Bruins Prospect Lauko Helps Huskies Win Second League Title

( Photo Credit: NHL.com )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey Leagues Rouyn-Noranda captured the second league championship in the clubs existence with a victory last night over the Halifax Mooseheads from the Scotiabank Center in front of 9,602 hockey fans. The Huskies capped off a tremendous record-breaking 2018-19 campaign bringing the Dogs to a regular season record of 59-8-0-1 and 119 points. This year’s QMJHL postseason had the Huskies on a mission beating Shawinigan in the first-round 4-2, back-to-back sweeps in the second and third round of Victoriaville and Rimouski respectfully, to raising the teams second champion in four years with a 4-2 final round series victory over Halifax.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Boston Bruins prospect and Huskies forward Jakub Lauko played very well in the 2019 playoffs posting 6-7-13 numbers in 19 games played. Although he was a key member of the Huskies success in the regular season posting 21-20-41 numbers in 44 games in his rookie season right into the postseason, he was unable to participate in last night game due to injury.  After scoring a goal in the first period of game five, the 19-year-old Czech Republic native sustained an injury later in that game which had both sides very cautious moving onto game six. The third-round selection of the NHL Bruins gave a solid effort in last night’s pregame skate but was unable to make the gameday lineup. He was in fact on the ice afterward for the championship festivities to celebrate with ownership and fellow teammates.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Next stop for Lauko (health permitted) and his Rouyn-Noranda club is the annual Memorial Cup tournament this year held in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The round-robin festivities get started on Friday, May 17th, 2019, and end on May 26th. All tournament games will be played at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax a place the Huskies know quite well. The four-team tournament is compiled of league champions from the Canadian Hockey Leagues top major junior clubs in the Ontario Hockey League, QMHL, and the Western Hockey League. The Host city who wins the bid always gets a free pass into these games regardless of where they sit after the regular season or postseason success.

It remains to be seen what kind of injury the young Bruins prospect sustained and whether he’ll be able to participate in the popular tournament starting this weekend. I’ve had the pleasure of getting locker room interviews with him at last summers Bruins Development Camp which was held at the Warrior Ice Arena in Brighton, Massachusetts for the second straight year after leaving the Rissutcia Memorial facilities a place the B’s practiced and trained for over 30 years.

In my opinion, Lauko is a very skilled player with tremendous upside and glad he and the Bruins organization agreed on a three-year entry-level contract shortly after the B’s drafting him and seeing what kind of player they have on their hands a Dev Camp. Another great decision was to place him in the QMJHL with the Rouyn-Noranda club, a place Lauko was selected in the 2017 CHL import draft where he went 107th overall in the second-round. Not saying a return to his home country for further development would be a bad idea or hurt his development, but rather placing him in North America to get used to the smaller ice surface before making the jump up to the American Hockey League with the Providence Bruins or even if he’s lucky enough to secure a spot on the National Hockey League Boston Bruins roster in the next year or two.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

I know many fans and followers of Jakub want to see him rise to the highest level in the world, but after contacting local scouts in the area, many have said he has NHL speed but he’s a work-in-progress and his development shouldn’t be rushed.  One a May 4th,2019 episode of The Pipeline Show Podcast ( Highly Recommended Follow/Subscribe ) hosted by Guy Flaming the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies broadcast voice Jean-Paul Charlesbois mentioned in the show below that Lauko has NHL speed with great hands and an accompanying shot but there are areas that he needs to work on respectfully before making the jump to the NHL that so many want to see sooner than later.

A few evaluations that caught my attention in this interview with Jean-Paul was the mention of defensive skills improvement and the fact that he wasn’t “keen” on the idea of being taught a two-way North American style game which he has since accepted and adjusted over his rookie season into this year’s playoffs. He may have NHL speed and good hands but the mention of better puck handling skills to me at least screams he’s not ready for the NHL quite yet. The interview with Huskies broadcaster starts at the 16:24 mark and ends at the 32:00 minutes of the show below if you want to hear for yourselves.

Lauko who signed a three-year, entry-level on September 28th, 2019, is eligible for a return to Rouyn-Noranda to continue his development and work on those attributes mentioned in the podcast above. or he has the potential to possibly be moved up to the AHL to play in Providence. Regardless of his placement next season, I’d like to see one more year of him in the QMJHL, then a full season in the AHL before full-time NHL duties. B’s forward Jake DeBrusk is a perfect example that I gravitate to when thinking about the importance of taking your time with the developing youth and give them a season in Providence.  I’m no expert or fortune teller but it’s hard for me to think that Jake DeBrusk would go onto have a successful rookie season without the experience and guidance of his time with the top minor-pro affiliate of the NHL B’s.

Help Wanted: Join Our Digital Content Team!

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Our Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast and affiliated blackngoldhockey.com website is looking to fill several open positions on our Boston Bruins related digital content team. We are seeking enthusiastic individuals that are team oriented and willing to participate in group discussions. Applicants don’t need to have sports a journalism degrees to join our team but we do ask that you either have previous writing experience or possess decent punctuation and writing skills. Knowledge of the media program WordPress is preferred but not required. We do offer a training program for those who might not be familiar with WordPress.

We are looking for more contributors in the following areas:

  • National Hockey League Boston Bruins Writers
  • American Hockey League Providence Bruins Writers
  • Premier “AA” ECHL Affiliate Writers
  • Bruins CHL Prospects Writers ( OHL / QMJHL / WHL )
  • Bruins European Prospect Writers ( KHL /  Czech Extraliga / SHL / Finland SM-Liga / German DEL / IIHF World Juniors etc. )
  • Bruins NCAA Prospect Writers ( Men’s Division 1 Only )
  • NWHL Boston Pride Women’s Hockey Writers
  • Bruins Player Analytic Writers ( Corsi / Fenwick / Heat Maps )
  • Bruins Youtube Video Contributors  ( Minimal Writing Required ).
  • Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast Co-Host. We are looking to add another member to our show covering the Providence Bruins and B’s prospects in all delevlopmental leagues around the world. This is a weekly show during the regular season.
  • Editors and Copy Writers Are Needed! These Specialties Come With Reduced Article Publications Per Month. Workload Can Be Discussed During Interview Process.

