Pearson: Top-10 Bruins Prospects

VICTORIA , BC - DECEMBER 21: Jack Studnicka #23 of Team Canada raises his stick to salute the fans following a game versus Team Slovakia at the IIHF World Junior Championships at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre on December 21, 2018 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images)

(Kevin Light/Getty Images)

By: Lucas Pearson  |  Follow Me On Twitter @LucasPearson_

Recently fellow Black N’ Gold writer Mike Cratty had an idea to simply rank the Bruins prospects and suggested that we all take a stab at ranking the Bs farm system. His rules were simply that there were no players on AHL only deals (like Cooper Zech) and that Anders Bjork and Karson Kuhlman weren’t eligible for the list. Make sure you read Mike’s article here, but without further ado, here’s my list.

10. Jakub Zboril

Just because the Bruins may have missed out on players like Thomas Chabot and Matthew Barzal doesn’t mean they did not get anything of value with those picks in that infamous 2015 draft. With the ridiculous amounts of injuries that plagued the Bruins defense, we all got to see Zboril in a little NHL action. He looked pretty good in his two games with the big club and after back to back solid years in the AHL, it’s not time to give up on this promising young Czech man.

9. Zach Senyshyn

From one criticized pick to another, Senyshyn is not a bust just yet. While he hasn’t had the most outstanding numbers in the AHL (with 50 points in 132 games) but was a two-time 40 goal scorer in the OHL. We saw a glimpse of the Ottawa native in a couple of games to end the season, and he looked far from out of place in Boston. It will be very interesting to see how Senyshyn will play with his first true shot at cracking the top 9 in Boston.

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Boston Bruins

(Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)

8. Trent Frederic

Unlike the previous two players, we got to have an extended look at Trent Frederic in the NHL. He was far from dominant in his 15 game stint, failing to register a point in all 15 games, but showed that he had the grit and work ethic of an NHL player. I think Frederic will 100% become a regular NHLer but whether that is in the top or bottom six has yet to be seen. A full year of top-six minutes in the AHL would do wonders for Frederic’s game.

7. Kyle Keyser

I’m a huge fan of Keyser. Last year with the Oshawa Generals he boasted the second-best save percentage (.915) in all of the OHL and was even better in the playoffs where he posted a .925 save percentage in the Generals 15 game playoff run. Keyser was able to make the World Junior Championships with the US and start their first two games but was unfortunately struck with an illness before the team’s third game and didn’t play again in the tournament due to teammate Cayden Primeau’s stellar play. At just 20 years old, Keyser has a real chance to take the reigns from Tuukka Rask a few years down the line if he continues to impress in his development.

(Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)

6. Oskar Steen

After a year in the SHL where he had a grand total of six points in 45 games, Steen had a breakout season in the for Farjestad BK where he was able to notch 17 goals and 37 points in 46 games, good for 10th in the SHL. What was even more impressive about that season was that the nine players above Steen had an average age of 30, the youngest being 26 while Steen is still just 21. With his speed and agility, I’d lookout for the young Swede to be an under the radar fit for the Bruins big league roster this year.

5. Jeremy Lauzon

In his short stay in the NHL, this season Lauzon impressed a lot of people. He isn’t the flashiest player, but is really solid in his own end and showed a lot of playmaking ability in his years in the QMJHL, tallying 40 assists in 46 games during his final season. If the Bruins didn’t have such a logjam at defense, Lauzon would certainly be on the Bruins roster this year.

(Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

4. Jakub Lauko

Lauko continues to look more and more like a steal as we continue to see him grow. Originally projected to go in the middle of the second round, Lauko fell to the Bruins in the 3rd round of the 2018 draft. The 19-year-old notched 41 points in 44 games and helped the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies win the President’s Cup this past year. His blazing speed and hockey IQ sets him apart from most of the competition and should set him up to be a really solid NHL player.

3. John Beecher

I’m not going to lie, when I saw that Arthur Kaliyev dropped all the way to pick 30, I really wanted the Bruins to hop all over him. When I learned that the Bruins drafted yet another player that was expected to go later in the draft I was honestly pretty disappointed but man, every single day I learn more about Beecher I continue to love this pick more and more. Beecher was overshadowed heavily by players like Jack Hughes, Cole Caufield, and Alex Turcotte but still put together a solid season playing outside of the top six in the US developmental program, putting up 43 points in 63 games. Most recently Beecher has raised a lot of eyebrows at the World Junior Summer Showcase where he has displayed his speed, agility and two-way prowess while impressing many people.

Urho Vaakanainen

(Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

2. Urho Vaakanainen

It really is a shame that Vaakanainen had to get cheap shot early in just his second NHL game because we didn’t get to truly see what the young Fin had in store, but there’s no question that the Bruins have something in store with this defenseman. The 18th overall pick in the 2017 draft is a strong skater and is very reliable in his own zone with the ability to move the puck very well. Vaakanainen is already a two-time gold medalist, winning the U-18 and U-20 championships with team Finland.

