Boston Bruins Prospect Update

( Above Photo Credit:  NHL .com )

By: Mark Allred       Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Since I do so much research on the prospects in the Boston Bruins organization for our Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast, I thought why not write an article about all the information I gather every week. This is generally focusing on B’s prospects in North America but going to add those who are also a part of the organization while playing in Europe. Hope you all enjoy these as I try to deliver the best updates I can for those interested.

Bruins Prospect Update Nov 5th-Nov. 11th 2017

American Hockey League – Providence Bruins

The Providence Bruins played two games last week starting on Sunday, Nov 5th at the Dunk in Providence Rhode, Island. Zane McIntyre got the start in his return to the AHL to get in some game action as he’s been up and down Interstate 95 on emergency situations. McIntyre gave up all six goals in a 6-0 shutout loss against the visiting Bridgeport Sound Tigers stopping 31 of 37 shots.
The second game of the week came on Saturday, Nov 11th with a 4-3 overtime loss to the WBS Penguins who only needed 20 seconds into the extra frame to seal the victory. Baby B’s got goals from Colby Cave and two from Ryan Fitzgerald.  The Providence team is currently in 4th in the Atlantic Division with a 7-4-22-0 record and 15 points after 13 games played this season.

East Coast Hockey League – Atlanta Gladiators

Goaltender Dan Vladar appeared in back-to-back games last week starting on Friday, Nov. 10th against the South Carolina Stingrays where he gave up two goals but finished strong helping the Glads to a 3-2 overtime win stopping 29 of 31 shots.
The 2015 third-round pick of the NHL Bruins was back in the crease on Saturday night Nov. 11th against the same Stingrays team stopping 30 of 31 shits to help his Glads team to the 2-1 overtime victory. With the two wins over the weekend, the Czech Republic native extends his career high ECHL winning streak to four games and has a 4-1-0-0 record, a 2.58 goals-against-average, and .918 save percentage.

Ontario Hockey League – Oshawa Generals

2017 second round pick Jack Studnicka is currently on a four-game pointless streak and doesn’t have a goal in his last 11 games. The Center and his Gens team play the Ottawa 67’s tonight and hope to have a better update during next seeks show of his efforts in the OHL.

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League – Saint John Sea Dogs

Per Kevin Chambers and Craig Eagles who both write about the QMJHL, 2017 6th round pick Cedric Pare last action was on the third of November where he’s believed to have got a minor injury that’s held him out of the last 4 games. We hope Cedric gets back to action soon as he was playing much better before the injury.

Western Hockey League- Brandon Wheat Kings

Boston Bruins, 2017 seventh round defensive selection Daniel Bukac has been out of action since the start of the 2017-18 season and still recovering from offseason surgery. The 6’-5” 207-pound blueliner has been skating during non-team practices per Brandon Sun beat writer Perry Bergson and seems to be anxious for a return from his Twitter activity.

NCAA Men’s Hockey

Trent Frederic– University of Wisconsin
The former 2016 first round selection is riding a career-high four games without a single point and no goals in his last five games. In 13 games played Trent has 5-5-10 numbers and looks to snap his offensive struggles with back-to-back games starting this Friday night against Michigan.

Ryan Lindgren– Minnesota
Played in two games over the weekend but only got on the scoresheet on Saturday night when he scored his second goal of the season for the Gophers. In 12 games this year the sophomore has four points, but with his shutdown defensive style, he’s playing well regardless.

Ryan Donato– Harvard University
Ryan played in two games last week scoring a goal against Colgate on Friday night and added an assist on Saturday night against Cornell. Donato now has a point in every game this season and is 3-4-7 in five appearances.

Bruins Prospect Bukac Is Ready To Return From Injury

( Above Photo Credit:   Pirati Chomutov )

By: Mark Allred        Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Boston Bruins defensive prospect Daniel Bukac has unfortunately not seen any action to begin the 2017-18 Western Hockey League season after 14 games for the Brandon Wheat Kings, but after offseason surgery shortly following his first Bruins Development Camp, he’s getting ready for his return to the ice. Last night the 6′-4″ 185-pound defenseman sent out some information in a post on Twitter about his progress and likelihood to return to the Kings blueline within a matter of days.