If you are interested in any one of the open positions above, please continue forward with our website requirements below to see if you have the time and dedication to be a team member with us.

  • Must have a Twitter account or means of establishing one.
  • Article length is to be 500 words or more unless you have access to the “Breaking News” group where a maximum of 250 words is acceptable to get the news out faster. Deeper In depth articles are accepted but please stay under 2500 words because a majority of our readers are viewing from mobile devises
  • From September 1st to when the Boston Bruins regular season and playoffs are over, each member is required to post four articles a month. During the offseason the required total monthly posts to keep an account with us is two.
  • We have a Slack channel for team communication and activity on there is mandatory or at least please acknowledge important group announcements. Slack can be viewed via mobile phone app or on any PC.
  • We ask that you be a team player and take a few minutes to support other group members with the kind gesture of sharing everyone’s work on your social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter and so on. Everyone here at BNG is expected to have each other’s backs with the ultimate team support.
  • If an opportunity comes up to attend a Boston Bruins related events as a media member/guest, these privileges will go to those who go above and beyond. To be granted access under the BNG team umbrella, you must be a member that we can count on and show up to these events as a professional and not a fan. Bruins fan attire that will not be acceptable in any media situation include team jerseys, t-shirts, and so on. Please dress appropriately.
  • Besides original articles, if you happen to get an article idea from any member of “Big Media” you need to give those folks credit by hyperlinking  their twitter account when mentioning the author and also hyperlink the article you got the information from. Plagiarizing other media members work without the appropriate mention from where the news came from will result in immediate termination.
  • Last but not least, please write your articles as a professional. This means do not bash any player or the Bruins organization for something that you don’t agree with. Bring respectful angles to your argument  instead of this sucks and that player is terrible types of contributions.

If you’ve read through everything above and are interested in applying for one of the many open positions available, please send an email to blackngoldhockeyblog@gmail.com and tell us a little about yourself and provide a writing sample of your previous work if available. We hope to here from you  as we look to grow our team! Take Care and Go Bruins!

Mark Allred – Founder & CEO

Another Day, Another Milestone: Patrice Bergeron Plays His 1000th Game

big-read-patrice-bergeron-in-action

photo credit: Sportsnet

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

There’s a quiet grace about Patrice Bergeron that makes people forget exactly how good a player he is, and it’s unbelievable how long he’s been an important fixture in the Bruins’ lineup. One of the best players in the world, Bergeron is a member of the Triple Gold Club (World Junior Championship, Olympics, and Stanley Cup), and a four-time Selke Trophy winner, as the National Hockey League’s best defensive forward. This is a player who is so consistently effective night in and night out, that the only reason any of the milestones he’s achieved as a Bruin have been remotely surprising is because it’s so easy to forget he’s been with the team for 15 years. Tonight, he will play in his one thousandth NHL game – the other 999 have all been with the Boston Bruins, and we should all be grateful for it.

Despite the Bruins’ history as one of the oldest NHL teams, there are only four former Bruins who have played one thousand games in Black and Gold: legendary defenseman Ray Bourque (1518), Johnny “Chief” Bucyk (1436), current GM Don Sweeney (1052), and an important cog in those powerful 1970s teams, Wayne Cashman (1027). Patrice is in good company with those guys, and it shows what an important role he has continually played since arriving in Boston as an 18-year-old. It’s not unreasonable to think that when Bergeron skates off the Garden ice for the final time, he could be second or third on the list.

patrice20bergeron2-1359655.r

photo credit: Mary Beth Meehan / Boston Globe Staff

Bergeron came to Boston after he was selected 45th overall in the second round of the 2003 NHL entry draft – a draft class that is regarded as one of the deepest and most talented to date. He made a good impression almost immediately in Boston, but nobody could possibly have guessed the impact he would have on the organization for years to come. He would soon prove to be the organization’s hardest working prospect, forcing his way onto the Bruins’ roster immediately after being drafted. When he made his NHL debut as an 18-year-old Quebec Major Junior Hockey League alum, Patrice was only a year removed from having been cut from his junior team and was the NHL’s youngest player. Bruins fans didn’t know much about him, but they would be in for a pleasant surprise.

During his rookie season, Patrice mostly played wing on the Bruins’ second line alongside Brian Rolston and Marty Lapointe, who invited the teenage Bergeron to live with him. Bergeron could only speak French when he got to the Hub, and living with Lapointe didn’t help, as his family mainly spoke French at home, so Bergeron had to teach himself English over the next couple of seasons. Language skills be damned, Patrice was successful skating alongside Lapointe and Rolston, and enjoyed some success on that line, scoring 16 goals and assisting on 23 for a total of 39 points. He finished 8th in Calder Trophy (rookie of the year) voting, which teammate Andrew Raycroft ultimately won after Bergeron missed time due to a groin injury. He was the only 18 year old to receive Calder votes that season.

He played with Michael Nylander and Sergei Samsonov after the trade deadline and in the playoffs, and the trio formed a short-lived but very fun-to-watch line. The Bruins were bounced by the Habs in a very memorable series, and the following season, the NHL did not play. Bergeron headed to Providence to play in the American Hockey League, where he worked on his game and fine-tuned a few things so he’d be even further improved when the NHL returned to action.