1. Jack Studnicka

I thought for a while on who deserved the top spot on this list, but ultimately, I chose Studnicka. Last season Studnicka began his season with the Oshawa Generals, averaging above a point per game but really stepped up when he was traded mid-season to the Niagra IceDogs where he was able to light the lamp 24 times and add 25 assists in just 30 games. Even when he was on team Canada at World Juniors with players like Morgan Frost, Cody Glass and Barret Hayton, he was able to stand out and catch the eye of everyone. Bob McKenzie said following a game that “It was pretty obvious that Jack Studnicka was the best player on the ice,” quite the praise for a guy that wasn’t playing top minutes on the team. A year after missing out on the 3rd line center position, Studnicka will once again look to crack the Bruins roster and make his mark in the NHL.

Honorable Mentions: Axel Andersson, Pavel Shen, Jacob Forsbacka-Karlsson, Peter Cehlarik, Cameron Hughes, Jeremy Swayman

Bruins Reportedly Among Suitors For Undrafted Free Agent Justin Brazeau

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(Photo Credit: Tom Martineau / BayToday.ca)

By: Patrick Donnelly | Follow me on Twitter @PatDonn12

Reports surfaced yesterday about several teams around the National Hockey League that are interested in Justin Brazeau, an undrafted free agent currently with the North Bay Battalion of the Ontario Hockey League. Among those teams? The Boston Bruins and general manager Don Sweeney. TSN’s Darren Dreger had the scoop during TSN’s “Insider Trading” in addition to a tweet from Bruins Network earlier yesterday:

Dreger mentioned that the other teams aside from Boston included: the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Vegas Golden Knights, the St. Louis Blues, and the Nashville Predators. It is no wonder so many teams are interested; North Bay’s captain has been absolutely dominant, to say the least, this season as a fourth-year OHLer with 61 goals and 52 assists for 113 points through 68 regular season games played this season (yes, you read that right).

His 61 goals led the entire OHL in the regular season while his 113 points were the second-most among OHL skaters. Additionally, Brazeau registered 314 shots on goal, third-highest in the league.

Brazeau has seemingly been building towards a career season like this throughout his time in the OHL, too. In his rookie season as an 18-year-old, Brazeau had totals of 6/7/13 through 65 games played. In 67 games during his sophomore campaign, the then 19-year-old bested his previous marks with totals of 22/15/37. Just last season at age 20, the New Liskeard, Ontario native posted point per game numbers with 39/36/75 in 68 games played. For those of you keeping score at home, Brazeau has 128 goals and 238 points in 268 OHL contests on his career.

Production aside, take a look at the size of this kid: 6-foot-6, 225 pounds. Safe to say that Brazeau, 21, is an absolute moose on the ice. The power forward plays a heavy game and has obviously produced a ton in the last two seasons. With so many teams worried about having to deal with players like Tom Wilson, it is quite obvious why there is a good amount of interest in the right-shot right-winger.

The one knock on Brazeau’s game seems to be that he is not necessarily the strongest skater. However, the forward has been able to use his size to his advantage wonderfully between his reach and physicality.

While the number of teams reportedly interested in Brazeau certainly is not shocking by any stretch of the imagination, the Bruins’ competition in the sweepstakes could be even stiffer. This is due to the fact that Brazeau had participated in the Blue Jackets’ development camp back in 2017, as well as the San Jose Sharks’ 2018 development camp; although, the Sharks were not among the teams mentioned by Dreger.

Dreger also noted that in a perfect world, these teams would ink Brazeau to an AHL deal; however, considering his production and the positions these teams are in (all headed to the playoffs in all probability), the winger is looking for an entry-level NHL contract.

“There will be five to seven teams at Thursday’s game when they [North Bay] open the playoffs against Niagra,” Dreger said. As fans may know, one of the Bruins’ prized prospects, Jack Studnicka, who has also had himself a fine season in the OHL, plays for the Niagra Ice Dogs, North Bay’s first-round opponent. So the matchup between Studnicka and Brazeau will certainly be an interesting one to watch.

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Bruins Prospect Studnicka Named IceDogs’ Alternate Captain

( Photo Credit:  NHL.com )

By: Mandi Mahoney | Check me out on Twitter @phonymahoney

The Ontario Hockey League’s Niagara IceDogs have announces that Bruins prospect Jack Studnicka has been named as one of the squad’s Alternate Captains.  One of the Bruins’ top prospects, Studnicka was drafted 53rd overall in the second round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, and is currently playing his fourth, and likely last, season in the OHL.

The right-hand shooting center was traded to the Niagara IceDogs from the Oshawa Generals along with Canucks prospect Matt Brassard as part of a blockbuster deal in exchange for defenseman Lleyton Moore and six draft picks on January 8th. Since he was traded to Niagara, Studnicka has scored seven goals and assisted on eight, for a total of 15 points in just nine games with his new team — not too shabby. He also scored a hat trick in a 7-2 routing of the Flint Firebirds on January 19th.

