato said in a statement. “While I am beyond thrilled for this next opportunity, it comes with a bittersweet feeling, as my time as a student-athlete at Harvard comes to a close. I am so thankful for every day I have spent at Harvard and the remarkable people I have met along the way, from the classroom, to the ice, and beyond. It has truly been a privilege to wear the Harvard jersey and represent my school alongside such incredible teammates and coaches. My time in the Harvard hockey program has provided me with some of my closest friends and fondest memories, and I will strive to continue representing Harvard well from afar as I enter this next stage of my life.

“While no longer on campus, I am so proud to consider myself a member of the greater Harvard community, and I am still fully dedicated to working towards another lifelong dream of mine: a degree from the university that has given me the best three years of my life.”

With the current injuries on the Bruins coming down the stretch, this is a solid depth move for the organization with players like David Backes, Patrice Bergeron, and Jake DeBrusk returns up in the air with a dozen games to go before the Mid-April Stanley Cup Playoffs begin, the addition of the young Donato wasn’t exactly shocking. Regardless of how much action he gets into, he has to be a serious candidate at this point to make a full-time NHL player next season as current players that will be unrestricted free agents this summer might not be coming back and creating a permanent spot for him in 2018-19.

I’ve seen many games that Ryan’s played at the NCAA level and every Bruins development camp that he’s attended and in my opinion, he’s got the skills of an NHL player now, and the pedigree is there with his father and former Crimson coach for the last three seasons Ted Donato who spent several seasons in Black and Gold cannot be denied. The way this kid can skate and stickhandle in traffic is second to none, and he does possess an NHL release. Now his development has brought him to the highest level in the world and can’t wait to see him play NHL opponents shortly as he’s been rumored to get his first taste of the top tomorrow night when the Columbus Blue Jackets come to the TD Garden in Boston. I have to go with a few professional analysts and say I doubt he plays against the Jackets tomorrow night without practicing with the team. Wednesday on the road in St. Louis is a better opportunity in my opinion as he’ll be more acclimated to his new club.

Bruins Prospect Swayman Shines Despite Sweep From Providence College

Photo Credit:  Hero Sports

By: Josh B.   |   Follow Me On Twitter @ToCauseway

The verdict is in: UMaine Goaltender Jeremy Swayman considers a hot dog a sandwich.

The Boston Bruins’ 4th round selection in 2017 (111th overall) was in Providence this weekend with his teammates from the University of Maine to face-off against the Friars in the Hockey East Quarterfinals. Despite an early lead in Game 1 of the best of 3 series, the Black Bears fell prey to a sneaky comeback from the Providence College squad. In a winner take all game the following night, the Friars took the early lead and nearly ran the Black Bears out of the building and back to Alfond Arena in Orono, Maine with 3 early goals and one waved off due to goaltender interference. The Black Bears surged in the second with 2 goals less than a minute apart, but the comeback would fall short.

Despite a sour note to end their hopeful season on, the UMaine Men’s Ice Hockey team has plenty of positive takeaways in the 2017-2018 campaign. With an 18-15-4 record, the Black Bears have had their first winning season since 2013-2014 where they went 16-15-4. This season also marks the deepest the Black Bears have gone in the playoffs since 2006-2007.

Fittingly, the Black Bears beat their cross-border rival New Hampshire Wildcats in the opening round of the Hockey East playoffs advancing to their quarterfinal Providence showdown. UMaine snuffed out the UNH Wildcats on back-to-back nights Friday and Saturday of last week by the score of 4-1 and 3-2 respectively.

Unfortunately, this year’s era of good feelings came to an end in the Ocean State.

In football they say “Defense wins championships”; in Hockey, the tender between the pipes can be the difference maker for your season. A hot goalie can carry you, while a cold one can sink you.

Jeremy Swayman knows this; he’s been the key to this year’s UMaine Men’s Ice Hockey season. Despite the losses in Providence, Swayman stopped 37 of 41 shots (0.902 SV%) Friday night, and 38 of 41 shots (0.926 SV%) Saturday night. Considering the jump the Friars came out with both nights, Swayman acquitted himself admirably with the amount of rubber he faced.