It was early in his career that then-Bruins GM Mike O’Connell and company decided that Bergeron was the player to build their team around, rather than Captain Joe Thornton. Patrice had shown unexpected maturity since day one, as well as a team-first attitude – it was never about him – he did whatever his coaches and management asked. He put in even more work than they asked. It was a no brainer that Bergeron should be the future of the organization, as he had the talent and work ethic to set a good example for the rest of the team.

His career hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows, however. In the tenth game of the 2007-08 season, Randy Jones of the Flyers hit Bergeron from behind, pushing Bergeron into the boards head-first, knocking him unconscious, breaking his nose, and causing a grade three concussion. Anyone who watched that game can attest to how scary it was when Bergeron went down. Ultimately, he was unable to return until the following season. In December 2008, two months after making his return, Bergeron collided with future Bruin Dennis Seidenberg and suffered another concussion. He didn’t regain his old form until later in 2009.

10282007_gl28berg1-6245641

photo credit: Elsa / Getty Images

That all feels like ancient history at this point. In 2009, the Bruins acquired well-traveled NHL veteran Mark Recchi, who had won the Stanley Cup in Pittsburgh and in Carolina. Recchi was long in the tooth by then, at 41 years old, but was still producing and was considered a smart deadline pickup. Recchi would bring more than scoring to the Bruins, though, as he helped shepherd Bergeron into the leadership role the Bruins had always wanted to see him in.

When asked about Recchi’s influence on him, Bergeron told Joe McDonald of the Athletic:

 I learned to be a better leader with Rex. I never got asked that and I think that was a, I wouldn’t say a “turning point” in my career, because I think I would’ve learned the ropes, but I took a huge step with him helping me out. And that year he came in was the year I was starting to find my game again. I was still dealing with some injuries at that time, and the year before, and I was still young and trying to learn and get better. That year was really one that he showed me how to win. It’s not that I didn’t know that stuff, but more like just trying to help me grow my leadership skills. That was huge off the ice. On the ice, I had great chemistry with him and (Brad Marchand) and that’s when it started for us. That trade, obviously helped the team and we won a Stanley Cup, but for me he was a huge impact.

In response, Recchi told The Athletic about his urging Bergeron to step up and lead his team during a rough game in the 2010-11 season:

He had it in him. There’s no question he had it in him; it was just a matter of getting it out of him. I remember saying to him, “This is your time. This is your team and they need to hear you right now.” He stepped up and never looked back from there. It was awesome to see. He’s a natural leader and he had to get into that comfort zone where he felt he was there. He made it so much fun for me. It was so enjoyable to be around that. I always loved helping young guys, but when you have someone as special as (Bergeron) it makes it even more rewarding every day to play with him, practice with him and get to be around him on a daily basis. It was incredible.

mark-recchi

photo credit: Harry How / Getty Images

There are endless stories about what a class act Bergeron is – they come from former Bruins, current Bruins, opposing players, former teammates – there is no shortage as Patrice Bergeron is everything teams want in a hockey player, on and off the ice. He’s a leader and knows how to interact with teammates, what to say and do, and when to say and do it. He takes team friendly deals. He cares about the community. There is no doubt that Bergeron will be named Captain of the Bruins when Zdeno Chara retires – for the Bruins to even consider doing anything else would be ludicrous.

Need a big goal? Count on Bergeron. A key faceoff win? Patrice is your guy. Need someone to talk his team off the ledge when their backs are against the wall? Again, #37 is your man. He was instrumental in the Bruins’ Stanley Cup win in 2011 and scored the winning goal in Vancouver in game 7. He’s so responsible, you can even trust him with your gardening needs.

There is so much positive to be said for Patrice Bergeron. He is literally the perfect hockey player. He is defensively responsible while offensively gifted (many people forget how skilled he is because he’s so unselfish), and he has managed to get through one hell of an injury history and come out on top. Bergy is a symbol of the right kind of toughness in the NHL – teams covet a player like him, who played through a Stanley Cup Final game with a punctured lung (don’t try that at home, kids). He isn’t afraid to drop the gloves if need be, but you can count his NHL fights on one hand. He has already carved his legend into the history of the Boston Bruins, and while there will undoubtedly be more Bruins milestones to come, Bergeron has already racked them up:

  • 3rd in game-winning goals, all-time (tied with Ray Bourque at 60)
  • 5th in games played (1000)
  • 6th in goals (305) and power play goals (92)
  • 7th in assists (473) and points (778)

Bergeron is right up there with the Bruins we’ve all heard about from our parents, and the ones we watched when we were kids. He is one of the Bruin greats. Think about this: Patrice Bergeron is very likely to eclipse Bobby Orr in points as a Boston Bruin. Crazy, isn’t it? We should enjoy him while we can, as he is a special player, and guys like this only come around once in a blue moon.

It’s been an absolute pleasure to watch and cheer for Bergeron in these 1,000 games – here’s to 1,000 more!

Pittsburgh Penguins v Boston Bruins - Game Three

photo credit: NHL.com

Check out the available tickets from our advertising partner SeatGiant for your next Boston Bruins game. Click the link below and when purchasing any event ticket, from the NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL to concerts and shows, please use discount code BNGP to save a little money. Thank You!

-> Boston Bruins 2018-19 Regular Season Schedule & Ticket Information From SeatGiant.com <-

World Juniors 2019: Bruins Prospects Heading Into Quarter-Finals

2019-world-junior.jpg

PHOTO CREDITS: (saultsports.com)

By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj

The 2019 World Junior Championships have truly been entertaining so far this year. From dominating performances such as the 14-0 by Canada over Denmark and Slovakia’s 11-2 win over Kazakhstan. Valiant comeback efforts such as the United States scoring four unanswered goals in the final ten minutes to force overtime versus Sweden. And of course, the feel-good stories like the support of the underdogs – Team Kazakhstan as every shot, save, and goal were met with loud, roaring cheers.