Jack is currently sitting at 49 points in 39 OHL games this season and is tied for fifth in scoring for the IceDogs. Studnicka is no stranger to being in a leadership role, as he Captained the Oshawa Generals last season. It runs in the family, apparently, as his older brother Sam, also a center, was named Captain of the OHL’s Sarnia Sting in 2016.

IceDogs Head Coach Billy Burk has been impressed by the crafty center since he joined the Niagara squad:

Jack is one of the most detailed players in the league and he carries himself like a pro at practice and away from the rink. He is a natural leader and even though he has only been here a few weeks, he completely embodies what it means to be an IceDog. The strength of this team is the character of our players. Jack will do a great job along with Ben, Akil and Jon in leading our group on hopefully a long run.

Studnicka had an excellent training camp with the Bruins this season, and also played for Team Canada in the IIHF World Junior Championship, where the Tecumseh, Ontario native scored one goal and assisted on three for four points in five games. It would be no surprise to see him land on the Providence Bruins’ roster in the American Hockey League at the end of this OHL season.

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photo credit: NHL.com

Jack’s name has been bandied about in Bruins trade rumors in exchange for a scoring wing, but it seems like moving him could turn out to be a bad idea since he is a talented scorer and is considered to be one of the OHL’s most complete player. That said, Studnicka clearly has the skills and intangibles NHL coaches and GMs love, so his being named a Captain on his second team in a row may up his value to other teams a bit.

The way the Bruins’ NHL roster looks at the moment, however, it wouldn’t be that crazy to think that if the 6-foot-2 center can capitalize on his time in the AHL, Studnicka could land in Boston next season. Given that the sky is the limit for Jack, he could very well find himself in a three-way tie for third line center on the NHL roster with Swedish center Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, and Trent Frederic, who made a splash in his National Hockey League debut against Winnipeg Tuesday night. At the moment, Studnicka seems like a pretty special player, and it’s great to see him be rewarded.

 

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Bruins Prospect Studnicka Traded to Niagara Ice Dogs

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photo credit: NHL.com

By: Mandi Mahoney  |  Check Me Out On Twitter @phoneymahoney

The Ontario Hockey League trade that has been rumored for the past week or so has finally happened: Boston Bruins center prospect Jack Studnicka has been acquired from the Oshawa Generals by the Niagara IceDogs. Canucks prospect Matt Brassard is heading to Niagara with Studnicka, in exchange for defenseman Lleyton Moore and six draft picks, spanning from 2020 through 2024. This is an OHL trade only, and the Bruins still own the NHL rights to Studnicka.

Studnicka, one of the Bruins organization’s top prospects, was selected by the Boston Bruins 53rd overall in the second round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. He impressed during the Bruins’ training camp and preseason this year, but ultimately was returned to his OHL team at the time, the Oshawa Generals. Studnicka recently returned to Oshawa from a disappointing sixth place finish with Team Canada in the IIHF World Junior Championship in Vancouver. Studnicka scored one goal and assisted on three, totaling four points in five games.

In 222 games over three and a half seasons in Oshawa, Studnicka tallied 184 points – 56 goals and 128 assists – while captaining the Generals squad since 2017-18. This season, Studnicka had scored 34 points in 30 games before being traded to the IceDogs, where he will undoubtedly continue the tear he’s been on lately.

In a press release, Generals Vice President and General Manager Roger Hunt said, “Jack came in following our Memorial Cup year and right away proved he was a leader and the exact guy we needed to build our team around. While playing with the Gens he has represented Canada at the Under-17, Under-18 and World Junior level. It was a no brainer for him to become our captain two years ago and he will always be remembered as one of the great captains of the Oshawa Generals.”

In a press release out of Niagara, IceDogs General Manager Joey Burke said, “This is a huge day in Niagara. In Jack and Matt we are adding the exact two players we targeted as a perfect fit for our roster. The skill set they will add to an already deep group could not be more exciting, and I can’t wait to watch how well they fit with our guys… To be able to add something of this caliber, something had to go out, and it was a very difficult decision to move Lleyton Moore. As we know, he will go on to become a star in this league. Lleyton is a great young man and athlete, and we wish him nothing but success.”

The IceDogs are currently holding onto second place in the Ontario Hockey League’s Eastern Conference, and are four points above Studnicka’s former Oshawa Club, which is currently in third place. Oshawa got a solid return for Studnicka and Brassard in 16 year old defenseman Lleyton Moore, but Niagara made a fantastic addition to their roster as well, as Studnicka has proven to be one of the OHL’s best players over the last couple of seasons.

 

Bruins Prospects Keyser & Studnicka’s Recent Contributions In The OHL

      ( Photo Credit:  Both Images Above Courtesy Of Aaron Bell / OHL Images )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

A Little History……..

The Oshawa Generals are currently playing in their 56th season since rejoining the Ontario Hockey League in 1962. Per Wikipedia, the organization’s roots go back to the 1937-38 season and continue to 1953 before a fire at their home rink forced to club to take a ten-year leave of absence from the league. The Boston Bruins played a key role in the resurrection of the Generals club and new Oshawa Civic Auditorium construction which opened in 1964.

