Getting To Know The Bruins Prospects Challenge Invitees

(Photo Credit: Vincent Ethier/CHL Images)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Another year, another prospect challenge for the Bruins. This year’s roster, similarly to in year’s past, features a number of players invited to the camp on an invitee basis. I’m gonna help you get to know a little more about these invitees. You can find the roster and schedule here.

Jacob Gaucher – C – Val-d’Or Foreurs – QMJHL

Gaucher is a big, 18-year-old center that carries a 6-foot-3, 181-pound frame around with him. Last season marked his first full season in the QMJHL, a season in which he had 24 points in 68 games. This season could be a more productive one as he may see more playing time than he did as a rookie. Certainly should be an interesting player to watch at the prospects challenge. It’s hard to miss a guy that’s 6-foot-3 out on the ice.

Dante Hannoun – C – Prince Albert Raiders – WHL

Ever seen Dante Hannoun and Danton Heinen in the same room? I haven’t. Really makes you think…

Hannoun played an instrumental role in a very successful season for the Raiders last season that saw them win their first WHL championship in 34 years this past season. After being acquired from the Victoria Royals on January 3, Hannoun put up 31 points in 28 regular-season games, and 24 points in 23 playoff games. Big-time players make big-time plays, like, ya know, scoring in overtime to win in game seven of the WHL championship.

(Video Credit: Western Hockey League on YouTube)

Alex-Olivier Voyer – RW – Sherbrooke Phoenix – QMJHL

We have known that Alex-Olivier Voyer was going to be attending the prospects challenge since July 26. Black N’ Gold Founder, CEO, and podcast host Mark Allred, wrote a bit about Voyer on the day of the report, you can find what Mark had to say here. Mark pretty much touches on everything you need to know about Voyer in his article, with video included, so definitely check that out.

Max Martin – D – Prince Albert Raiders – WHL

A teammate of Hannoun, Max Martin also basked in the glory of being a WHL champion. Martin tallied an impressive 41 points in 59 regular-season games this past season, and added 8 assists in 21 playoff games en route to a championship. We’ll have to wait and see if Martin can make some noise at the prospects challenge, perhaps like he did in the clip below.

Check out this crazy hit that Martin laid this past season.

(Video Credit: SPORTSNET on YouTube)

Riley McCourt – D – Flint Firebirds – OHL

I reached out to TheHockeyWriters.com writer Mark Scheig to find out a bit more about Riley McCourt and this is what he had to say, “Decent skater. Has some offense. Played on a horrible team in Flint.”

To me, McCourt sounds like a player who may be playing with something to prove and to put himself on the map a little bit perhaps after a turbulent season with the Flint Firebirds.

Despite playing on a horrible Flint Firebirds team, McCourt managed to put up 32 points in 47 games on the back end. This whole situation he played through this year makes him a player to monitor in my eyes.

Andrew Perrott – D – Owen Sound Attack – OHL

Andrew Perrott’s father, Nathan saw NHL time up until the 2005-2006 season with the Nashville Predators, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Dallas Stars.

Now his son, Andrew is blazing his own path, most recently with the Owen Sound Attack. Perrott was acquired from the London Knights by the Attack on January 4. In 31 games, he tallied 10 points. Perrott will be one of the younger players at camp, as he is just 18-years-old. This will be a good jumping-off point before heading into year two with the Owen Sound Attack.

In the clip below, you’ll find Perrott dropping the gloves with New York Rangers prospect Tim Gettinger. The most impressive part outside of holding his own in the fight is the height and weight difference between the two.

(Video Credit: Game Day Sports Network on YouTube)

Jordan Sambrook – D – Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds – OHL

Formerly a Detroit Red Wings draft pick, Jordan Sambrook now finds himself in unrestricted free agency. Meaning perhaps if he does well at the prospects challenge, maybe the Bruins could sign him to an AHL deal.

Sambrook wore the “A” on his sweater for the Greyhounds this past season and had a productive year. He put up 49 points in 67 regular-season games, and seven in eleven playoff games. Sambrook carries a big frame on him at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, which can certainly help for defensemen. Should be a player to watch with something to prove at the prospects challenge.

Taylor Gauthier – G – Prince George Cougars – WHL

Taylor Gauthier has a bit of background with the Bruins, as the right-handed catching goaltender attended Bruins development camp this past July. Gauthier had solid showing at Bruins camp. Last season was a busy one for Gauthier, as he appeared in 55 games and finished the season with a 15-30-2 record, a 3.25 GAA, and a .899 goals save percentage on a struggling Prince George Cougars team.

Below you’ll find a couple nice saves that Gauthier made at the U18 Worlds for Team Canada back in April.

Rookie camp actually began today, with prospect game action beginning tomorrow. It should be a fun event with some new and familiar faces in the fold.

Bruins Prospect Gabrielle Reassigned To ECHL Wichita

( Photo Credit:  Atlanta Gladiators Instagram )

By: Mark Allred  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

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Yesterday there were some rumors floating around that a Boston Bruins prospect might be on the move to another team, well waking up this morning and doing my daily routine of checking the many hockey leagues transactions I indeed found a player was relocated. After Mark Divver’s tweet yesterday, B’s prospect Jesse Gabrielle was recalled after playing in 25 of 28 games this season with the Bruins “AA” minor-pro affiliate the Atlanta Gladiators. What would seem like a paper transaction this morning, the 21-year-old gritty winger was immediately reassigned by his parent National Hockey League club to the Wichita Thunder of the ECHL.