The Boston Bruins, like many NHL teams, are well represented in the tournament. Jakub Lauko and Daniel Bukac on the Czech Republic, Jack Studnicka on Canada, Kyle Keyser on the States, Pavel Shen on Team Russia, and the addition of Urho Vaakanainen just before the tournament to Team Finland. Not only are these players playing in the tournament, but they are playing a crucial role for their respective countries.

G Kyle Keyser – United States

keyser.jpg

PHOTO CREDITS: (JONATHAN HAYWARD / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

As one of the favourites to win the gold medal when the under-20 tournament concludes, the United States used the four preliminary games to judge who gets the starting role in between the pipes because once the team makes it into the Quarter-Finals, it is not too common to switch goaltenders as you would see in the National Hockey League regular season.

Keyser’s teammate, Cayden Primeau, is the other goaltender that is looking to grab that starting role. The Montreal Canadiens’ 2017 seventh-round selection played two games and so did Bruins’ goalie prospect Keyser. Keyser played two games – the 5-4 OT loss to the Swedes and the 2-1 win over Slovakia on Boxing Day.

Keyser’s 1-1-0 record alongside his 0.87 save percentage and 2.95 goals-against-average is ranked as the second-worst for goaltenders heading into the Quarter-Finals. Only Switzerland goalie, Akira Schmid has worse statistics so far in the World Juniors. It is fair to note that the five goals he allowed versus Sweden drastically impacted those numbers.

Against the Swedes, Keyser made many solid saves off of poor plays by his defensemen. The Swedish players had numerous 2-on-1s that were stopped by Keyser and his saves arguably gave the team the drive to come back and tie the game.

With that said, Team USA announced that Cayden Primeau, the other American goaltender, will get the start in the crease for the United States in their Quarter-Final game against the Czech Republic. Yesterday, Head Coach Mike Hastings said it was a coin toss as to who will get the starting role as both goalies earned it, but clearly, he decided to go with the Canadiens prospect due to his strong 4-to-1 win over Finland.

F Jakub Lauko – Czech Republic

cut (26)

PHOTO CREDITS: (nhl.com)

Drafted 77th overall (3rd Round) by the Boston Bruins in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, forward Jakub Lauko has had a successful season with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), scoring 12-14-26 totals in 26 games this season before being called to the World Juniors.

While at the U20 World Junior Championships, Lauko has one goal and one assist in four preliminary games. The 18-year-old forward scored his lone goal of the tournament in the 4-0 win over Denmark on New Year’s Eve. The tally ended up being the game-winning goal for the Czechs. Lauko also helped out in the opening game of the tournament, recording his only assist thus far on the overtime-winning goal against Switzerland.

Lauko has been good on the other end of the ice too. In the same game as his assist versus the Swiss, Lauko made a great defensive block on a 2-on-1 that kept the game tied around the midway point through the third period of play. Without that Lauko block, the Swiss may take a 2-1 lead and may end up winning the hockey game.

D Daniel Bukac – Czech Republic

Only one team in the World Juniors this year has two Bruins prospects on its roster – the Czech Republic and it seems more and more that the Bruins like having Czech players when you look at David Pastrnak and David Krejci on the full-time Boston roster up in the NHL.

As with the already-mentioned Jakub Lauko on the forward core, the Czechs have 6-foot-5, 209-pound defenceman Daniel Bukac on their blueline as well. The Bruins drafted Bukac with their seventh-round selection in the 2017 NHL Draft. The former player in the Western Hockey League joined the Niagara Ice Dogs of the Ontario Hockey League in the 2018 CHL Import Draft.

dw_daniel_bukac_brandon.jpg

PHOTO CREDITS: (Doug Westcott)

Bukac is not known as an offensive defenceman by a stretch of the imagination. With his big frame, he is a solid shutdown defender on the back end and that was mentioned by the Ice Dogs General Manager, Joey Burke, when they added Bukac to their roster.

“Daniel is a big addition for our club. He provides help in an area we needed to improve in. A proven player at this level who brings size, defensive prowess as well as strength, adds a special dynamic to our group. Anytime you can add an NHL drafted player,  it always makes an impact. We look forward to the pedigree Daniel will bring. This is yet another exciting signing for us this offseason, and Daniel will be fun to watch in Niagara.”

Bukac has six points (two goals, four assists), in twenty-four games with the Ice Dogs before going to the WJC. Bukac has one assist in the World Juniors, against Denmark, when he assisted on the fourth and final Czech goal in the 4-0 win. Bukac has also been one of the top penalty-killers for the Czech Republic, who has a third-best 85.71% success rate on the penalty-kill.

Bukac, Lauko, and the Czech Republic battle Kyle Keyser and the United States in today’s quarterfinal.

D Urho Vaakanainen – Finland

Coming off a concussion that he suffered during his brief tenure in the National Hockey League, the eighteenth-overall draft pick in 2017 by the Boston Bruins joined his national country of Finland for the World Juniors.

Due to his NHL experience earlier in the year, Finland knew that they had to play Vaakanainen in a top role on the defensive core due to the lack of experience on the rest of the team. For the majority of the preliminary games, Vaakanainen played in the most minutes over all of the other Finnish players.

Dawning the “A” on his sweater, Vaakanainen also added two assists in the four games – in a 5-1 win over Slovakia on December 29th and assisted on the only goal by Finland in the 4-1 loss to the United States. Below are some scouting reports on the Finnish defenseman.