Again, Per Wikipedia, Bruins President at the time Weston Adams would go on to oversee the construction of the new arena and manage the Oshawa team as a Bruins minor-league affiliate having access to legendary B’s player Bobby Orr. Former Bruins legends Rick Middleton and Terry O’Reilly played for Oshawa in the late 1960s and early 1970s before their NHL careers, and Marc Savard was also a member of the Oshawa club in the early to mid-1990s and had a successful junior career for himself.

Present Day

Jumping ahead to the start of the 2018-19 regular season for the Generals club, things were a bit shaky as seen below from Twitter account Generals Live ( @GeneralsUpdates ) below, the team struggled to start but have really made some noise gathering 14 points in their last 17 games since October 16th. The Gens are now in second place in the Eastern Conference 10 points behind the Ottawa 67’s who are having an outstanding season so far with 42 points in 26 games played.

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Two Boston Bruins prospects currently playing with the Oshawa club are contributing at career-high paces and have been key members to the team’s recent success. Since being returned from their respected Boston Bruins training camps, prospect goaltender Kyle Keyser and forward Jack Studnicka have been pleasant additions to a very sneaky Gens team. Many highly respected analyst that cover the league has mentioned the Generals could be a “dark horse” club that could be head turners this season regardless of their slow start.  Below is a little more insight and my personal opinion from what I’ve seen thus far this year and what’s to be expected in the future from both B’s prospects.

Goaltender Kyle Keyser

( Photo Credit: Ryan Pfeiffer / Metroland )

Definitely, one of my favorite goaltending prospects to watch with his agility and athleticism. At 6′-2″ 183-pounds he’s aggressive netminder that is often at the top of his crease commonly cutting down his angles and squaring his body to the puck. Often these days, well in my opinion anyway, goaltenders above his height or equal to play deeper in the net while Keyser plays out relying on his quick lower body reflexes to get where he needs to be laterally. His quickness and reaction time is second to none and with those attributes has acquired an increasingly better-developed glove hand that seems to be getting better year-by-year with his puck tracking ability.

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The 2017-18 season was Keyser’s breakout year as a starter, and with his free agent signing with the Boston Bruins in the fall of 2017 shortly after the Vegas Golden Knights waiver claim of former B’s first-round prospect Malcolm Subban, Kyle has seemingly taken the umbrella of the B’s organization to a whole new level. In the aforementioned breakout year, he went 28-13-2 with a 3.16 goals-against-average, and .904 save percentage which had him ranked ninth overall in the OHL. A solid season nonetheless minus the two concussions he battled during the last season’s campaign which could’ve had major setbacks in his development.

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This year Kyle started the 2018-19 season on the shelf nursing an injury from Bruins training camp but as soon as he was cleared to play his mission has been focused on improving and helping his Generals team all he can as the last line of defense. In 18 games played so far the Coral Springs, Florida native has a 12-3-1 record, a 2.43 GAA and .929 Save% which is ranked third overall in the OHL. Keyser is currently on a five-game winning streak which he tied of a season-high this year and is one win away from tying a career-best six-game winning streak. Kyle has the chance to tie his career-high string of “W’s” tomorrow afternoon when the Generals host the Sarnia Sting from the Tribute Communities Centre when the puck drops at 2pm.

Forward Jack Studnicka

( Photo Credit: Ryan Pfeiffer / Metroland )

Determination is a word that I constantly think about when talking about Jack and the skill set he brings to so many levels of competitive developmental hockey. As a guest media member during the offseason’s development camp to rookie camp and NHL training camp participation, being close to Studnicka in that timeframe has allowed me to get a sense of what type of player he can be while presenting himself in a professional manner. From the Bruins training facility at Warrior Ice Arena Jack’s efforts and drive can be seen up close along with the surrounding voice of reason from supporting members such as Bruins training staff for on and off-ice training sessions during the offseason.

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Having the opportunity to interview Studnicka on several occasions, he’s said he’s here to challenge for an NHL roster spot and will continue to showcase his skills with close up looks from the B’s brass whenever possible. All those attributes were on full display as the team was heavily considering a spot as a third-line center but elected to return him to his junior team in favor of further development. This move back to Oshawa was not a knock against his development moving forward but was a smart idea when looking at his American Hockey League eligibility and the potential of starting his NHL career as close as next year.

Studnicka had a career year last season posting 22-50-72 in 66 games and is already on pace to break those totals this year. After being returned to Oshawa from Bruins camp, he’s appeared in 23 games and has 9-21-30 numbers. He’s currently on a five-game point streak which he can extender to six-games with a tilt tomorrow afternoon against Sarnia. So far this season the highly touted center has only gone pointless five times this season and in his last ten games has 3-9-12 numbers in that timeframe.