The Anchorage, AK native has plenty to be proud of this season: His 16 W’s are the most by any Freshman Maine goaltender since Ben Bishop in 2005-2006. From Dec. 2nd 2017 to Jan. 19th of this year, he had 8 consecutive games of 30+ saves. During the World Junior Championship, he was elected to represent his country in Buffalo with team USA. He has been named NCAA’s “Rookie of the Week” last November, this past January, and the previous week. On Dec. 11th of 2017, he was named NCAA’s “Player of the Week.” Swayman also helped break a multi-game losing streak at Boston University’s Agganis Arena dating back to January 28th, 2012; Not only did Swayman help secure the win, but he also blanked the Terriers for only the 5th shutout in 130 contests between the two clubs.

Bruins Nation was introduced to Swayman on Saturday, June 24th, 2017. When I spoke to him, he recounted the experience fondly. Because of the time difference between the Draft in Chicago, IL, and his home in Anchorage, AK, the news came down around 6 AM local time. “[The call] was pretty surreal…When you get called [in the Draft] let alone to the Bruins, an Original Six team, the great history behind it.” Surrounded by family, the first inkling he was drafted by the Bruins was friends texting him congratulations. “[It was] the best day of my life.”

July is a special month in the offseason for Bruins fans and media, as draft selections and prospects along with invitees attend Bruins Development Camp which is open to the public: a glimpse into the future of the Black and Gold. Jeremy Swayman appreciated the on-ice portions of the 4-day long event, where he was introduced to Bob Essensa, Bruins goalie coach. “He critiqued every little thing he saw” noted Swayman, who was grateful for the attention to detail. “I took it to heart, and still use it in my game today.” Swayman also spoke glowingly of the friendly but competitive environment of Development Camp under the watchful eye of the Bruins brass. He reminisced about hitting it off with fellow prospects Ryan Donato who reached out to him before development camp, Jesse Gabrielle, Trent Frederic, and ex-Bruins prospect Ryan Lindgren (now a New York Rangers prospect). In Development Camp 2018, Swayman said he looks forward to working with the coaches, Bob Essensa especially, in a more one-on-one setting.

Swayman was a UMaine commit before he was drafted, but Development Camp brought him together with a future Maine teammate months before he took to the ice in Orono. Robert “Bub” McGovern was an invite to Bruins Development Camp, where he and Swayman got acquainted before the NCAA season began: “It was a surprise for both of us. When I got the call from a couple of the scouts, [they said] ‘Hey we’re actually bringing your goaltending partner in,’ It was great, I got to start the relationship before the season even started.” Upon arrival in Orono, ME, Swayman worked closely with assistant coach and former UMaine goalie coach Alfie Michaud. “He’s been tremendous. I can’t speak enough about him. He’s really more than a goalie coach, he’s been my mentor, he’s been my role model. If I have any problems, I go straight to him… I know we’re gonna have a great, long relationship together.”

Looking toward the future, Swayman is content to let Don Sweeney steer the helm of his development. “It’s absolutely a Sweeney decision. I firmly believe they have the best interests [in mind] for me. If they want me to develop here, I have no problem with that, I absolutely love it at Maine growing as a player and a person as well.”

Time will tell how soon Swayman makes it to Providence or Boston, but in the meantime, the University of Maine – Orono has a rising star in its midst.

Bruins Sign Frederic To Entry-Level Contract

(Photo by Jeffrey T. Barnes/Getty Images)

By: Mark Allred   |   Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

The Boston Bruins have announced that they’ve signed prospect forward Trent Frederic to a three-year entry-level contract. The 6′-3″ 216-pound St, Louis, Missouri native recently finished his sophomore season at the University of Wisconsin where he appeared in 66 games posting 65 points. The 20-year-old 29th selection of the B’s in 2016 also signed an Amateur Try-Out agreement and will report to the American Hockey Leagues  Providence Bruins for the remaining 15 games.