“An intelligent, two-way defender…reads the play really well, has his head up all the time and makes quick decisions with the puck.” – Futureconsiderations.ca 2017

“He has good puck moving ability and strong offensive upside. He is also a good skater and can rush the puck up ice with confidence.” – Hockeyprospect.com 2017

Urho Vaakanainen and Team Finland will play Jack Studnicka and the Canadians in the second quarterfinal of the day.

F Jack Studnicka – Canada

Before the tournament started, many analysts covering the competition said that Jack Studnicka was the best player in the pre-tournament events including the multiple games that Canada played in.

While Studnicka did not play at the high-scoring level that say, a Maxime Comtois on Team Canada has, but he has been key on the Canadian power-play, even though it has struggled. Studnicka played right in front of the opposing net on that man-advantage, in a position called the “bumper spot”. Someone else who is great in that spot on the ice on the Bruins, a guy by the name of Patrice Bergeron.

Studnicka is currently on a point-per-game status, scoring four points in four games. Three of those points are assists, but he did add a goal back on December 26th in the 14-0 Boxing Day shutout over Denmark. Jack continues to be one of the better players on Canada’s bottom-nine forward core.

The Bruins drafted Studnicka in the second-round, fifty-third overall in the 2017 NHL Draft. He is currently playing in the Ontario Hockey League with the Oshawa Generals, where he had 12-21-33 totals in 29 games before being sent to Vancouver/Victoria for the World Juniors.

F Pavel Shen – Russia

The final prospect of the Bruins to be listed and he just happens to be on the team who took the first place in Group A, after a narrow victory over Canada on New Year’s Eve. Shen has played a big part in Russia’s success in the tournament so far. Shen is currently tied for second on the team in points with four points in four games.

cut (28).jpg

PHOTO CREDITS: (nhl.com)

In the December 31st game against Canada, a game between two undefeated countries and that would decide who wins Group A, Pavel Shen had a game that put himself on the hockey map. The Russian drafted in the 7th Round back in this past draft scored the game-winning goal late in regulation off of a nice zone entry, drive to the net and a goal past DiPietro of Canada.

Shen’s goal-scoring talent has been shown in the past, such as when he scored three goals and one assist in six games during the CIBC Canada/Russia Series, where the top Russian prospects play the best CHL players in the three different leagues (WHL, OHL, QMJHL). Shen has the ability to score and he can do it well.

Many have said that Shen is a sleeper player in the tournament and one of the underrated prospects in the Bruins system. If his development continues the way it has, he very well could make the Providence Bruins and maybe even the Boston Bruins in the near future. Pavel Shen and Russia play Slovakia in the Quarterfinals tonight.

Check out the available tickets from our advertising partner SeatGiant for your next Boston Bruins game. Click the link below and when purchasing any event ticket, from the NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL to concerts and shows, please use discount code BNGP to save a little money. Thank You & Happy New Year!

> Boston Bruins 2018-19 Regular Season Schedule & Ticket Information From SeatGiant.com <-

The Evolution Of Bruins Own Brad Marchand

(Photo Credits: Brad Watson/Getty Images)

By: Liz Rizzo  |  Follow Me On Twitter @pastagrl88

Pest. Chirpy. Dirty. Tenacious. Gritty. Charming. Loved. There’s no way to describe Brad Marchand with a single word. A player that so many hate but secretly wish they had on their team. No such luck though. Marchie is ours and he loves Boston as much as Boston loves him. Who would have thought that a 5-foot-9 player would evolve into an NHL All-Star?

In The Beginning

Image result for BRAD MARCHAND ROOKIE(Photo Credits: Wikimedia.org)

“Brad was the hardest-working guy at practice from the first day he stepped on the ice in Providence. I remember one day we’re out there after (practice) … he was trying to shoot off his off leg coming down the off wing, cause he played a lot of left wing back then, and he said, ‘Joe Sakic used to shoot like this, I wanna be able to do this.’

And I’m kinda looking at him, he’s a first-year guy, (and I’m thinking), ‘You got a lot of other things you should take care of.’ God bless him for his work ethic, and some of these young guys just knowing who Joe Sakic was. But that was Brad from day one.” -Coach Bruce Cassidy

As a then-rookie forward with the Providence Bruins, Marchand knew early on that being an “agitator” would make him stand out.  Taking advice from his father Kevin, Marchand had to learn the game: fight for the puck and stand up for your teammates. Even if meant pestering your opponents.

“He always pushed me to be a very gritty player. But he always tried to keep me away from fighting. He wanted me to work on a more skilled part of the game.”-Marchand on his father

Being a small player only pushed the young Halifax native. Never wanting to be “that guy who goes into the corner and loses 50 percent of the battles”, Marchand became that “pest” to play against.

“Being an agitator gives me an opportunity to draw penalties against the other team. That’s one part that brings emotion to my game.”

Kristopher Letang et Brad Marchand ont joué ensemble... (Photo Andy Klink, fournie par les Foreurs de Val-d'Or)(Photo Credits: Andy Klink)

Early in his draft year, he scored 29 goals for the Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL) and was selected by the Boston Bruins in 2006. He continued to play and netted 33 goals the following season with Val d’Or Foreurs. A then 19-year-old Marchand would be traded from the Foreurs to the Halifax Mooseheads, who were competing for the President’s Cup. Marchand, who led the team with 18 post-season points would later be scratched in Game 4 of the semi-finals. The Mooseheads lost all four games and the benching would cost Marchand: rather than end his junior season skating with Providence, he was asked by the Bruins to stay home until training camp. A tough start to a pro career.

“From rumors, or what I was told from the Bruins, it was my attitude, but that was never addressed to me by [Halifax]…I think they thought I was bigger than I was and that I thought the rules didn’t apply, even though I didn’t break any rules or anything. I don’t know where the attitude thing [came from]. I did my work. I’ve always been a guy that worked hard. I never got in any arguments with the coaching staff, and no one ever approached me about anything. The fact that I was sat out without being talked to about anything at all, any situation, any attitude problems, anything, and then for it to come up after the season, I was definitely blindsided by it.”