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This year Generals Head Coach Greg Walters has used Jack’s skills all over the lineup with him playing a majority of time in the top-six but often as low as the third line when matching up pre-game lineups. Regardless of what line he plays on his speed and the two-way game is impressive to watch. I wish I were close to seeing him play games live, but I’ve been fortunate enough to stream about 60 games since leaving the Draft podium in the summer of 2017. Great 200-foot game and high hockey IQ in tight situations. Big slap shot playing the point on the power-play acting like a quarterback with a man advantage and unreal release in front of the net.

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The 6′-2″ 179-pound forward took his demotion back to his Junior Club as a positive with the mindset that the journey to conquering his life-long goal was not yet over. In an October 1st, 2018, an article from Brain McNair of the DurhamRegion.com website, Studnicka had these things to say below upon his return back to the historic OHL franchise.

“It was awesome, they’re fast, you’ve got to keep up with them,” Studnicka said. “I think of myself as fast, but it really helped me to kind of be fast 24-7 and keep moving because those two are obviously two of the most skilled wingers in the game, but they’re also two of the hardest workers.”

Studnicka on working alongside current Boston Bruins player Patrice Bergeron.

“He’s an older guy, but you wouldn’t know it. He interacts with all the young guys due to his leadership, and it’s something I want to bring back to our room,” he said of Bergeron. “A lot of guys that get caught in my situation are going to hang their head and kind of walk through juniors, but I’m going in with my head held high here and I’m going to do everything I can to help the team succeed.”

Some word from Generals Head Coach Greg Walters on his return back to the league and organization.

“As you can see, his skill set is off the charts,” Walters said after Studnicka’s two-goal, four-point night in Sunday’s home opener against North Bay. “He’s a great leader, a true professional in the way he acts in the dressing room and in practice. We haven’t seen the best of Jack Studnicka yet.”

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Bruins Prospect Studnicka Is Adjusting Well In Return To Oshawa

( Photo Credit: Terry Wilson / OHL Images )

By: Mark Allred   |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

When the Boston Bruins sent talented prospect forward Jack Studnicka back to his Ontario Hockey League’s Oshawa Generals Major-Junior club after the second-to-last preseason game of the B’s 2018 exhibition schedule. It was hard for the 19-year-old, who worked his ass off to stay in training camp as long as he did. Obviously, there was something in his game the B’s brass saw that needed more attention as he continues to develop, and he was eligible for his age to be sent back to what I believe is the most highly skilled league in the Canadian Junior Hockey League.

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After watching his first three games since returning to Oshawa, it’s safe to say he’s determined to work harder and do what he and Bruins management staff suggested in private meetings before leaving Boston last week. The 2017 second-round draft pick mentioned he was tired from his efforts at Bruins training camp but was also enthusiastic about getting back on the ice with his Oshawa club to help out in any way he can while being team Captain for another year. In his first game back he certainly didn’t look out of place.

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On Thursday night, Sept. 27, the Generals took their 0-1 record and game No. 2 of a three-game road trip to start the 2018-19 campaign with a stop at the North Bay Memorial Gardens to play the Battalion in Studnicka’s first contest of the year. Captain Jack contributed an assist in the 7-2 victory accompanied by one shot on goal, a +/- of +1, and from the faceoff circle he went 6/15. Studnicka’s assist in the game came at the 6:21 mark of the second period when he got the primary assist on teammate Serron Noel’s hat trick and his fourth of the year.

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Oshawa Generals at North Bay Battalion 9/27/18 Game Highlights

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On Friday, Sept. 28, the Generals drove a little further northwest to the Community Arena in Sudbury, Ontario to take on the Sudbury Wolves. This matchup was a gritty contest from the puck drop and Studnicka, playing in his second game of the year, seemed to be a target for the hometown Wolves who roughed him up for a majority of the game. Offensively, Jack got his first goal on the power play at 12:08 in the first period when Giovanni Vallati shoveled over a pass to Studnicka, who was ready for the booming slapshot from the top of the circle.

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Studnicka definitely seemed a little more comfortable with six shots on net and 7/12 in the faceoff circle. The physical game that Sudbury brought to the ice that night seemed to get the Oshawa team a little frustrated and Studnicka ended the night with a +/- of -2.

Oshawa Generals at Sudbury Wolves 9/28/18 Game Highlights

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On Sunday, Sept. 30, Studnicka would appear in his third game of the season but this time the General three-game road trip came to an end and it was time to put on a show for the hometown crowd at the Tribute Communities Centre in Oshawa, Ontario. The first period started off with two goals in the first half of the period and the Generals weren’t showing signs of stepping back as they tied the score at two with Studnicka getting an assist on Serron Noel’s power play goal.

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Toward the end of the first period, Studnicka would score his second goal in as many games to tie the game at three with 18:05 remaining in the first frame. His even-strength goal came from Alan McShane and Serron Noel, who’s off to a monster start in the first part of this season. Jack’s second goal of the year came as he was perfectly placed between the hash marks to fire a shot past North Bay’s goaltender Christian Purboo.