Bukac is an 18-year-old Most, Czech Republic native that was selected in the second round of the WHL’s 2016 Import Draft after posting 3-12-15 numbers with his home countries Under-18 KLH Chomutov club. Last season in his first year of North American Hockey, he played a full 72 game 2017-18 schedule while contributing 2-15-17 numbers. His offensive numbers in his rookie year were not precisely explosive but according to Brandon Sun and Wheat Kings beat writer Perry Bergson who joined me on episode 66 of the Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast his game and style play a bigger role than what’s seen on a score sheet. You can listen to the October 7, 2017,  interview below to hear for yourself.

The interview with Brandon Sun hockey writer Perry Bergson can be heard below at the 57:08 mark of our show if you don’t want to listen to the whole program.

The Brandon Wheat Kings lost to the Prince Albert Raiders last night by the score of 4-1 and are back on the ice tonight as they travel to the SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to play the Saskatoon Blades. After tonight’s action on the road against the Blades, the Wheat Kings have a five-day break in action and beneficial time off for the young Bukac to recover from his injuries and could very well be in the line up next Friday night when the Kings return home at Westman Place Arena in Brandon, Manitoba to play the Kootenay Ice.

2017 Boston Bruins Development Camp video provided below by Black N’ Gold Hockey Blog Writer Mike Cratty who was on hand reporting from this summers event held at the Warrior Ice Arena in Brighton, Massachusetts.

Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast #66 10-7-17

By: Mark Allred           Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Welcome back for episode 66 in partnership with the Grandstand Sports Network. On this week’s show, we get together to talk about the first regular season game against the Nashville Predators to start the hockey talk. We talk about the Malcolm Subban waiver pickup from the New Las Vegas Gladiators franchise and the first 2017-18 expanded edition of the Bruins Prospect Update.
Also, I added some bonus talk adding my interview with Brandon Wheat Kings beat writer Perry Bergson of the Brandon Sun for an awesome discussion of Bruins prospect and Wheat Kings defenseman Daniel Bukac.

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Thanks for tuning in and all the support! We’ll be back next week for another show of Bruins Hockey related material. Take Care and GO Bruins!!

Miss last week’s episode 65? No worries my friends! Got you covered below

PuckNerd’s Bruins’ Prospect Pyramid – The Finale

By: Spencer Fascetta                                        Twitter: @PuckNerdHockey

It’s finally here. The final installment of my ongoing Prospect Pyramid series. A few differences from the early entries into this series – there are two tiers rather than one (one is the final tier of true prospects, the other is what I define as “tweener” players – not really prospects, but still worth a quick mention), and I steered away from NHL comparables in this installment, if simply because very few of these players have a legitimate comparable at this time. If you are new to this series, you can read Part 1 here, Part 2 here, and Part 3 here. I have thoroughly enjoyed this project, and I look forward to the healthy debate that will ensue!

Tier 4

Image result for victor berglund

Victor Berglund is an intriguing flier taken by Boston in the 2017 Draft. Joe Haggerty

D Victor Berglund, MODO Hockey J20 (SuperElit)

Acquired: 2017 NHL Draft (7th Round, 195th Overall)

2016-17 Season Stats: 37 GP, 5 G, 10 A, 15 P, 16 PIM

NHL Projection: Fringe Bottom Pairing Offensive Defenseman

NHL ETA: 2020-21

Victor Berglund could ultimately prove all of us wrong in 4-5 years. As Assistant GM Scot Bradley said, PJ Axelsson, the B’s go-to for European Scouting, was extremely high on Berglund throughout the entire draft process. Berglund is a slight 6’0″ and is one of the more agile defensemen in the system. His offensive upside is clear, but he needs to work on his defensive zone coverage and smarts. He has the upside to be a plus transition defenseman on the bottom pairing and absolutely is worth the flier in the 7th Round, but I would not expect to hear from him for at least 3-4 years, if at all.