Marchand stayed competitive and continued to make a name for himself down in Providence. He was named the AHL’s rookie of the month in January 2009. During the 2008-2009 season, he had 18 goals with 41 assists in 79 games. The following season, he had 13 goals with 19 assists in 34 games played, prior to being called up by the Bruins.  Providence Coach Rob Murray stated this about Marchand:

“March is one those guys who is a tireless worker. He’s very tenacious on the puck. For that reason, he’s a pest to play against. There’s times you are doing a drill, in order for the drill to continue, you have to give up on a play. He’s there fighting for the puck in the corner, digging it out of peoples’ skates.”

The Big Leagues

In his first full year in the 2010-2011 NHL season, he scored 21 goals (five of them were short-handed).  In 2011, he was awarded the Bruins 7th Player Award, as voted by fans for the player who exceeded expectations. However, Marchand would cement his place on the team when he scored two goals in the deciding game of the Stanley Cup finals against Vancouver. He would net 11 goals, tied with Jeremy Roenick for the second-most by a rookie. As the seasons continued on, Marchand’s skill and personality took real shape, locally and internationally. He would represent Canada four times in a variety of World Championships and in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey final he scored the winning goal, propelling team Canada to win the gold.

Related image(Photo Credits: Chris Tanouye/Getty Images)

For as great as Marchand is on the ice, there is one nagging thing about his style. He’s known as a “dirty player” who doles out cheap shots, particularly the slew foot on Derick Brassard in 2015. And yes, there’s always the hope that he will change his ways.  But you gotta give it to Marchand: he makes no bones about how arrogant he could be, especially when he was younger. And of course, there’s the infamous partying after winning the Cup in 2011 and the aftermath. Typically players are all made available for media during Breakup Day. Not #63 though. Marchand would end up missing it, along with the taping of an interview for the Stanley Cup DVD.

No matter how hard he drank or partied, hockey always came first. If you look back after the Stanley Cup win, many were worried about the kind of shape he would be in when training camp started. But as line-mate Patrice Bergeron points out, Marchand is always there for the team.

“Yes, he [partied], but we won the Stanley Cup. Someone had to do it.  A lot of talk was about that, but he went home and he trained, and he got ready for the season and he was ready. He’s one of those guys that will always put hockey first. He’s always going to show up.”

Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) fights with Washington Capitals center Lars Eller (20), of Denmark, during the third period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, in Washington. The Capitals won 7-0. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
(Photo Credits: AP Photo/ Nick Wass)

Growing Up

Despite the continuing on-ice antics that overshadow his skill, there’s no questioning his loyalty to his teammates. And yes, we’re not glossing over the many suspensions he accumulated over the years, and he’s paid for it (will Lick-Gate ever go away?). Opening night against the Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals, Marchand didn’t take  kindly to Lars Eller’s celebration in a 7-0 game, leaving Eller a bloodied mess.

As the season continues to unfold, there’s something different about Marchand this year. He’s improving steadily and becoming an exciting player to watch. Last season he ended with 85 points in 68 games played. Currently, he leads the team in assists with 10 and is second to Bergeron in total points (12). Could it be that being part of the BMP trio-line is pushing the left winger to be the best he’s ever been? Seems that way.  It’s hard to deny the chemistry between all three players on the first line. Both Bergeron and Marchand are destined to be together forever  and personally, I really don’t want that line to be broken up (thankfully I’m not the coach).

IN LINE FOR BIG THINGS: Brad Marchand tumbles to the ice after colliding with teammate Brandon Carlo during practice yesterday at Warrior Ice Arena. Marchand (right, center) teamed with David Pastrnak (left) and Patrice Bergeron to form one of the top forward groups in the NHL last season, but it remains to be seen if the trio hits the ice together for tomorrow night’s season opener against the Capitals.
(Photo Credits: Stuart Cahill)

It’s interesting to read the comments about Marchand that come from outside fans. In doing some research, one thing I’ve noticed that’s not discussed much is the man outside the rink. For all the feistiness he brings to the game, the amount of community work he does often goes under the radar. Whether it’s support for Military families, first responders or the LGBTQ community, Marchie stands up for he believes in.

“[Players] are in a position where we can do certain things and use our name to help others. It’s always good to give, and it’s something we all enjoy doing. A lot of guys do things [anonymously] that other people don’t know about because [getting attention is] not what it’s about. It’s about helping families, or people, or different organizations and charities, and that’s what you’re doing it for. You’re not doing it for the credit.”

In 2015, he attended the services of a Rhode Island soldier who was killed in action in Afghanistan. He has also done work with NoticeAbility, an organization which helps students with Dyslexia. The Nova-Scotia native also sent a single mom and her four sons on an all-expense paid trip to the 2016 NHL All-Star Game, after winning tickets at a charity auction. He paid for their airfare and accommodations.

What’s Next

It would be nice to say that Marchand won’t get another suspension or do something crazy on the ice that will make non-Bruins fans upset. It’s an uphill battle to change a “bad” reputation, but what you do see is a player who isn’t out for himself. He has taken on the role of a play-maker with a pass-first mentality that was evident in a recent game against Detroit. In that game, he was instrumental in the David Pastrnak hat-trick by setting up a pass on a 2-on-1. The assists keep racking up and so too will the goals. So let the haters boo, let them yell and be angry.  Good or bad, no matter what you think of Brad Marchand, you gotta admit, he’s a damn good hockey player.