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Gabrielle was selected in the fourth round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft from Sunrise, Florida after splitting the 2014-15 season starting with the Western Hockey Leagues Brandon Wheat Kings who originally drafted him in the 2012 Bantam Draft and end the year with the Regina Pats and combining 23-21-44 numbers. In the 2015-16 campaign and the first full season under the Boston Bruins prospect umbrella, the crafty forward would have his Junior rights moved to the WHL’s Prince George Cougars where he really stretched his legs and showed promise with his creativity and increasing speed. In 72 games with the Cougars, the 5′-11″ 205-pound winger posted career-high 40-35-75 numbers including 101 penalty minutes. His points alone in his first year with Prince George had him ranked 20th in the league.  The 2016-17 year he was named as an assistant captain and contribute with 35-29-64 numbers and seemingly ready for the professional level.

The Saskatchewan, Canada native signed his entry-level contract on December 11th, 2016 and was eligible per the CHL and NHL agreement to play his first year of pro hockey closer to reaching his dream with the Providence Bruins. After paying close attention to Jesse since leaving the draft podium in 2015, this was an exciting jump for him and myself who’s watched many of his WHL games and evaluate what he could bring to the table at the AHL level. Something was off to me with the relationship from the get-go when Gabrielle played his first game in his AHL rookie year against the Springfield Thunderbirds where head coach Jay Leach was using him sparingly with minimal minutes each game. Jesse was with the Providence club for 32 games appearing in 21 of them in the 2018-18 season.

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Now, I’m not totally sure what went on and not going to mention the many theories surrounding the rumors about this topic, but I can say from what I’ve noticed and heard the two sides were like oil and water. The seemingly sour relationship between the player and organization translated in major struggles for the aspiring NHL pro while going pointless in his first 16 of 21 career AHL games and would end with 1-3-4 numbers in that timeframe. With his struggles at the AHL level, I thought for sure an assignment in the ECHL with the Gladiators team would be the next course of action for the young prodigy to create a spark in the players offensive capabilities but was shocked at the news that he was heading back to the WHL to finish the 2018-18 season.

On January 5th, 2018 Gabrielle’s rights were traded from the PC Cougars to the Regina Pats who won the bid to host the very popular Memorial Cup which celebrated its 100th year in existence later that spring. In a surprising move, he was later loaned from the Boston Bruins to the Regina club where he finished the year posting 13-6-19 numbers in 27 games and would appear in the first round of the WHL playoffs playing two games going pointless. Gabrielle would not appear in any of the 2018 Memorial Cup round-robin tournament action as he was nursing an injury sustained in the second game of the 4-3  best-of-seven series defeat to the hands of the later league champion Swift Current Broncos.

As a healthy Gabrielle tried to erase a tough 2017-18 season that certainly had it’s ups and downs as mentioned above, it wouldn’t get any easier as both sides continued to butt heads. Gabrielle mentioned in a Rinkside Rhode Island Article from website founder/writer Mark Divver back in late September of 2018 during an interview at camp that he was not contacted by Bruins management to participate in the team’s four-day development camp in late June of 2018 and not a word was spoken about Septembers rookie camp which a majority was spent in Buffalo, New York for the fourth annual Prospects Challenge. Jesse mentioned that the Bruins finally contacted him via “text” to report to Providence for their camp and go from there.

Seriously my friends! If you did not click that link from Divver’s article, I highly recommend you do for factual reasons for why I got the idea to publish this post in the first place. You can also just CLICK HERE

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As any prospect under contract would do, Gabrielle reported but would be released along with fellow forward prospect Joona Koppanen to report to the Atlanta club in the ECHL where he most recently played. If anyone needs to know, the ECHL Wichita Thunder is the “AA” minor-pro affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers and a direct affiliate of the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors.  The Wichita team is in action for two games this weekend starting tonight at the Thunder’s home InTrust Bank Arena as they host the Kansas City Mavericks and tomorrow night when the Tulsa Oilers visit. The Monday New Years Eve game will be played on the road in Kansa City, and it’s not out of the realm for Bruins prospect Gabrielle to get into any of these three matchups mentioned above.

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Regardless of where Jesse plays, he’s in year two of his current three-year entry-level contract, and it certainly seems like both sides would like to part ways and create a little distance from each other with a move like this. Of course, it remains to be seen what the outcome and the thought process will be moving forward with this prospect that has the skills to be a solid pro anywhere on any level.  Also wanted to mention that this article is not to trash the player as I did not mention some of the many things heard because of unconfirmed reports, but I will say that if there is, in fact, an issue with this talented individual, I hope he can find out what that speed bump is in his progression moving forward to succeed in his life goals. I’m also not calling out an organization for potentially playing a heavy role in all the speculation but its newsworthy in my opinion.

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Click Here For All ECHL Wichita Thunder Hockey Games Home and Away

Bruins Colby Cave Representing Saskatchewan With Recent NHL Success

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PHOTO CREDITS: (nhl.com)

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

“Colby Cave gets his first career National Hockey League goal!” Jack Edwards’ legendary call during Monday’s win over the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night will play loudly in the Cave household in North Battleford, Saskatchewan for many years to come. While I have not personally been in a situation, (clearly), where I scored an NHL goal, against Carey Price of all goaltenders, in the Bell Centre. But you can see the amount of excitement imploding from Cave once the rubber puck crossed the red line.

It was a nice goal too, not some lucky bounce off of three legs and just happened to bounce off the eventual goal-scorer, but a solid one-time goal. David Pastrnak circled the puck around the blue line, made a quick pass to Charlie McAvoy down near the faceoff circle, who sauced the puck to Cave in the slot for a sweet goal. Cave’s celebration after is something that easily puts a smile on your face.

Undrafted, Cave made his big impression on the Boston Bruins during his time in the Western Hockey League with the Swift Current Broncos. In 2011-12, Cave debuted with 6-10-16 totals in 70 games played. Just one year later, Cave quickly boosted his scoring numbers, hitting forty-one points (21 goals, 20 assists), in 72 games. He also tallied four points in five playoff games that season as well.

When then-captain Adam Lowry left the Broncos to the American Hockey League to play for the then-Winnipeg Jets AHL affiliate, the St. John IceCaps, Swift Current stitched on the “C” on Cave’s Bronco jersey. Cave said the following when he was awarded the captaincy.