Mahtomedi forward Jack Becker celebrates after scoring during the second period of a Class A quarterfinal game of the state boys hockey tournament at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Wednesday, March 4, 2015. Becker scored three goals as Mahtomedi won 6-3. (Pioneer Press: Ben Garvin)

Jack Becker is an absolute conundrum. Ben Garvin, Pioneer Press

C Jack Becker, Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL)

Acquired: 2015 NHL Draft (7th Round, 195th Overall)

2016-17 Season Stats: 49 GP, 16 G, 12 A, 28 P, 38 PIM

NHL Projection: Fringe NHL Power Forward

NHL ETA: 2024-25

Jack Becker can kind of be summed up by asking “who?” Becker was a late flier in 2015 by the B’s, a young player with a large frame that they are hoping can be an effective NHL player at some point. The unfortunate part is that Becker is now two seasons removed from his draft year, and he still is toiling in the USHL. For that matter, it isn’t as if he is dazzling in the USHL either. If he makes it, he could be a decent energy guy in the bottom 6 – but that’s a BIG if.

Daniel Bukac may have some untapped potential on the back end. Doug Westcott

D Daniel Bukac, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)

Acquired: 2017 NHL Draft (7th Round, 204th Overall)

2016-17 Season Stats: 72 GP, 2 G, 15 A, 17 P, 38 PIM

NHL Projection: Bottom-Pairing Two-Way Defenceman

NHL ETA: 2021-22

Bukac, like Berglund, was a late flier taken by the B’s in this year’s draft. He already has a big frame at 6’4″, which he still needs to grow into. He struggled with the transition to North America this year with the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings, but both the Bruins and the Wheat Kings’ coaching staff were impressed with the progress he made throughout the season. This is likely a long-term project, but one that could provide excellent depth down the road.

Lone Star Brahmas Defenseman Cameron Clarke

Cam Clarke is not your typical overager. Lone Star Brahmas

D Cam Clarke, Ferris State University (NCAA)

Acquired: 2016 NHL Draft (5th Round, 136th Overall)

2016-17 Season Stats: 35 G, 1 G, 10 A, 11 P, 26 PIM

NHL Projection: Bottom Pair Dynamic Offensive Defenseman

NHL ETA: 2021-22

Cam Clarke is the definition of an intriguing prospect. He was taken as a Draft+2 last year, meaning he’d already been passed over in two full drafts before finally being selected by the Bruins. I have championed the drafting of overage prospects before, but Clarke is not your classic more overage. He put up astounding numbers in his final season in the NAHL, but he also is a converted forward and has only played the position for two years. As such, he needs significant work in his own end before he can be considered an NHL defenseman, and he had a down year of sorts in his freshman season at Ferris State. Nevertheless, he’s definitely a guy to keep an eye on moving forward.


Ryan Fitzgerald is getting to live out the Massachusetts kid dream of playing for the Bruins.

C Ryan Fitzgerald, Boston College (NCAA)

Acquired: 2013 NHL Draft (4th Round, 120th Overall)

2016-17 Season Stats: 34 GP, 12 G, 19 A, 31 P, 56 PIM

NHL Projection: 4th Line Two-Way Center/Depth Forward

NHL ETA: 2018-19

Fitzgerald had a solid career at Boston College and made a good impression with Providence last spring when he signed with the B’s at the conclusion of his senior season. He isn’t going to dazzle anyone, he’s not tremendously good at any particular facet of the game, but he is solid at most of them. He has had a good preseason thus far and seems to be in the mix for the 4th line, but I think he could use a full year in Providence to hone his game to better fit the professional level.