Bruins Prospect Pare Is Off To A Great Start With New Team

(Photo Credit: MARC GRANDMAISON/AGENCE QMI)

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Boston Bruins prospect forward Cedric Pare has certainly been through the trials and tribulations when it comes to the roller coaster ride of developmental hockey in the Canadian Major Junior Leagues. A former first-round selection of the QMJHL  Saint John Sea Dogs as a rookie in the 2016-17 campaign he along with talented teammates such as B’s defensive prospect Jakub Zboril, along with blueliner Thomas Chabot and forward Joe Veleno had an outstanding regular season to set themselves up to be serious players for a long playoff run.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

After that successful regular season (2016-17) that captured 102 points in the 68 games, Pare and his Sea Dogs team would also have the energy and the will to truck through the 2017 playoffs. The Sea Dogs swept the Rimouski Oceanic in the first-round best-of-seven, swept the Val-d’Or Foreurs in the second-round best-of-seven, lost two games to the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in that best-of-seven, to sweeping the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in the Conference final to capture the Presidents Trophy as the QMJHL Champions. With the league championship in hand, Cedric and Saint John organization punched their ticket to the 2017 Memorial Cup making it to the semifinal game after having a 1-2 record in the previous round-robin tournament.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

The Sea Dogs just couldn’t keep up with the better-skilled Otters club, losing 6-3, sending the team home after a noble effort. The 2017-18 season where many thought the Sea Dogs club could possibly come close to having the similar success of the year prior came back to earth when the team finished last place on the whole earning 39 points in 68 games. For Cedric, it was tough to see so many talented players that he got along with leave the organization, but he had the mindset to stay focused and work harder as he earned a top-six role with departing talent. Although the team struggled for the rest of the season, and six players traded away including talented forward and 2018 NHL Red Wings draft pick Joe Veleno, the Sea Dogs were in a rebuilding and it was just a matter of time before Pare — one of the highest players of value on the team — was to be moved as well.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

On June 1, it became official that Pare was in fact traded as the Sea Dogs continued to look for future sustainability through upcoming drafts and rebuild the squad properly to be back in contention as one of the best teams on the “Q” for years to come. Cedric was traded to the Rimouski Oceanic, who already were building up for something good and after the Bruins released him from NHL training camp on Sept. 19, he went to his new junior team with a mindset of a fresh start without sulking or a failed attitude. The Bruins sixth-round selection in 2017 instead went into the 2018-19 season on a mission to not only impress new fans and management in Rimouski but also make a statement in his development showing that he deserves a roster spot next season as he’ll be eligible to play in the American Hockey League full time as he’ll turn 20 in January of 2019.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

I strongly believe Pare is in a better place to succeed with the Oceanic club, and he’s certainly on pace to have a better year offensively than he did with the Sea Dogs. Last season the 6-foot-3, 210-pound center in his second full season in the QMJHL had 13-24-37 numbers in 60 games which offensively speaking was doubled from his rookie season in 2016-17 when he contributed 16 points in 64 games. What sticks out to me this season above previous years is his start and determination with his new team. Players can be streaky, but if you watch his game this season, he just looks different and engaging in all different scenarios. For instance, if you look at his year-to-year stats, he had one point in his first eight games in his rookie season, two points in his first eight games in his second season to this year with a new Oceanic team having eight points in his first seven games.

Unfortunately, Cedric snapped his longest point streak of the season tonight but as humble as a player he is I’ll bet from interacting with him over the last two development camps and rookie camps he’s more happy with the big Canadian Thanksgiving win today. Pare and the Oceanic beat the Shawinigan Cataractes by the score of 8-1 on the road and get back on the ice on Wednesday night October 10th at home against Chicoutimi and Saturday night Oct. 13 to round out the week again at home against Cape Breton.

Bruins Prospect Lauko Gets First QMJHL Goal

(Photo Credit: NHL.com/BostonBruins.com )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Boston Bruins prospect forward Jakub Lauko scored the first goal of his Quebec Major Junior Hockey League career last night in his third game with the  Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. Lauko’s first goal of the season came on a give-and-go when he skated hard through the neutral zone, crossing the blue line and passing it off to teammate Vincent Marleau who passed it back to the trailing B’s prospect on the left side beating the Quebec Remparts goaltender Anthony Morrone. The Huskies went on to beat the Remparts 6-4 in front of the home crowd at the Arena Lamgold in Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, with Lauko taking home the second star of the game honors.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Lauko was released from NHL Bruins training camp and the team signed the speedy forward to a three-year entry-level contract and immediately assigned him to Rouyn-Noranda in late September. After going through the process of work papers and traveling visa issues, Jakub made his Huskies debut on Wednesday night Oct. 3 on the road against the Val-d’Or Foreurs contributing his first QMJHL point in a 5-2 Huskies win. So, with two points in three games, it’s apparent the youngster is adjusting well to his new surroundings as he continues his development and learns more about the game while playing in North American arenas with smaller ice than he’s used to playing on in Europe.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

With Lauko’s speed and creativity, I can see him having a 20 goal, 20 assist campaign as a rookie in the “Q” and might do better than that if he stays at this level for a few seasons. This is a great place for him to round out his game and gain a little more muscle before making the jump to the Providence Bruins team in the American Hockey League. He certainly looked good in development camp into Rookie Camp/Prospects Challenge in Buffalo, New York showing fans what kind of attributes he has now for future placement in the show, but for now, the Bruins need him to act like a sponge and absorb everything he can take at this level.

Many fans thought the AHL would be a perfect fit for him since being with the NHL B’s for a better part of training camp but roster spots with the top minor-pro affiliate of the Bruins might’ve been reserved in favor of the plethora of prospects the B’s have in the system. At least with this avenue and strategy, the B’s are taking time with him. He’ll get the important ice time he deserves and not in an AHL rotation where he could sit in a league that mostly operates a three-day schedule on the weekends.