Providence Bruins Weekend Recap (3-7-18 to 3-10-18)

Photo Credit:  Official Providence Bruins Twitter Account

By: Josh B.   |   Follow On Twitter @ToCauseway 

Tl;Dr Recap for those who just want the stats:

3/7/18 Providence (34-19-5) @ Laval (22-28-8) 7:30 PM
Goalies: Dan Vladar, 23 of 26 shots, 0.887 SV%; Michael McNiven 11 of 14 shots, 0.785 SV%, Replaced by: Zach Fucale, 14 of 16 shots, 0.875 SV%

Box Score W/Scoring Summary:

PVD 6-3 Regulation W, Improves to (35-19-5), LAV Drops to (22-29-8)

3/9/18 Providence (35-19-5) @ Rochester (29-15-15) 7:05 PM
Goalies: Jordan Binnington, 23 of 24 shots, 0.958 SV% ;Linus Ullmark 27 of 29 shots, 0.931 SV%

Box Score W/ Scoring Summary:

PVD 2-1 Regulation W, Improves to (36-19-5), RCH Drops to (29-16-15)

3/10/18 Providence (36-19-5) @ Toronto (40-16-2) 4:00 PM
Goalies: Zane McIntyre, 34 of 38 shots, 0.897 SV%; Calvin Pickard, 23 of 26 shots, 0.884 SV%

Box Score W/ Scoring Summary:

PVD 4-3 Regulation Loss, Drops to (36-20-5), TOR improves to (41-16-2)

Game Summaries:

Bruins De Providence @ Rocket De Laval (3/7/18)

In their second and final matchup of the season, Providence faced off against the Montreal Canadiens affiliate in Laval, QC to begin this week’s sequence of games. Starting in net for Providence was a rare sighting of Dan Vladar who usually has starting goaltender duty for the Bruins’ ECHL affiliate Atlanta Gladiators. Zane McIntyre had been held back in New England in the event Tuukka Rask was unable to perform backup duties for the NHL Bruins Tuesday night against Detroit. Providence wasted no time in taking control of the game, with strong forecheck and tight gap control on defense. The result was a lead less than 6 minutes into the game, as Senyshyn fed Colby Cave, who fed Colton Hargrove, who returned the puck to Cave. As the centering feed came in, one of the Laval defense hooked Cave to the ice, however, Colby had the presence of mind to tip the puck past the Laval goaltender for the 1-0 lead.

Despite 3 powerplay opportunities in the first for Providence, they would not convert and headed to the locker room up by one. During the second period, Providence would cash in for 3 goals, including 2 on the powerplay. Early in the 2nd, the Providence powerplay took only a few seconds to strike. Austin Czarnik won the faceoff cleanly, passed out to Hargrove below the goal line, who tapped right over to Jordan Szwarz waiting in the slot for a pass he buried for the 2 goal lead. After being denied a goal earlier, Anton Blidh put the Bruins up by three after what looked like a sloppy zone entry by linemate Adam Payerl. The latter passed out to Blidh in the left wing circle, who beat Laval goalie McNiven from a sharp, seemingly impossible angle. With three goals on 14 shots, Laval elected to pull McNiven in favor of Zach Fucale.

The change seemed to spark the Laval squad, as Chris Terry put one past Vladar a minute and change after the Blidh goal. Providence took this as a challenge and restored a 3 goal cushion at 18:26 of the 2nd period with another powerplay goal. In the final frame, Anton Blidh added insult to injury with his second goal of the night early in the third period. Adam Payerl again made a zone entry, rushed behind the net, close to Gretzky’s office, and passed out to Blidh streaking into the slot for a quick tap in goal past the blocker side of Fucale. Newly minted Canadien property Kerby Rychel struck twice in the third period to bring the Rocket back to within 2 goals, however, a final empty-net goal off the stick of Austin Czarnik iced the win for Providence who opened this week with the same score as they opened the previous week, 6-3.

Providence Bruins @ Rochester Americans (3/9/18)

In their only game visiting Rochester, New York, the Bruins skated against the Americans in a battle of quality defense at both ends of the ice. In the first period, play between the two clubs was an even give and take. Scoring chances were low-danger events, and the only penalty call to Providence was suffocated quickly and efficiently. Entering the period scoreless, the Bruins drew a penalty midway through the second frame, however, Josh Hennessey would negate most of the powerplay with a high-sticking double minor that handicapped Providence for 4 minutes. Energized by the kill, Ryan Fitzgerald finished off a chance that began as a Paul Postma point-blast, putting the Bruins up by one.

Entering the third up by one goal, Rochester turned up the intensity early and were rewarded with an equalizer off a bomb by Sahir Gill. The game remained tied through the third, as Providence regained the momentum and took it to the Amerks, but Linus Ullmark held steady. Finally, in overtime, Providence registered all 7 shots taken in the extra frame, taking it to a gassed Amerks team. As was the case in the second, Postma made the initial shot that was finished off by a Ryan Fitzgerald backhander up over the pads of Ullmark. Ironically, Fitzgerald would be the Providence goal scorer on the Americans’ Irish Heritage night.