Cameron Hughes photo

Cameron Hughes has shown steady improvement in his time at Wisconsin. M.P. King, State Journal

C/LW Cameron Hughes, University of Wisconsin (NCAA)

Acquired: 2015 NHL Draft (6th Round, 165th Overall)

2016-17 Season Stats: 36 GP, 7 G, 25 A, 32 P, 16 PIM

NHL Projection: Bottom 6 Offensive Forward

NHL ETA: 2021-22

Cameron Hughes had a nice season at Wisconsin this year, as his offensive profile begins to grow. He has never had a great shot, and is not a stellar passer, but has a knack for getting himself in the right position to put up points. He needs to continue to get stronger on the puck and clean up some of the decision-making, but the tools are there.

Image result for emil johansson hockey

Emil Johansson needs to gain confidence in taking some risks on the back end. Bildbyran/Andreas L Eriksson

D Emil Johansson, Djurgardens IF (SHL)

Acquired: 2014 NHL Draft (7th Round, 206th Overall)

2016-17 Season Stats: 49 GP, 7 G, 10 A, 17 P, 26 PIM

NHL Projection: Bottom-Pairing Two-Way Defenseman

NHL ETA: 2022-23

Johansson is an intelligent two-way defender, but that is almost as much of a curse as it is a blessing. He has a tendency to always settle on the safest play and can panic at times under pressure. He needs to gain more confidence using his natural skating and puck-moving talents to be successful in North America.

Cedric Pare was buried on a stacked Saint John depth chart last season. Saint John Sea Dogs

C Cedric Pare, Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)

Acquired: 2017 NHL Draft (6th Round, 173rd Overall)

2016-17 Season Stats: 64 GP, 5 G, 11 A, 16 P, 26 PIM

NHL Projection: 4th Line Defensive Center/Depth Forward

NHL ETA: 2021-22

Pare was stuck low in the pecking order on a stacked Saint John team this year. He is big, tough, and willing to grind out his offensive chances. The big concern here is the skating. Any player who has a hope of playing in the NHL needs to be a good skater, and Pare’s skating ability ranges from “meh” to “bleh.” He will get a much larger role this year in Saint John and is quite young for his age at this point. He has a ceiling, it just doesn’t appear to be an overly high one right now.

1) Wiley Sherman

Wiley Sherman is an imposing 6’7″ d-man – but can he crack the NHL? Joe Haggerty

D Wiley Sherman, Harvard University (NCAA)

Acquired: 2013 NHL Draft (5th Round, 150th Overall)

2016-17 Season Stats: 36 GP, 0 G, 13 A, 13 P, 24 PIM

NHL Projection: Depth Defensive Defenseman

NHL ETA: 2019-20

Wiley Sherman was literally drafted because he was a big guy who could skate. I kid you not. Then Assistant GM Jim Benning (yes, THAT Jim Benning) was quoted saying as much after the 2013 draft. To his credit, Sherman has developed into a solid, stay-at-home d-man at Harvard, but he does not move the puck nearly well enough to make a significant impact at the NHL level. That 6’7″ frame is most of what makes him intriguing, so don’t start buying Wiley Sherman jerseys just yet…

Swayman will head off to the University of Maine this fall. NAPHL

G Jeremy Swayman, Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL)

Acquired: 2017 NHL Draft (4th Round, 111th Overall)

2016-17 Season Stats: 32 GP, 2.90 GAA, .914 SV%

NHL Projection: League Average Backup Goaltender

NHL ETA: 2026-27

Many Bruins fans liked the fact that the B’s invested in another goaltending prospect after several years of souring public opinion on 2012 1st Round Pick Malcolm Subban. Unfortunately, the Bruins waited too long in this year’s draft to take a goalie and were kind of stuck with Swayman as their best option. He has a big frame with plenty of room to grow even more and posted respectable numbers on a mediocre USHL team. He is quite aggressive, and uses his athleticism well, but can get himself out of position quickly, and has a tendency to try and do too much rather than make the simple save. He will have plenty of time to refine his game at the University of Maine, where he will start this fall. It will likely be a long time before we see anything from him at the pro level.