“It’s a true honour to be named the captain of such a respectable organization,” says Cave.  “This organization goes back a long way. Just seeing some of the former captains and their names up on the wall, guys like Adam Lowry and Zack Smith, it’s quite an honour to be put into the same group as them. I hope to prove everyone right and keep this team on the right track and win some games.” 

And prove everyone right was indeed what Colby did. In the seventy-two regular-season contests during the 2013-14 season, Cave scored 33 goals and 37 assists for 70 points as well as a +20 rating. Once again in the following season, in 2014-15, Cave scored a WHL career-high 75 points (35 goals, 40 assists) in 72 games. The numbers led Swift Current in assists and second on the team for goals and points. The only player ahead of Cave in goals and points was fellow-Bruin, Jake DeBrusk, who had 81 points in 72 games.

While the Broncos never made it out of the first-round when it came to the playoffs, his regular season production was something that caught the eye of the Bruins organization. On April 7th, 2015, ex-Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli signed Cave to an entry-level contract, sending him to the Providence Bruins immediately.

In the 239 career AHL games with Providence over the course of over three seasons, Cave has produced 43-72-115 totals while being the assistant captain for the team for the last three consecutive seasons. The 2016-17 season was the best season for Colby in terms of production, scoring 35 points during the course of the campaign.

The entry-level deal that the Bruins signed Colby to back in 2015 expired over the offseason, but the Bruins re-signed the six-foot-one, 201-pound Saskatchewan native to a two-year, two-way deal. 

Following three NHL games last season, Cave’s true chance to get that first goal would be this season – during the middle of the Bruins’ injury bug. When Patrice Bergeron was placed on the injured reserve in mid-November, the Bruins were forced to call-up Colby Cave to the NHL team on November 20th. The number of injuries on the forward core left the organization almost no choice.

According to Frozen Pool by Dobber Sports, Colby Cave has seen the majority of his ice time with David Backes and Joakim Nordstrom (28.39%) as well as time with Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak (24.37%). Cave tallied his first career NHL point with an assist against the Detroit Red Wings on December 1st, followed by another helper two games later against Tampa Bay.

All of Cave’s hard work through the juniors, minors, and big leagues eventually led to that goal that was showed at the beginning of this article. In addition, Cave pitched in with an assist, his first career multi-point night in the NHL.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (USA TODAY Sports)

Now, Patrice Bergeron was on the ice for Bruins practice on Wednesday, December 19th, making his inevitable return to the roster even closer. Head Coach Bruce Cassidy will most likely go back with the Marchand, Bergeron, Pastrnak line that dominated the league before Bergeron’s sternoclavicular/rib injury. David Krejci will probably be brought back down to the second-line, so where does Cave go?

At one point during the season, the simple answer would be to man the middle of the third line. However, the line of Ryan Donato, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, and Danton Heinen has been finally finding their groove, thriving on each other’s growing confidence of playing alongside one another. In the same idea, it would seem wrong in a sense to demote Cave to the Providence Bruins, but the fourth-line is essentially set – leaving no other real option.

Unfortunately, when the Boston Bruins are, for the most part, injury-free on the forward core, Colby Cave will most likely be demoted to the American Hockey League to re-join the Providence Bruins until his services are once again required in the big leagues. Cave’s two-way contract allows Boston to send him down without the fear of waivers and while Donato and JFK also have two-way deals, their recent success should keep them on the NHL roster.

Nonetheless, the Canadian province of Saskatchewan is proud to see Cave find success in the National Hockey League, even if it may be short-lived. Having been to North Battleford on many occasions and living only 2.5 hours away from the small Saskatchewan city, I can appreciate the efforts Cave and every other NHL player had to go through to make it to the position he is in today.

When Boston eventually becomes injury-free, does/should Colby Cave be the odd-man out, getting a trip to Providence or should it be another Bruin forward currently on the roster? Let me know via Twitter @tkdmaxbjj

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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.

What’s ‘Bruin’ In Providence For Austin Fyten?

Fyten_Austin_10_11_1( Photo Credit: everettssilvertips.com )

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

Colton Hargrove has said goodbye to the smallest state in the union and donned his Ten Gallon Texas Hat.  The funny part is not that his new hat is as big as his old state, but that we immediately welcome Austin Fyten to remove his giant tuque and join this itty-bitty piece of the planet.  That’s right P-Bruins peeps off one goes to Texas and in one comes from the same.

Fun and games aside, who is Austin Fyten and what does he bring to Providence?    Austin Fyten was a promising 20-year-old forward playing in the WHL for Lethbridge Hurricanes.  In 2010, the 54-point season he put up had many talking draft and development camp.  According to an article by Paul Prass, that talk was stifled when in an exhibition game days before attending his first development camp he suffered an injury, resulting in a torn ACL.  Sitting out the entire 2011 regular season rehabbing his knee and fighting back from such a devastating blow did not prevent Fyten from putting up 5 points in 6 playoff games post-season.

Never to be kept down and without being drafted, Fyten entered the 2012 season at the ECHL level for the Idaho Steelheads seeing 47 games and posting 41 points.  Apparently showing the Dallas organization what they wanted to see, Fyten was given a PTO with their AHL affiliate, the Texas Stars.  However, while he saw 11 games, he only put up 2 points, and it was back to the Steelheads.

The 2013 Season saw much of the same with time split between the AHL and ECHL.  The number of games played went up to 62, but his numbers saw the reverse with a slide down to 35.  2014 saw the Philadelphia Flyers taking a chance on the kid they had vetted 3 years previous and had felt had a ton of promise.  Assigning him to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, their AHL affiliate, for the entire season. They were looking for a solid payout on their risk.  Numbers of 2-9-11 in 64 games followed by another lower body injury were not the rewards they were hoping for so once again the seeds of change had been sewn.