You can watch last night’s highlights from the Huskies game vs the Remparts and Lauko’s first-period goal by clicking the link below.

http://theqmjhl.ca/video-channels/highlights/oct-618-remparts-4-huskies-6

The next games for the Huskies will be on Friday night Oct. 12 as they play host to the visiting Moncton Wildcats and again on Saturday night Oct. 13, when the visiting Drummondville Voltigeurs at the Arena Lamgold. Rouyn-Noranda is in second place in the QMJHL with a 7-1-0-0 record and is one point behind Baie-Comeau Drakkar who’s in first with 15 points in eight games.

Bruins Sign Forward Prospect Lauko

( Photo Credit: Zimbio )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

The Boston Bruins announced today that the team has signed forward prospect Jakub Lauko to a three-year entry-level contract. The 18-year-old versatile forward really made a name for himself over the summer in development camp and showed increased confidence during the fourth annual Prospects Challenge in Buffalo, New York. He has impressive speed, and a skilled pair of hands for a developing player and most likely key attributes to him staying with the big club during these final days of training camp.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

The 6-foot, 179-pound Czech Republic native was assigned to the Quebec Major Junior hockey Leagues Rouyn-Noranda Huskies shortly after being signed. Lauko was initially drafted by Rouyn-Noranda in the Canadian Hockey Leagues import draft where he was selected with the 107th pick of the second round in 2017. Although the Huskies held his rights, Jakub returned home to his Czech Republic Pirati Chomutov club in the Extraliga League to continue his development until his 2018 draft year where the Boston team saw something special in the young prodigy.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Lauko only played in the first two preseason games with the Bruins team that was assembled for the domestic schedule but was phased out of the lineup when the team members that were playing over in China returned home. In those two games, he did see action in, he showcased his speed in each respected game to get on the scoresheet with breakaway goals.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Scouting Report

The Draft Analyst Steve Kournianos had this scouting report on him below in an article he wrote in January of 2018 that can be seen in its entirety HERE.

“One of the 2018 draft’s fastest skaters was relegated to a support role and did not dress in the Czechs’ lone loss to Sweden. In his limited minutes, however, the excitable forward busted it from whistle to whistle and used his speed to create a significant amount of separation  Lauko is a useful player who backchecks and will throw his weight around, and the constraint of playing under 11 minutes a game has not limited his ability to make the most out of every shift.” – Steve Kournianos – The Draft Analyst

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

As a European drafted skater, Lauko is eligible to play for the Providence Bruins in the American Hockey League, but coming from bigger international ice in his home country to play in smaller North American ice, his placement will be very important for his future development. A solid upcoming season in the QMJHL will better prepare him for the AHL in a year. And who knows? If he explodes offensively and shows the Bruins brass he has what it takes he could very well see his way to the B’s lineup very soon. This Bruins team has a plethora of developmental talent in the system, so I’d be wary of rushing his progression and stand firm with patience and bringing a kid like him up too soon.

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.

What The Bruins Should Expect From Prospect Zboril

 

610600856.jpg.0( Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images )

By: Jamie Gatlin   |   Follow Me On Twitter: @JamieGatlin1217

In 2015 the Bruins had three consecutive picks in the first round of the NHL draft. They had the 13th, 14th, and 15th overall picks. With the 13th pick, the Bruins took Jakub Zboril who was considered a reach at that spot in the draft. Of those three picks, only Jake DeBrusk — picked 14th overall — has made it to the NHL. Zboril may soon join DeBrusk in Boston and is coming off a very good season in Providence. His path to NHL has not been easy, and at first, it looked as if the former first-round pick may turn into a bust.

After being considered a reach at 13 overall, Zboril’s first developmental camp was a disaster. He looked out off place both on and off the ice. Zboril suffered an injury the year before the draft and was still having problems with his knee. At developmental camp, he failed his conditioning tests and was ripped on social media. But since that first developmental camp, he has shown the tools that made him a first-round pick. After recording 33 points for the Saint John Sea Dogs in 2014-2015, Zboril had only 20 points in the 2015-2016 season. He was able to rebound the following season, putting up 41 points 50 games for the Sea Dogs.

One of the reasons why Zboril has been criticized is the because of the players picked after him. With the 16th pick in the same draft, the Islanders took Mathew Barzal. Last year Barzal took the NHL by storm as a rookie scoring 22 goals while adding 63 assists. While Barzal was tearing up the NHL, Zboril was in Providence — where it took him 40 games to score his first professional goal.

But Zboril finished his first season in Providence on a roll, which gives the Bruins hope. He finished the season with four goals and 15 assists in 68 games. He will enter training looking to prove himself and earn a spot in Boston. It will not be easy since the Bruins already have eight defensemen under contract next season — not including Zboril.

Zboril is a two-way defenseman that plays to his strengths in all three areas of the ice. He is not afraid to take a hit to make a play. Before the draft, he drew some comparisons to Keith Yandle, who has had a very productive career. This year’s training camp will not be Zboril’s last chance to crack the Bruins roster. The B’s will still have him under control on his rookie deal through the 2019-2020 season. With Zdeno Chara likely to retire sooner rather than later, the Bruins need another a top-four defenseman alongside Charlie McAvoy. Zboril could be that player, and after looking like the bust of the draft class, he has made huge strides the past two seasons.

Making the team out of camp is highly unlikely for the former first-round pick. He still has some improvements to make in Providence before he is NHL-ready. Zboril does have a chance to leave an impact and help the Bruins later this season. Injuries are inevitable over a season, and that could be his first chance to make his mark. The Bruins still have faith in him and will give the former 13th overall pick every chance to succeed. The rest is up to him.