Tweener Tier

Each of the following players has yet to complete a full season in the NHL, project mostly as AHL players but are signed to NHL contracts, OR whose NHL rights are held by Boston, but are not currently under NHL contract and are instead playing in a professional league overseas. Szwarz, Cross, Cave, and Hickman all fall under the category of the former, and should not really be more than “competent bums” who help lead the dearth of younger players that comprise most of Providence. With the organizational depth on the backend, and after a season ravaged by injuries, Linus Arnesson chose to return to Sweden for this season. He is a big, strong, defensively sound rearguard, but the lack of offense is glaring, which severely limits his NHL upside. If he can spend time in Sweden working to improve his support game, he could eventually develop into a quality depth guy.

Image result for alexander khokhlachev hockey

Alexander Khokhlachev has taken the KHL by storm. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The two most intriguing players here are clearly the two Russians. Alexander Khokhlachev had the unfortunate problem of inaccurate timing when he was drafted in 2011. He has shown at the AHL level that he can score at a consistently high-end level, and at his best is a flashy, quick, dynamic, offensive dynamo. When he became a part of the Bruins’ organization, it became the classic conundrum of attempting to jam a square peg into a round hole. Nobody is going to mistake Khokho as the next coming of Patrice Bergeron, and Claude Julien does not tolerate defensive shortcomings in his younger players (see Ryan Spooner). After repeatedly being passed over for lesser talented players (regarding true, raw, offensive ability), Khokholachev understandably became frustrated to the point where he jumped ship at the end of the 2015-16 season and returned to Russia to play in the KHL. Playing for perennial powerhouse SKA St. Petersburg, he produced at over a point per game rate. I expect him to make an NHL return in the next few years, and the Bruins’ would be wise to keep him in their sights. He has the potential to be a game-breaking offensive talent in the modern NHL.

Image result for Maxim Chudinov hockey

Maxim Chudinov may never make himself known in North America, but he has quitely become one of the best defensemen in the KHL.

Many of you likely are saying “Who in the heck is Maxim Chudinov?” Well, that’s not entirely unfounded. Chudinov, a 2010 7th Round Pick, has never given the impression that he is interested in coming to North America. He is intriguing, however, as a player who would make an impact at the NHL level. He’s not the biggest d-man, but he loves the physical side of the game, has quick feet, makes a good first pass, and knows what he’s doing in the offensive zone. He has developed into one of the better young defensemen in the KHL – the question is, how likely is it that he decides to come over to the NHL? I’m not hedging my bets on this one…


D Linus Arnesson, Providence Bruins (AHL)

Acquired: 2013 NHL Draft (2nd Round, 60th Overall)

2016-17 Season Stats: 20 GP, 0 G, 1 A, 1 P, 8 PIM

NHL Projection: 7th Defenseman


RW/C Jordan Szwarz, Providence Bruins (AHL)

Acquired: Free Agent Signing

2016-17 Season Stats: 65 GP, 22 G, 32 A, 54 P, 76 PIM

NHL Projection: Depth Forward


C/W Alexander Khokhlachev, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL)

Acquired: 2011 NHL Draft (2nd Round, 40th Overall)

2016-17 Season Stats: 60 GP, 23 G, 45 A, 68 P, 12 PIM

NHL Projection: Dynamic Top 9 Offensive Forward


D Tommy Cross, Providence Bruins (AHL)

Acquired: 2007 NHL Draft (2nd Round, 35th Overall)

2016-17 Season Stats: 74 GP, 12 G, 23 A, 35 P, 69 PIM

NHL Projection: Depth Defenseman


D Maxim Chudinov, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL)

Acquired: 2010 NHL Draft (7th Round, 195th Overall)