The 2015 season was spent mostly in the ECHL, with the South Carolina Stingrays, and only 6 games played at the AHL for the Hershey Bears.  It appears however that this extended period in the ECHL this late in his career may have been a wake-up call.  After helping the Stingrays through 19 playoff games with a showing of 19 points, Austin has spent all but 5 games in the 2016 and 17 seasons in the AHL with the Dallas Stars. Including 11 games in the postseason ending in a brutal defeat by the Toronto Marlies.

Now coming to our own little slice of heaven here in Providence, Austin brings with him, a physical style to his forward game with the ability to play Center or Left Wing.  Obviously not a high scoring forward he seems happy to kill penalties and bring some grit up front if it’s needed.  With the depth we have at center it will be interesting to see where he fits in and how well he meshes with the other players on the team.  Sometimes it is not just who you are, but who you are with, so I am going to give Austin a ‘Fyten’ chance to make a solid start here.  Only time will tell if he has truly found his Providence, divine or not.

What’s Next For Bruins Prospect Jesse Gabrielle?

( Photo Credit:  NHL.com )

By: Mark Allred   |   Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

At the 2015 National Hockey League Entry Draft from Sunrise, Florida the Boston Bruins selected ten times in the seven-round event to replenish the prospect pool orchestrated by first-year General Manager Don Sweeney. Regardless of popular opinion about how this franchise has drafted lately and who the club could’ve had, I believe in the process of developing and retooling properly while being patient. Many hockey fans have seen late round selections go on to have successful NHL careers and I believe the B’s have one in Saskatchewan, Canada native Jesse Gabrielle.

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The 5′-11″ 205-pound left winger has been a pleasure to watch throughout his Canadian Junior career before joining the American Hockey League’s Providence Bruins prior to the 2017-18 campaign. Watching his game and skill set making the rounds in his Western Hockey League career making appearances with the Brandon Wheat Kings (84 Games), two tours with the Regina Pats (60 Games), and the Prince George Cougars (133 Games). The now 21-year-old Gabrielle has a serious chance to make some noise over this offseason assuming he’ll be fully recovered from an injury that held him out the 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup festivities that were held in his return to his Provinces Capitol of Regina, Saskatchewan.

After starting his first full year of pro hockey in Providence, Jesse didn’t meet the expectations set for himself nor the top minor-pro affiliates management team. After 21 games and four points with the Rhode Island club, he was sent back to the Canadian Juniors in the WHL after his rights were traded from Prince George to Regina. In 27 games for Regina last season, Jesse contributed 19 points in the regular season and zero points in two games in the playoffs before succumbing to his injury calling it a year. As Player Development Coordinator Jamie Langenbrunner said at this year’s development camp from the media room at Warrior Ice Arena, players of Gabrielle’s and later draft classes were granted camp graduate status and didn’t need to attend the annual event.

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In my opinion, this offseason Jesse has a lot to prove to management and he’ll challenge for roster spots in either the NHL or back in the AHL with camps starting up in September. Where Gabrielle plays in the pro hockey levels is totally up to him but going back to play in junior hockey won’t happen as he’s not eligible for a return. I would have to say that a full season in the AHL with Providence would suit both sides fairly, but would have to see him not be ready for that opportunity and go down a level in the ECHL with the Bruins Premier “AA” minor-pro affiliate the Atlanta Gladiators.

I know he’s an unproven commodity in the AHL but I always have to look back at his WHL career where he posted 228 points in 277 games and believe he certainly has the talent to stay with Providence for the upcoming 2018-19 AHL season. Take a look at the video below for a small sample size of his offensive capabilities.

Gabrielle compares his game to current NHL Bruins forward Brad Marchand and even said so in an interview with BostonBruins.com’s  Eric Russo back in September of 2017 when Jesse was in town for training camp. Gabrielle had these things to say below and can also be traced back to the original article that Russo wrote HERE.

“I try to learn from him,” said Gabrielle, who is entering his first pro season after notching 35 goals and 29 assists – to go along with 88 penalty minutes – in 61 games for Prince George of the WHL last season.”

“He’s my favorite player and I try to emulate my game after him. I just try to be a sponge around him. When you can watch him play and experience it and have him on the bench….I’m just trying to be a sponge and learn from him.”

“It was fun up until you get over that line just a little bit,” said Gabrielle, who had two shots on goal in just over 10 minutes of ice time against the Flyers, while playing on a line with Riley Nash and Noel Acciari.

“The whole game it was going good. I was getting underneath a lot of their guys’ skin. A lot of NHL guys were coming after me and it was a lot of fun. Like I said, it’s just a learning experience. You live and you learn. It’s not going to happen again.”

“I went up to [Marchand] after the game and talked to him about it,” said Gabrielle, “and he said, ‘You just got to find that line.’ He said, ‘You’re going to get caught sometimes and you just got to learn from it.'”

Brad Marchand had these things to say about Gabrielle’s game also in Russo’s article seen below.

“For sure, especially early on,” Marchand said when asked if he saw similarities between himself and Gabrielle. “He’s doing whatever he has to do to open some eyes and make a name for himself and he’s good at what he does. He had the whole team [the Flyers] hating on him. He had a couple 2-on-1 opportunities, almost scored a goal. He did everything that he was supposed to do.”

“I was the same way coming up. You just try to find your little niche that makes you different from other players and he definitely has that.”

Bruce Cassidy also chimed in on Russo’s article on Boston Bruins.com giving his personal evaluation of the gritty, speedy winger.

“Gets on top of pucks and disrupts the forecheck, very similar to March,” said Cassidy. “He’s got a good shot. He wants to be an agitator, so it is a good comparison. It’s a little premature, but for Jesse – for anybody – it’s a good player to emulate, a guy that fought his way out of the American Hockey League to the NHL, played on a lower line and worked his way up and just wouldn’t be denied. Definitely a good role model for him.”