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Studnicka would dish another helper to start the third period when he got the primary assist on teammate Matt Brassard’s first goal of the year. McShane would skate wide to the net and feed it to Studnicka who in turn slid a backhand pass to Brassard, who skated to the net unmolested as mentioned above for his first of the 2018-19 season.

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At the 16:53 mark of the third period, Studnicka would score a power-play goal on a one-timing feed from Vallati who dished a sweet pass to the left circle for the insurance goal in a 7-5 Generals victory. Captain Jack ended the night with two goals and two assists. With his effort, Studnicka now has six points in his first three games since coming back to the OHL. He also had seven shots in this game and was 16/26 from the faceoff dot.

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North Bay Battalion at Oshawa Generals 9/30/18 Game Highlights

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Bruins Prospect Studnicka Sent Back To The OHL

(Photo Credit:  Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

The Boston Bruins announced earlier today that the club has returned highly touted forward prospect Jack Studnicka to the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League. The 19-year-old center spent a majority of his time during the summer offseason participating in Bruins events (such as Development Camp, Rookie Camp/Prospects Challenge) and showcased his skills to the Bruins brass for the B’s main camp before being cut today with two preseason games remaining in the exhibition schedule.

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Although it may not be a popular move from B’s fans that believed he was ready for third-line duties down the middle for the upcoming 2018-19 season, his placement back to the Canadian Major Junior ranks made sense for both sides. First, Jack is unable to report to the American Hockey League due to the agreement between the CHL and NHL that states any player under the age of 20 either makes the jump to the big leagues or has to be returned to his junior program. Second, the Bruins might believe that third line center spot should be a competition between two players higher in the depth chart — like prospects Jacob Forsbacka-Karlsson and Trent Frederic, who will get considerable looks tonight against Detroit and Saturday against Philadelphia.

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Studnicka plays a strong two-way game and is extremely intelligent in all situations, which are important attributes as he continues to develop. The 6-foot-2, 179-pound forward was selected by the Bruins in the second round (53rd overall) of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft and has played with the OHL Generals since the 2015-16 campaign. In 192 career OHL games with the Generals, the talented center contributed 44-106-150 stats and last season as a first-year team captain posted career numbers with 22-50-72 totals in 66 games. After his 2017-18 commitment was over with the second-round elimination in the OHL playoffs by the Niagara Ice Dogs, Captain Jack reported to the AHL’s Providence Bruins and appeared in five regular season games posting 1-4-5 numbers.

The Bruins signed Studnicka to a 3-year entry-level contract exactly one year ago today after he impressed B’s management after working hard during team offseason events and training camps in 2017. Below is a scouting report provided by Dominic Tiano, who covers the Ontario Hockey League for the OHL Writers website.

“Studnicka has good size – although adding bulk will be key for him. He is an excellent skater who has an explosive first step and decent top end speed who can change direction with ease. He possesses very good vision with high-quality playmaking skills with an ability to set up his teammates. His shot is underrated in my opinion. His release is deceptive and accurate and he puts every shot on goal with a purpose. Studnicka can be elusive in the offensive zone. He can break away from coverage almost undetected and put himself into scoring positions. He has very good puck skills and strong possession skills. Although he needs to add some muscle, he will not shy away from the hard areas. Once he gets stronger, it will become an area where he wins more often than he loses because of it – and his work ethic.” – Dominic Tiano

Prospects Challenge: Part 2 — A Tale Of Three Goalies For The Bruins

Round Up ( Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Stasio Coombe )

By: Jen Stasio Coombe  |  Follow Me On Twitter @hockeygirl2976

Dan Vladar, Kyle Keyser, and Dawson Weatherill were three netminders who played their way to Buffalo representing the Bruins in net over the four-day extended weekend event. Three men to tend the pipes gave Boston Brass the opportunity to scrutinize the skills and tenacity each of these players brought to the game.  As well as giving each of them their opportunity to shine as the squads starting goalie.

Game 1 against the Pittsburgh Penguins, was to be Kyle Keyser’s night in the spotlight. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound goalie has played for the Oshawa Generals since 2016 and at the young age of 19 was looking to convince the people upstairs that their faith in his growth and development were not misguided. Attending the development camp in the spring, there were a few doubts about his ability to keep the pace and continue to build his repertoire.  Kyle took Game 1 by the horns and left little doubt that he was here to work hard and win.

Keyser 2( Photo Courtesy of Joshua Bemis @ToCauseway )

Through the first two periods, Keyser was on fire, not letting one of the many shots he faced past his post. His determination in net saw the B’s entering the third with a 4-0 lead. This iron curtain did falter a bit in the third as he allowed two pucks to find their way into the net, but his composure was not to let him down.

Finishing his night off with a total of 35 saves, it was reasonable to think that perhaps fatigue is what caused the two pucks to slip by in the third, so the next day I asked Kyle his take on the situation. “Honestly, I didn’t feel fatigued at all in the third, sometimes when you are as a team 4-0 and you are going into the third, you maybe take your foot off the gas a little, even me, and I think that is just an area to focus in on to improve for everybody.”  Backing up his confident statement regarding his endurance Keyser did show a good bit of athleticism late into the third, using the butt of his stick while making a nice leap to ensure the puck would not find its intended target.