2016-17 Season Stats: 42 GP, 4 G, 10 A, 14 P, 26 PIM

NHL Projection: Top 4 Two-Way D-man


C/LW Colby Cave, Providence Bruins (AHL)

Acquired: Undrafted Free Agent Signing

2016-17 Season Stats: 76 GP, 13 G, 22 A, 35 P, 52 PIM

NHL Projection: AHL Forward


RW/C Justin Hickman, Providence Bruins (AHL)

Acquired: Undrafted Free Agent Signing

2016-17 Season Stats: 25 GP, 2 G, 1 A, 3 P, 19 PIM

NHL Projection: AHL Forward

All Statistics courtesy of

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Getting To Know The Newest Boston Bruins Development Camp Defensemen and Goaltenders

Image result for Boston Bruins 2017 draft class

(Photo Credit: NHL .com)

By Mike Cratty                                                                                               Twitter: @Mike_Cratty

On July 2, the 2017 Boston Bruins Development Camp roster and the official schedule was released. Development camp started yesterday, July 7. Here is the schedule from yesterday and the rest of it going forward. A list of who is attending is presented as well as some other information:


(Locations and times are subject to change)

Thursday, July 6 (Warrior Ice Arena, Brighton, MA)

-On-ice practice, 11:00 a.m.

Friday, July 7 (Warrior Ice Arena, Brighton, MA)

-On-ice practice, 10:30 a.m.

Saturday, July 8 (Warrior Ice Arena, Brighton, MA)

-On-ice practice, 10:30 a.m.

Sunday, July 9 (Warrior Ice Arena, Brighton, MA)

-On-ice practice, 10:30 a.m.


(Players are listed in alphabetical order by last name)

Forwards: Jack Becker, Anders Bjork, Ryan Donato, Trent Frederic, Jesse Gabrielle, Cameron Hughes+, Mason Jobst*, Joona Koppanen, Karson Kuhlman*, Josh Melnick*, T.J. Moore*, R.J. Murphy*, Cedric Pare, Eric Robinson*, Zach Senyshyn, Oskar Steen, Jack Studnicka

Defensemen: Victor Berglund, Ian Brady*, Daniel Bukac, Cameron Clarke, Jeremy Lauzon+, Ryan Lindgren, Wiley Sherman, Urho Vaakanainen, Jakob Zboril

Goaltenders: Robert McGovern*, Jeremy Swayman, Dan Vladar

*Indicates attendance to Development Camp is on an invite basis

+Indicates that player is unlikely to skate during development camp due to off-season surgery


Like with the forwards, there are a lot of new faces at development camp this year on defense and in the crease with the goalies. Learn more about the 2017 Boston Bruins development camp forwards here. The question is, who are these guys and what is worth knowing about them?


Image result for victor berglund

(Photo Credit:

Victor Berglund: 

The 17-year-old native of Örnsköldsvik, Sweden played J20 hockey for Modo Hockey in Sweden. As many seventh-round picks are, he is a project, but one with some upside. He only played three games at the U18 level and had two assists.

In his second season at the J20 level, Berglund tallied five goals to go along with 10 assists, for 15 points in 37 games. Those stats are pretty impressive for a defenseman playing in the most competitive Swedish junior hockey league at 17-years-old. He then played for just Modo Hockey and had one assist in 12 games.

It will be intriguing to see how a 17-year-old, right-shot defenseman does at development camp, although he turns 18 in less than a month.

Here’s what Kirk Luedeke of had to say about Victor Berglund:

“Small, skilled defender was a total stealth/under the radar pick, as no one we were with at the draft knew who he was. We’ll let Bradley describe him thus: “Our Swedish guys were on top of him. They think he’s a mobile D. He’s skilled, ultra-skilled, and he skates well. Small. Six-footer, but [European scouts] P.J. [Axelsson] and Sven [Svensson] and Victor [Nybladh], they were pounding the table for him and we went along with it and I think we might have something there. Talking to his strength coach after the pick, he’s got him working on putting some muscle and weight on so we look forward to seeing him, too, at development camp.”