Providence Bruins @ Toronto Marlies (3/10/18)

In the only visit to the capital of Ontario, the Providence Bruins ended this weekend on a sour note, falling 4-3 to the AHL’s leader in the standings. Despite an early 2 man advantage for the Providence club, they failed to capitalize on the 5v4 and 5v3against the best PK in the AHL by percentage. Toronto did an excellent job of holding the puck outside the box created by the four faceoff dots in the attacking zone and held Providence to low-danger shots for the duration of the shorthanded bid. The Marlies struck first, on a controversial goal where McIntyre emphatically believed there was goaltender interference.

A point shot came in, and one of two Marlies skaters finished off the rebound while another crashed into Chris Breen in front of the net, knocking into McIntyre. Between Zane and Providence captain Tommy Cross, the Bruins were able to wipe the goal off the board, despite no “challenge” existing in the AHL for goaltender interference. A minute later, however, McIntyre was beaten cleanly, as a sharp angle shot leaked through the five-hole off the stick of Colin Greening and the Marlies took an early lead.

Early in the second, Toronto opened a worrisome 2 goal lead. Timothy Liljegren took a sharp angle shot from the goal stripe reminiscent of his teammates, but McIntyre redirected this shot so well, it almost rebounded out of the zone. Calle Rosen barely held the puck in at the line and skittered a pass out to Mason Marchment in the slot who managed to snap the puck in past McIntyre despite Providence skaters harassing Marchment. Toward the end of the middle frame, Colby Cave took it on himself to storm back and tie the game headed into the third. After Colby Cave crossed the blue line, he left the puck stationary for teammate Anton Blidh a step or so behind him. Blidh threaded the needle with a pass through two Marlies, finding Cave curling into the slot. Evading a defender, Cave went down to a knee to find more leverage as he whipped a short shot side high on Calvin Pickard’s blocker.

Not even a full minute later, Colby Cave and Anton Blidh worked their magic again. Blidh carried the puck into the zone this time, dropping for Cave who fired a changeup shot that slid underneath Pickard. The final period began tied at 2 apiece, but Toronto broke in for a third goal while Providence was killing off a penalty. Kenny Agostino tied the score on his 15th goal of the season while Providence had a man-advantage of its own to retie the score. Paul Postma was guilty of a slashing minor in the waning minutes of the game.

Toronto passed the puck around the powerplay formation, with Ben Smith taking a shot hoping for a rebound. Instead, as McIntyre went down to take away the bottom of the net, he didn’t seal the far (glove-side) post entirely. The puck rolled along his pads as it slowed, but had enough energy to leak over the goal line by the far unsealed post. Providence tried, but failed to mount a comeback with the remaining minute left in regulation but came up short.

Plus / Minus

Plus: + Austin Czarnik went 2G 1A, Jordan Szwarz went 1G, 2A, and Anton Blidh went 2G 0A, during Wednesday night’s thumping of Laval; Friday night, Ryan Fitzgerald earned 2G, while Paul Postma packed on another 5A total to add to last weekend’s outing. Colby Cave earned 3G in 3 nights, while Zach Senyshyn has been snapping out of his cold streak to the tune of 2A.

+ Speaking of Austin Czarnik, his five points this week at one point elevated him to 2nd in league-wide total points. Laval’s Chris Terry edged him out before the week ended, however.

+ Providence opened this week’s games with 2 PPGs against Laval and added another Saturday against Toronto.

+ Providence swept the season series with MTL affiliate Laval Rocket beating them in both matchups this season.

+ Providence fought the AHL’s best club to a draw for 59 minutes, almost forcing overtime. The game had a playoff feel to it, and while they came up short, Providence looked like they could hang with the best.

+ Jakub Zboril made his return to the lineup after a UBI sidelined him the previous week.

+ Dan Vladar, called up from Atlanta, made 23 of 26 saves against Laval for his 2nd win of the season. His only loss this season came during a 1-0 loss where the Providence offense dried up. His career totals in the AHL are a healthy 6-1-3 with a 2.41 GAA, and 0.923 SV%.