Vladar( Photo Courtesy: Joshua Bemis @ToCauseway )

Game 2, the feature game of the weekend, saw Dan Vladar take his place in the crease to put a kibosh on the Buffalo Sabres scoring chances.  His 6-foot-5, 185-pound frame towered over the net as the puck was dropped at the Harbor Center. After spending two seasons with the Atlanta Gladiators, Boston’s ECHL Affiliate, Dan was ready to make his next step up the pro ladder taking place in Providence as the second goaltender for the organization this coming year. His performance would not disappoint those invested in this 21-year-old’s blossoming career.

While the Sabres came into the weekend not only with a home-ice advantage but a strong and wily group of youngsters, the first period ended with only a single puck making it past this Czech beast. Not completely satisfied with his first period, Vladar came into the next two periods with a galvanized resolve and a positive outlook. Not one of the battery of shots on goal was able to penetrate this jolly giant’s façade.

Vladar 2 ( Photo Courtesy of Joshua Bemis @ToCauseway )

Finishing the night with a record of saving 38 of 39 shots on goal would leave many a goalie, tooting his own horn, but not our Vlad. When asked about his performance in the net his humble attitude and desire to continually better himself was on full display. “I feel good, but it is my first game of the season … I felt a little bit off my posts, but I got a little bit stronger over the summer, so my pushes were good…To be honest, it was not my best hockey. ”  In contrast, Jay Leach felt Vladar had an outstanding performance. “I think at first he had a few saves that looked like he hadn’t played in six months, which he hadn’t, but he settled right in, and ‘Vlady’ will always give you his best effort … guys love playing in front of him … and he was really very impressive.”

The third and final game of the weekend saw Dawson Weatherill step up in an attempt to send the New Jersey Devils packing. Another formidable obstacle at 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds, Weatherill came to the prospect challenge as an invite. Basically, he was brought up to test the waters and fill out the third roster spot as some would say.  Not taking this merely a chance to mingle with the pro boys or a holiday with a bit of hockey thrown in, Dawson buckled down, worked hard at all practices and morning skates, and soaked up all the information he could from the coaches and teammates here in Buffalo.

Unfortunately, learning does not occur overnight and being the least seasoned of the goalies here for Boston, Dawson saw the third game come to a disappointing close with a score of Devils 6, Bruins 2.  He was not as focused or as agile as Vladar and Keyser, and he appeared to have trouble from time to time with letting the frustration overtake him.  While he was not able to vanquish these Devils, Weatherill will take what he has learned in this tournament back to the Spokane Chiefs in the WHL and continue to grow and develop, hoping for another shot in future seasons.

Finishing with a strong showing of winning two of the three matches, the Bruins goalies were ready to head back home and get the rest of the preseason underway.  Don Sweeney confirmed that Vladar would be heading to Providence to split time in net with Veteran P-Bruin Zane McIntyre. “We play a lot of three in three situations in Providence, where one goalie gets two out of those three,” he said. “You want that competition, he really needs to challenge and push Zane for as many starts as he can get.”

So, while Keyser and Weatherill set off to mature for another season, it is up to Dan Vladar to determine his own next big move.

Help Wanted: Join Our Black N’ Gold Writing Team!

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Are you a passionate Boston Bruins fan who wants to voice your opinion to a wide audience throughout Bruins Nation? As the 2018-19 National Hockey League season approaches, we are seeking writers to fill certain positions on our growing team. This is a great platform for folks that want to get started and possibly showcase their writing skills to higher Boston Sports media companies that would like to see samples of your work.

Currently, we are a team of 19 writers and 4 podcasters, but we’d like to play a bigger role and cover the multiple levels of the Bruins organization. We could always use more NHL Bruins writers but also want to invite B’s fans that might want to cover the American Hockey Leagues Providence Bruins, ECHL Atlanta Gladiators, and Bruins prospects playing throughout North America and overseas in Europe.

We also would love to add writers that have an interest in the history of the NHL club and would definitely entertain the thought of a “This Day in Bruins History” writer for that nostalgic feel. Also, we are looking for motivated individuals that can post game recaps from the NHL Bruins and AHL Providence team. Our goal in the upcoming year is to have a recap done for every game at both levels.

If anyone is interested in covering the NWHL Boston Pride, we are also looking to add coverage from that club here on our Black N’ Gold website. If you’re available to attend every home game played at the Warrior Ice Arena in Brighton, Mass., let us know and we’ll look into getting you media passes and provide links to cover away games as well.

We are also looking for skilled editors to join our crew so we can publish articles in a timely fashion depending on the article topic and if it’s breaking news or not. Maybe writing isn’t for you but we have other roles that need to be filled here so please apply and let us know if this is something that would be interesting to you.

Black N’ Gold Team Requirements

We highly recommend you get a Twitter account. Very important tool when it comes to sharing your work and following the well-known hockey personalities for news ideas.