“It happened in Development Camp, so here’s a guy who walks on the edge, and I thought played a very good hockey game [Thursday],” Cassidy said of Gabrielle. “At ice level, he had a few other guys frustrated. If that is what makes him tick and he can stay on the right side of the line, then we’re OK with it.

“But clearly he crossed it [against the Flyers]. I think if as a young guy, you try to take on the officials in the National Hockey League, you are going to lose, and he lost tonight.”

Below is a 2014 scouting report provided by Elite Prospects writer Curtis Joe.

A gritty winger who plays with an edge and has a nose for the net. Plays an agitative style and is very effective on the forecheck. Possesses good skating ability and is able to evade larger opponents with ease. All-in-all, a scrappy, skilled winger that can be difficult to play against.

What If The Bruins Had A First-Round Pick In 2018?

Photo Credit:  American Airlines Center

By: Mark Allred   |   Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

The two-day seven-round National Hockey League Entry Draft is set to begin on Friday, June 22, 2018, from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. As many Boston Bruins fans know, the first selection of the B’s in this year’s draft was dealt away in a 2017-18 trade deadline deal to acquire forward Rick Nash from the New York Rangers. Boston General Manager Don Sweeney said last week from the NHL Combine in Buffalo, New York that the B’s are in discussions about bringing the 33-year-old veteran back if an extension can be agreed on.

Sweeney said on a June 1st  article written by NESN’s Lauren Campbell “We’re going to have follow up conversations this week. I plan to talk to (Nash’s camp) again and have a, hopefully, have a clear understanding of where (his playing future) necessarily lands,” Sweeney said, via a team-provided transcript. “Rick indicated when he came to Boston that he was excited about the opportunity. He wants to win. He wants an opportunity to win.”

One question often brought to my attention after the B’s were eliminated by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second-round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, is what did the team give up when the Bruins added the 2018 first-round pick talent to acquire Nash who may walk to free agency on July 1st? Listen, I’m not going to hammer or discredit Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney for the price he paid for what’s lining up to be a pure rental at this moment. Instead, I’d like to dive into a research project to what the B’s could’ve had if they, in fact, kept the 26th selection in this years draft.

With the help from NHL Draft specialists such as FutureConsiderations.ca, HockeyProspects.com, isshockey.com, TheDraftAnalyst.com, and the NHL.com’s 2018 Central Scouting Final Rankings, I’ve come up with a list in no particular order of players the Bruins could’ve added and who the New York Rangers could potentially target below.

Rasmus Sandin – Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)

Photo Credit: Brian Kelly/The Sault Star/Postmedia Network

Date of Birth: March 7, 2000

Position: Left Defense

Height:  5′-11″

Weight:  190-pounds

Shoots:  Left

When it comes down to mid-late first-round draft selections in a 2018 draft front-loaded with defensive talent, a player like Sandin isn’t hard to gravitate to when giving a personal evaluation after reading and watching video on the young talent. As a Bruins fan, the importance of properly developing a left shot blueliner wouldn’t be a bad idea to add to the developing depth of the organization. Rasmus has a strong two-way game and his hockey intelligence cannot be denied. His mobility on the ice and quick hands make him a threat no matter where on the 200-foot sheet of ice he may be.

I’m a huge fan of his tape-to-tape stretch passes and vision up ice for a fast transition out of his defensive zone. Definitely, a threat on the powerplay with an uncanny ability to jump in offensively with his will to sneak down low unmolested. The 18-year-old Uppsala, Sweden native, could bulk up a little more and improve his skating when it comes to the speed department, but he did have a good first season of North American hockey when it came to playing with the Greyhounds last season. Changing his game from the big international ice of his home country to posting 12-33-45 numbers in the smaller rinks of the Ontario Hockey League was most impressive to me.

Here’s What The Scouts Are Saying About Sandin’s Game

In terms of puck poise, Sandin’s one of the calmest teenage defensemen you’ll see get drafted this year. He played alongside Adam Boqvist at the Hlinka and I thought he was just as good. He’s a very good skater but his puck distributing and one-on-one play is what should make him an NHL mainstay for at least a decade. – Steve Kournianos – The Draft Analyst

Sandin is a gifted two-way defenseman…a skilled puck-handler who has the confidence to attempt long stretch passes up the middle of the ice or to skate it himself…his hands are an asset in corralling the puck off a hard pass or making a slick deke…although a decent skater with adequate speed, his edgework isn’t as crisp as it could be and it affects him when moving laterally or changing directions…lowering his center of gravity and using longer leg pushes in each stride could also increase his speed…he isn’t afraid to carry the puck through the neutral zone himself, and is shifty and creative with the puck on his stick…strong at fending off forecheckers in his own zone, as he can outwait physical contact and absorb a hit before skating the puck out of trouble or dishing it to a teammate…he has very good defensive awareness, particularly when switching checks or choosing when to pressure opponents below the goal line…not afraid to play the body to close off an opponent along the boards…has some impressive potential as a puck-mover who can also be effective in his own zone. – Future Considerations

Jett Woo – Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)

Photo Credit: Marc Smith / Discover Moosejaw

Date of Birth: July 27, 2000

Position: Right Defense

Height: 6′-0″

Weight: 205-pounds

Shoots: Right

Probably one of the more realistic thoughts of mine if the Bruins had the 26th pick in this year’s draft over the above mentioned Sandin, Woo is one of my favorites coming out of the Western Hockey League. Jett’s size and defensive game are very attractive when it comes to his mobility and offensive intelligence.  He plays a good two-way game and doesn’t shy away from the physicality either along the boards or an open ice hit when an opponent pressures offensively.