Minus: – Providence surrendered a goal against while killing off a Tommy Cross penalty in Laval, and two more while playing against the Marlies in Toronto Saturday night.

– Providence dug an early hole for itself falling behind 2-0 to the Toronto Marlies Saturday afternoon.

– The final goal against McIntyre was ugly, leaking past him when he wasn’t sealed against the post. Had he stopped the shot, the Bruins would have forced OT with a shot to steal a game from the Toronto powerhouse.

– Providence was swept in its season series with Toronto, getting no points out of neither the home nor away game.

– Going into Saturday’s matchup, the Marlies were on a skid, going 4-5-1 in their last 10 games. Providence could have capitalized on that, however, the Marlies were well-rested coming into the contest.

B’s Ink Cameron Hughes to ELC

01.30.16 MHockey vs. AK26

Photo: Greg Anderson

By: Spencer Fascetta | Follow me on Twitter @PuckNerdHockey

The Bruins announced yesterday that the club signed forward Cameron Hughes to a 3-year Entry Level Contract that will begin in the 2018-19 season. Hughes, 21, just completed his senior season at the University of Wisconsin, where he amassed 23 goals and 69 assists for 92 points in 139 career games. An alternate captain his junior season, Hughes was named the captain before the start of his senior campaign and will join the Providence Bruins on an Amateur-Try-Out contract for the remainder of the season. The Badgers have had a difficult few seasons, and Hughes’ leadership, along with that of fellow B’s prospect and captain Trent Frederic has been key for the team to begin to regain its status as a premier program in the Big 10.


Photo: Greg Anderson

Hughes was originally selected by the Bruins in the 6th Round in 2015, 165th Overall, as an overage prospect, which means he had already passed through the draft at least once (once in his case) before being selected. Another player the B’s selected as an overager after his freshman year at college? Danton Heinen, 2014, 4th Round, 116th Overall. Not to say Hughes will be what Heinen has been, but it is a market inefficiency the B’s have clearly identified and are attempting to exploit. Hughes is the 4th member of his Badgers team to sign a pro contract following their 14-19-3 season, joining forwards Ryan Wagner (Chicago Wolves, AHL) and Matt Ustaski (Jacksonville Swamp Rabbits, ECHL), and defenseman Jake Linhart (Rochester Americans, AHL).

Bruins Prospect Vladar Remains Hot In AHL Starts

Photo Credit:   Dan Vladar Official Twitter Account @danvladar

By: Mark Allred   |   Follow On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Boston Bruins goaltending prospect Dan Vladar got the start last night in Laval, Quebec for the Providence Bruins after being recalled from the ECHL Atlanta Gladiators on March 6, 2018. The B’s got the 5-3 road win against the first year Laval Rocket franchise, and 2015 third round selection Vladar was up to the task as he appeared in his 12th career American Hockey League contest earning his sixth career victory. This was the second and last game these two teams will play in the 2017-18 campaign and Providence swept the series 2-0 with one win in either stadium.

With the recent news of National Hockey League starter Tuukka Rask’s minor injury, adjustments had to be made with Providence goaltender Zane McIntyre staying close by in case of emergency to his apparent club, Vladar got the uncommon Wednesday night start and his 12th career appearance. The 6′-5″ 195-pound netminder has developed very well in my opinion in his short time playing in the minor-pro levels of developmental hockey. His ECHL career record of 19-25-2 record, Goals-Against-Average of 3.29, and a .902 Save Percentage in 52 appearances shouldn’t be a knock on his progression in his second season with the Gladiators but shows he can step up to a higher level even though his 12 career AHL games are small sample size. His record this season is not eye-catching at 14-16-0 with his Atlanta team, but his potential is all there even tho the Gladiators struggle with defensive zone coverage.

When called up to Providence, Vladar definitely steps up his game under a better defensive structure and was fed to the wolves in 2016-17 with a plethora of injuries to the NHL Bruins that year, the Czech Republic native had a 4-0-2 record when needed and this season in three games is 2-1-0. What’s very impressive to me for a 20-year-old netminder like him is his numbers at the higher level. In 12 games like I already mentioned in the AHL, Dan has a career 2.29 GAA and an impressive .923 Save%.