1) Applicants must have previous writing experience and WordPress media program knowledge. If you’ve never written for any previous media company or blog platform in the past, we ask that you still apply but please have strong punctuation and spelling skills.

2) Must be able to post four articles during the regular season and two articles during the summer offseason. Our regular season writing schedule here on our team is from the beginning of September and ends when the Bruins season ends or how far the club makes it in the playoffs.

3) Regardless if it’s our regular season or our offseason posting schedule, to be eligible for our Advertising Revenue Share Program, you must post five or more articles per month to receive compensation for your hard work and dedication to our team. This is not an opportunity for full-time work and is not by any means a dollar value that you can quit your current job. The more you post, the greater your share could be, but please keep in mind that other team members will have the same opportunity to post as much as they can so distributed amounts can change per individual.

4) Members of our team have had the pleasure of representing our website as media members for events such as Bruins Development Camp, annual Prospects Challenge, and Rookie/NHL Main training camps in the past. Our goal is to get our website credited by the Bruins organization to cover B’s regular season and playoff games regularly.

5) Must be a team player if hired on with us. This means you are asked to support fellow members’ work and often share on the many social media outlets that you currently use.  Also, a requirement is to be active on our BNG Slack team communications app for important announcements and article topic discussions.

6) As we do our due diligence and try to get our website noticed by the Bruins organization to cover games from the TD Garden we ask that you refrain from bashing a player, the organization, or another writer that works for another media affiliate in your articles. If you happen to disagree with another off team writer or frustrated with a certain player, we ask that you be respectful and seek many angles to your argument. Foul language will not be tolerated here, and after ONE warning you will be removed if vulgar language is used or personal attacks are made.

7) We ask that potential new hires use our previous articles as a template for how we do things here. Any changes that do not look the same will be reverted back so we can keep our format the same for every post. Articles are to be at least 500 words or more and in the case of a “Breaking News” story to get something out quick, you may go under the 500-word threshold but keep in mind that any articles that are under that minimum will not be considered when it comes to our Advertising Revenue Share Program that was mentioned above. 

All applicants that are serious about this opportunity and want to join our team, please send an email to blackngoldhockeyblog@gmail.com and tell us a little about yourselves and what type of team player you could be if hired. Also, if you do have previous experience on another platform, we ask that you please provide a sample of your work. If you do not have any samples, it’s not a big deal and will not be the end-all-be-all when it comes to the hiring process.

Former Bruins Player Gets Coaching Job In OHL

( Photo Credit: Alchetron )

By: Mark Allred   |   Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

The Ontario Hockey Leagues Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds announced today that the club has hired former Boston Bruins player Jamie Tardif as new Assistant coach.  Tardif hung up the skates after the 2017-18 campaign with the ECHL Quad City Mallards after spending the previous three seasons over in Europe playing in the German DEL league for the Mannheim Eagles. The 33-year-old Welland, Ontario, Canada native played nine of his twelve years of minor-pro hockey in North America and even had a cup of coffee in the National Hockey League.

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The 6′-0″ 205-pound winger was originally selected by the Calgary Flames in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft after he finished playing in his second-year with the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League. In 324 career games of Canadian Junior Hockey with the Petes, Jamie posted 155-136-291 numbers in five years of service before turning pro in the 2006-07 season. Playing a majority of his minor-pro hockey with the Detriot Red Wings organization’s Grand Rapids Griffins American Hockey League affiliate,  he posted 154 points in 316 games before leaving the Wings organization via free agency.

On July 5, 2011, the Boston Bruins came calling five days after the NHL’s Free Agent Frenzy began and agreed on a two-year, two-way contract. Spending his first season in the B’s organization with Providence he had 15-15-30 numbers but worked hard with current NHL Bruins bench boss Bruce Cassidy and coaching staff to produce a minor-pro career high in goals when he posted 30-15-45 numbers in 2012-13. In that same season, the then 28-year-old Tardif’s dream would come true when he was called up to the highest level in the world where he would make his first NHL appearance against his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs in February of 2013. Per Wikipedia, he was called up for the injured Brad Marchand.  In two career games in the NHL Jamie registered zero points. In 487 career games in the AHL, Tardif posted 142-125-267 numbers with 45-30-75 totals while playing for Providence.

Greyhounds General Manager Kyle Raftis had these words to say below in the official press release from the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds article on July 26, 2018, that can be seen HERE.

“We are very fortunate to add Jamie to our coaching staff” started Raftis.

“Jamie’s experience through his junior and pro career, along with his passion and approach to the game will be a great resource for both our players and staff. His ability to work on the fine details will only further our commitment to player development” he concluded.

Also, in the above-mentioned article, Tardif responded with his own words about his addition to the Greyhounds coaching staff.

“I am extremely honored and fortunate to have the opportunity to join a great organization.  I want to thank Tim Lukenda and Kyle Raftis for this great opportunity.  I look forward to working with John and Jordan and creating a great working relationship. My family and I are looking forward to becoming a part of a great community” stated Tardif.