The 2017-18 season was Jett’s second year in the WHL posting 9-16-25 numbers in 44  games. A tad better than he did in his rookie season where he amassed 22 points in 65 games. Last season the 18-year-old Woo missed parts of the year with multiple upper-body injuries but managed to recover quickly enough to come back to be a productive member of the Warriors backend in a top-four role. Regardless of where he’s selected and by what team, Jett is a particularly exciting player when it comes to absorbing information about the game and is always eager to learn more and do what it takes for that next step in his development. Not bad traits to have when adding to the prospect pool in my opinion.

Here’s What The Scouts Are Saying About Woo’s Game

Woo is a highly- intelligent, mobile two-way defender…has great skating ability and an efficient stride…proficiently in any direction…has puck-rushing ability because of his smarts, puck skills, and elusive edge work…has a pro demeanor with the puck on his stick, never seems limited to just one option on a play…thinks at a high level and is a high-end game manager…skilled with the puck on his stick, and will not shy away from carrying it himself if an open outlet pass doesn’t present itself…buzzes the offensive zone, using a series of agile moves and feigns with the puck to open up space…an opportunistic shooter that relied heavily on the wrist shot…has a quick whip on his shot and pass, showing zero hesitation once he gains a look at his target…has the skating to recover from calculated risks and get back quickly…always looking to foil an attack and will instinctively step up to do so…forces oncoming attackers to the outside lane…digs in his heels during physical confrontations…an exciting player to watch…plays big minutes…has top-four two-way NHL upside. Future Considerations

Ryan McLeod – Mississauga Steelheads (OHL)

Photo Credit: Graig Abel/Getty Images

Date of Birth: September 21, 1999

Position: Center

Height:  6′-2″

Weight: 200-pounds

Shoots:  Left

Ryan is a player if been paying attention to for a couple of seasons now. The Mississauga, Ontario native had a decent start to his Ontario Hockey League career in his first two seasons with his Steelheads team. In his rookie year (2015-16), he posted 7-13-20 numbers in 62 games but followed that up with a better sophomore year (2016-17) offensively where he contributed 9-33-42 stats in 68 games. The 2017-18 season was McLeod’s third in the league and by far his best where he posted 70 points (26-44-70) in 68 games.

McLeod has improved his skills every year of his development and is not even close to his ceiling when it comes to his upside. One of my favorite attributes is his 200-foot two-way game and his passing ability while often times reminding me of former Bruins forward Marc Savard’s game. His vision and hands have certainly upgraded to make him an offensive threat in the past two seasons, but his puck control and possession with the ability to make good things happen in tight areas has been impressive to watch.

The 18-year-old McLeod does all the right things when it comes to an aspiring National Hockey League player, and if I had to compare to a player, particularly in the Bruins organization, he reminds me of Trent Frederic with his frame and NHL release. He has a cannon of a shot and the ability to snipe when it comes to one-timers creeping down low. He’s also not afraid when it comes to selfless acts for the betterment of the team with his shot-blocking capabilities.

Here’s What The Scouts Had To Say About McLeod’s Game

McLeod is a big forward with offensive skills who also has a good two-way drive…good skater…not the fastest when moving north-south, but is quick and agile in short bursts and able to deceive opposition with quick changes of direction or pace…has decent hand-skill one-on-one and is able to dig pucks out of corners and get around opposing players with possession in tight spaces…protects the puck well with his body and likes to drive the net from the wing and does so by dropping his shoulder and leaning on defenders…a really tough player to stop when he uses his size and strength…dangerous in tight…illustrates good passing skill and the ability to set up linemates…great vision…has a decent shot that is most effective in and around the slot…has an endless motor and is hard to outwork…doesn’t stop competing and he uses his strength to win space and possession of the puck…effective defensively, and works hard at both ends…knows what his responsibilities are and how to fulfill his duties in his own zone…has upside as a top-six two-way NHL center. – Future Considerations

Dominik Bokk – Vaxjo Lakers U20 (SuperElit)

Photo Credit: Olivier Brajon/Deutscher Eishockey-Bund – Bokk Is Player On Right

Date of Birth: February 3, 2000

Position: Left Wing / Right Wing

Height: 6′-1″

Weight: 180-pounds

Shoots: Right

This is an intriguing player for me because Dominik is from Germany and hat nation has produced an outstanding generation of talent recently. The Plethora of talent out of the German country can be traced back to the tutelage of former Boston Bruins forward Marco Sturm as he worked his way up the coaching ranks since retiring from the game in January 2014.  Now there’s no direct connection of Sturm ever coaching Bokk that I could find, but Marco’s influence and the way to properly develop the countries youth is evident since he accepted the role of head coach and general manager of their National Team.

Dominik’s game is a must watch when it comes to breaking down the video after his teams play. Could be a reliable depth addition at 26th for the Rangers but also on the Bruins if they kept the pick. The 18-year-old is a big strong winger that can play both left and right sides with explosive speed. He has excellent hands in tight situations and is creative with his hockey IQ and vision in all three zones. He’s at the perfect age to take that next step in his training to prepare for the North American game whenever both sides are ready to make that transition from the international level to the pro ranks in organizations minor-pro developmental system.

Last season with the SuperElit J20 Leagues Vaxjo Lakers hockey club he posted 14-27-41 numbers in 35 games. He also played in 15 games at the higher Lakers club in the Sweden Hockey League with a mix of older players only to contribute two points. Even as a first-round projection I can see a player like this returning overseas to play another year, but listed as a European Skater he’s also eligible if any team wanted to use his skills and take an aggressive approach in his development by placing him immediately in the American Hockey League.