Baby B’s other netminder this season is Jordan Binnington who’s on loan from the St. Louis Blues organization and having a fantastic 2017-18 campaign with a 13-6-1 record, 2.02 GAA and .927 Save%. I was not on board with the loan agreement and still believe Vladar was ready enough for the jump up to join McIntyre to make a pretty sick Providence tandem this season. Regardless of my opinion about the Binnington loan situation, AHL Bruins General Manager John Fergerson Jr. and Assistant to NHL Bruins GM Don Sweeney know far more than I when it comes to a hockey franchises sustainability but I would like to see Dan make the jump for a full-time role with the B’s AHL top minor-pro affiliate next season.

Bruins goaltending Coach Bob Essensa has spent a tremendous amount of time with Vladar during the summer sessions such as the mid-year development camp and Rookie Camps held annually in September. With the addition of  Goaltending Development Coach and former NHL’er Mike Dunham who spent ten years with the New York Islanders, the goaltending depth is in good hands when guidance is needed. As for all goaltenders this year in their respects developmental leagues, Coach Dunham makes his rounds all over North America to help and show support for B’s prospects in the crease. Coach Essensa can’t be everywhere and get baffled why this type of coaching addition wasn’t done awhile ago.

McIntyre’s last year of his two-way deal is after the 2018-19 season and would make a fantastic role model and teammate for the young Vladar if that’s what the B’s want to do.  Honestly, cant see the Bruins agreeing to another loan scenario with the Blues keeping Binnington active with Providence after this season so this might be an excellent opportunity to see what Dan has to offer and get a better idea of where he fits in the goaltending scheme of the future when thinking about adding assets from the draft either this year or next.

He’s a big kid with solid attributes and has to be given a shot with luck he’s having in the AHL, but as a B’s prospect guy I will continue to follow him and report wherever he ends up playing.

Bruins Swayman Earns First Hockey East Playoff Win

Photo Credit:    GoBlackBears .com

By: Mark Allred   |   Follow On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Boston Bruins prospect and University of Maine goaltender Jeremy Swayman earned his first Hockey East Playoff win last night with a 26 save effort against cross-border University of New Hampshire Wildcats. The number six seed Black Bears beat number eleven seed Wildcats by the score of 4-1 in front of 3,645 fans at Alfond Arena in Orono, Maine. This is the first time since 2004 that these two teams have faced each other in the postseason and the Bears have a 1-0-2 regular season record against the Cats in the 2017-18 campaign. This is the first time these two clubs have played each other in the opening round with Maine dominating the last four Hockey East Tournaments compiling a record of 5-1-0 over their longtime rival.

Swayman, a 19-year-old Anchorage, Alaska native had an outstanding 2017-18 season for the Black Bears as a freshman after the Boston Bruins selected him in the fourth-round of the 2017 National Hockey League Entry Draft from the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. In 28 games this season the 6′-2″ 187-pound netminder posted a 14-10-3 record, a 2.68 Goals-Against-Average, and .922 save percentage. Before his journey to the state of Maine, Swayman played one full season in the United States Hockey League with the Sioux  Falls Stampede and in 32 games played posted a 7-18-3 record in a league that is structured to get collegiate commits ready for the riggers of NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey.

With his exceptional play early this season, Jeremy earned a spot on the United States U-20 Team at the 2018 World Junior Tournament that was played in Buffalo, New York. Even though Swayman didn’t get much playing time, he said the experience was a positive one that he’ll never forget as he continues to develop his game and earning a Bronze Medal during the games was quite an accomplishment as he represented his country.. You can hear the complete interview I had with the young goaltending prospect in episode 83 of our weekly Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast.

Swayman also credited two former University of Maine alumni goaltenders for his success during his first season of collegiate hockey. First, he mentioned Black Bears Goaltending Coach Alfie Michaud for his knowledge and daily on-ice training regiments to keep the young netminder in shape and ready for game days. Second, is the visits that former NHL goaltender and last summers Boston Bruins hire Mike Dunham as the teams new goaltending development coach who Swayman said has been a big help when he’s able to be around. Coach Dunham has made several trips around North America sharing professional tips with the many Bruins goaltending prospects.

Here are last night’s game one highlights between the Maine Black Bears and the New Hampshire Wildcats from Alfond Arena in Orono, Maine

Game two of this first round battle is tonight and all information to watch and listen can be seen below from the official University of Maine Twitter account.