Here’s What The Scouts Are Saying About Bokk’s Game

A powerful skater with a deadly shot who is the top German-born draft prospect since Leon Draisaitl went in the Top-10 in 2013. A recent import pick of the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders, Bokk is a goal-scoring winger with soft hands and an excellent release. He assumed top-line duties for Kolner, and also for Germany at several international events, including last April’s Division 1B U18 World Championship where he led the tournament in goals. Bokk is a pure goal scorer who can deke or dangle his way into prime shooting areas, and he has the size, puck control and balance to ward off harassment. His plays hard in all three zones and will drop down below his own goal line to lend support but is smart enough to sniff a possession change and dart into open ice for a counterattack.  The Draft Analyst  

Bruins Prospect Jesse Gabrielle To Play In The 100th Memorial Cup

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PHOTO CREDITS: (dobberprospects.com

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

Considered the hardest trophy to win, the Memorial Cup began back in March of 1919, when it was known then as the OHA Memorial Cup. The name “Memorial” was given to the trophy to remember the fallen Canadian soldiers who sacrificed their lives in World War One. When the Canadian Junior Hockey system divided into “A” and “B” categories in 1971, it was given to the highest class of junior hockey players.

In 1972, the tournament adopted a round-robin style, as we typically see in international tournaments. The champions of the Western Hockey League (WHL), Ontario Hockey League (OHL), and Quebec Major Hockey League (QMJHL) play against the host team with the two best during the round-robin battling in the finals to determine the ‘Memorial Cup Champion’.

The 100th Annual MasterCard Memorial Cup begins this Friday, May 18th in Regina, Saskatchewan. Sixty teams had the entire season to get to this moment, but only these four teams will get the opportunity to play in the Memorial Cup.

WHL Champions – Swift Current Broncos

The Swift Current Broncos were considered a team that could possibly have a chance to win the WHL Championship at the beginning of the season, but were often held back from the Moose Jaw Warriors, the Saskatchewan team that most people expected to make it into the final. However, thanks to the massive trade deadline acquisition of Stuart Skinner, the Broncos finished second in the WHL standings, becoming a quick favorite to win it all.

The Edmonton Oilers prospect led the league with six shutouts during the playoffs, captain Glenn Gawdin led the team in points during both the season and the playoffs. Not to mention having the WHL Coach of the Year Manny Viveiros behind the bench, controlling the team’s on ice performance. The Broncos set a Western Hockey League record for most playoff game played in one season (26) after back-to-back game seven series in the first two rounds, following with two consecutive game six wins to take home the WHL Championship.

This will be the third time the organazation will play in the Memorial Cup tournament, winning it back in 1989 in Saskatoon. The only other appearance for the Broncos was back in 1993.

OHL Champions – Hamilton Bulldogs

It’s fairly safe to say that this is uncharted territory for the new Hamilton Bulldogs. After being re-located back to Hamilton, Ontario following a 35-year run in Belleville as the Belleville Bulls, the Bulldogs became an Ontario Hockey League franchise in the 2015-16 season.

In the first season as the Hamilton Bulldogs, they missed the playoffs with a 25-35-8 record. With a quick turnaround the next season, the Bulldogs managed to squeak their way into a playoff berth, finishing the 2016-17 season with a 33-27-8 record, good for fourth in the East. Even with the improvement, the Bulldogs would lose in the first round to the Kingston Frontenacs in six games. The defeat would not slow them down heading into this past regular season.

During the 2017-18 season, the Hamilton Bulldogs finished with the second-best record in the OHL, with a 43-18-7 record. This would lead the team to a solid postseason run. Hamilton would knock off the Ottawa 67s, Niagara Ice Dogs, and the Kingston Frontenacs (rematch of the year prior) all in five games. The dominant playoff success would eventually give OHL fans what they wanted to see from the beginning – Hamilton vs the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, the best team during the regular season. With near ease, the Bulldogs would eliminate the Greyhounds in only six games, winning Game Six by a score of 5-4 on home ice.

This will be the first ever appearance in the Memorial Cup for the Hamilton Bulldogs.

QMJHL Champions – Acadie-Bathurst Titan

After a disappointing second-round exit in the 2016-17 QMJHL playoffs to the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, the Acadie-Bathurst Titan would come back with a vengenace in the 2017-18 regular season. Coming off a 39-23-6 record (6th in the league) for the ’16/’17 campaign, the Titan would win 43 of the 68 QMJHL games this past season, finishing second in the year-end league standings. They only trailed one team – the team who beat them in the previous playoffs, the Blainville-Boisbriand Armanda.

This little rivalry would grow even more as both the Titan and Armanda would meet once again in the QMJHL finals. Before this, however, the Titan would defeat the Chicoutimi Saguenéens in six games, sweep the Sherbrooke Pheonix, and complete another sweep in the semi-finals against the Victoriaville Tigres.

Following a Game One loss, the Titan would come out victorious in Games Two, Three, Five, and Six to eliminate Blainville-Boisbriand and win the QMJHL Championship. Throughout the season and the playoffs, defence has clearly been the top strength for the Titan. Their backend is filled with older CHL players who have more experience.

Host Team – Regina Pats

The Pats are only in the Memorial Cup because they are the CHL team that is hosting the tournament. Back in 2017, it was announced that Regina, Saskatchewan would host the event, beating out Hamilton, Ontario and Oshawa, Ontario. The Pats are the league’s oldest franchise, with play dating back to 1917. Regina has appeared in a record 16 Memorial Cup tournaments and also have appeared in the most Memorial Cup finals (13). The franchise has won the trophy on four occasions – 1925, 1928, 1930, and 1974.

This year, the Pats finished the league with the seventh-best record (40-25-7), good for a playoff berth in the WHL postseason. However, the run to a WHL championship would end abruptly, losing in seven games to the eventual WHL Champion, the Swift Current Broncos. The loss stung a bit more than usual for the Pats. They took Game Six on home ice by a whopping score of 7-3, only to lose in Swift Current, 4-3 in the final Game Seven.

While the Regina Pats seem like just another CHL team in the 100th Memorial Cup, they actually have some connections to the current Boston Bruins – prospect Jesse Gabrielle.

Jesse-Gabrielle.jpg

PHOTO CREDITS: (Keith Hershmiller)

Jesse Gabrielle was the Boston Bruins’ 105th overall draft selection (4th Round) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. The 6’0″ 205-pound, Moosomin, Saskatchewan native impressed Boston scouts enough with a 25-point season in 33 games the year before his draft with Brandon Wheat Kings, and another 19 points in 33 games with the Regina Pats also in the 2014-15 season.

It wasn’t until after he was drafted that he impressed in the WHL. With the Prince George Cougars in the 2015-16 season, Gabrielle scored 40 goals and added 35 assists for a 75-point year in only 72 games played. Then again in the 2016-17 campaign, he would finish with 35-29-64 totals in 61 games along with a +17 rating.

The solid two seasons with the Cougars would pay off, as Gabrielle began his 2017-2018 season with the AHL’s Providence Bruins. However, due to poor attitude in the locker room, he would be healthy scratches in many games, causing him to only play in 21 games last season with the Boston affiliate team. In that span, he would struggle – only one goal and four points.

In January of 2018, the Boston Bruins announced that they would send down Gabrielle to the Western Hockey League. Just days before, Gabrielle was traded from the Prince George Cougars to the Regina Pats, who wanted Jesse for their Memorial Cup run.

Gabrielle would play in 27 regular season games with the team, producing 13-6-19 totals in that span. The move added scoring depth to the Pats, something they wanted heading into the playoffs. Unfortunately for Regina and Gabrielle, he would sustain an injury in the final weekend. Jesse would be a scratch for the Pats in Game One of the playoffs against the Broncos.

Gabrielle would get to play two games in the first round, his first coming in Game Three. Gabrielle was held off of the scoresheet, in a 4-1 loss. Gabrielle would not be slotted into the Pats’ linup for the next three games, but would indeed make his second appearance in the 2018 WHL Playoffs in Game Seven, where he again failed to tally a point and only landed a single shot on the net.

Clearly, Regina was eliminated in the first round in that Game Seven, which is the main cause of Swift Current winning the WHL Championship and earning their spot in the 100th Memorial Cup. Jesse Gabrielle has had since April 2nd to recover from the injury that was hindering his playing time in the WHL Playoffs.

Still, there are rumours around Twitter that Gabrielle may still be on the Pats’ injury list, but according to numerous podcasts across the hockey community, Gabrielle is expected to play in the tournament and is also expected to play a big role in a possible successful result for the Regina Pats.

It is very possible this Tweet is not true, but it is a good idea to consider the possiblity of Gabrielle not playing.

A strong Memorial Cup (if he does play) could bring him back on the Providence Bruins roster for the 2018-2019 regular season. This is a big opportunity for Jesse to get back into the position he was once in just a short time ago.

The action begins this Friday as the Regina Pats take on the Hamilton Bulldogs at 8:00pm Regina (Central) time. On Saturday, the Acadie-Bathurst Titan will play the Swift Current Broncos at 2:00pm Central time. The six round-robin games will come to an end on Wednesday, May 23rd with a tie-breaker game (if required) on Thursday, May 24th. As of May 17th, the Final for the 2018 Memoral Cup will be on Sunday, May 27th at 5:00pm Central time.

 

 

Bruins Prospect Gabrielle Adjusting Nicely In WHL Return

( Above Photo Credit:  Photographer Keith Hershmiller )

By: Mark Allred                 Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Boston Bruins prospect Jesse Gabrielle entered his first year of professional hockey in October of 2017 with the B’s top minor-pro affiliate the Providence Bruins, but after a four-point effort in 21 games in Rhode Island, the B’s organization felt his development would benefit him greatly with a return to the Western Hockey League. His career in one of the top major-junior leagues in Canada has been impressive so far for the 20-year-old forward as he’s contributed 214 points in 254 games.

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Gabrielle, a Moosomin, Saskatchewan native was drafted in the fourth round of the National Hockey Leagues Entry Draft in 2015 and Bruins scouts saw something in him for a mid-round selection as a player with grit, speed, and uncanny offensive attributes. That is still true today as he continues to develop and his demotion should not be a question of character or draft bust. Moves like these from NHL clubs happen quite often for those who follow players in the prospect rankings on a regular basis, and most turn out successful as an act of continued learning. His offensive talents can’t be denied as he posted 130 goals as a bantam in 117 games as a 13-year-old to move up to be a fifth-round selection of the Brandon Wheat Kings to start a four-year career in the WHL to score 113 goals.

The Hockey Writers Bruins contributor Brandon Share-Cohen wrote a solid piece about Jesse back in September of 2017, mentioning that the rugged winger could be in the mix of cracking the NHL B’s roster as his “dark horse” pick. Although Brandon’s thoughts didn’t come to fruition, that doesn’t mean he won’t be in the mix next season during the 2018 Development Camp, Rookie Camp, or NHL training camp from the Warrior Ice Arena during the Bruins events in the summer offseason. Even if he doesn’t make the NHL roster next season, he’ll still be a valuable asset to the Bruins depth with two remaining years left on his Entry-Level contract that he signed in December of 2016.

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This year, the City of Regina, Saskatchewan was selected to host the 100th Anniversary of the Memorial Cup which today is sponsored by Mastercard. This is a great opportunity for Gabrielle to not only be an agitator and offensive threat but his experience and WHL veteran leadership will be heavily relied on regardless of what line he plays on. With the City of Regina hosting the popular four-team round-robin tournament from May 17th – 27th 2018, a return to the Providence Bruins isn’t out of the realm if the B’s make a deep Calder Cup Playoff run.

So far this season the Regina Pats are sitting in the first position in the Eastern Conference Wild Card standings with a 24-19-4-0 record (52 Points) in 47 games played and are on a four-game winning streak since the Gabrielle was returned to the area he grew up around. From the video provided above from the Pats official Twitter account, he looks happy to be bad and has a positive attitude regardless of the current situation. One of his key attributes is his eagerness to help any team no matter what level as in the short time with the Pats so far in his return with 3-2-5 numbers in those four games.

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