(Follow Kirk on Twitter: @kluedeke29)

Like Kirk noted, Berglund is on the smaller side at 6-feet tall around 165 pounds. Physical maturity will be essential for Victor Berglund’s development and hopes of playing professional hockey someday.

Ian Brady:

(Video Credit: Omaha Mavericks YouTube Channel)

Ian Brady is the only current college hockey player on the list, along with Rob McGovern (U. Maine). A 23-year-old native of Lombard, IL, Brady spent four years as a right-shot defenseman at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He stands at 6-feet tall, 205 pounds. He then went on to play two games for the AHL affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres, the Rochester Americans. He had one assist in those two games. What he will do next year is unknown.

Brady just finished up four years UNO in which he played 141 games. In those games, he tallied 15 goals, 62 assists, and 77 points. Most recently, in his senior campaign, he had 3 goals 18 assists and 21 points, good for his best scoring season in college. Brady is a USHL alumni of the Cedar Rapids Roughriders, a team in which he played three seasons with.

Brady is a USHL alumni of the Cedar Rapids Roughriders, a team in which he played three seasons with. He will be for sure be a fun prospect to watch with good upside as one of the older guys at camp this time around.

Daniel Bukac:

(Video Credit: NHL Prospects YouTube Channel)

Daniel Bukac is an interesting prospect. Drafted with the Boston Bruins’ last pick in the draft, 204th overall, there appears to be some late-round value with Bukac.

The native of Most in the Czech Republic carries a solid frame at 6-foot-4, 185 pounds and skates well for his size. In his first season with the Brandon Wheat Kings, Daniel Bukac managed to score two goals and 15 assists in 72 games. With a bigger role next year, we could see some good things from the Czech blueliner.

Here’s what Kirk Luedeke of had to say about Daniel Bukac:

“Big, rangy Czech defender is raw and needs a lot of development, but could have a decent payoff down the road. Good skater for his size who will get better and more powerful in his stride as he adds lower leg strength. Long stick- terrific reach. Didn’t put up many points, but had a tough transition to North America with the Wheaties and came on strong at the end. More from Bradley: “He’s raw. He’s a project. Kid from the Czech Republic that played in the Western Hockey League. At the start of the year – he’s come leaps and bounds with his development. Talking to the people – the coaches, the management, and the GM in Brandon, they’re very excited about him coming back to Brandon. They’re expecting big things from him. We look forward to seeing him in camp.”

(Follow Kirk on Twitter: @kluedeke29)

Bukac sounds like a great late-round value pick. Down the road, if he does get close to the NHL level he might have guys like Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo to mentor him, as all three players are right-shot defensemen. I for one am very excited about Daniel Bukac.

Urho Vaakanainen:

(Video Credit: SEER VIDEO YouTube Channel)

The guy that many fans are the most exciting for in the new prospect development camp crop, Finnish defender, Urho Vaakanainen. The Joensuu, Finland native played for JYP in Finland as a 17-year-old and impressed even with little offensive production. The Bruins could have gone for a talented winger at number 18 overall, but Vaakanainen is by no means a bad pick.

With JYP, he tallied just two goals and four assists, good for six points in 42 games. Don’t be concerned about the lack of production. He is young playing against older players, and not all defensemen have to be a massive point producer.

Vaakanainen has confidence in himself, which isn’t bad. Let’s just hope it doesn’t turn into cockiness:

“I think I’m a great skater, I’m good with the puck, I make a good first pass,” he said. “I’m the complete package, a two-way defenseman. I was expecting to be taken in the first round, (but) I wasn’t expecting to be taken by Boston.”

I like a kid with confidence. If Urho works on his offensive game and physicality, a bit, we could have a top-four guy in the making when Zdeno Chara is gone. He isn’t wrong about his skating and the fact that he is a two-way defenseman. Whether he is the ‘whole package’ is unknown.

Here’s what Kirk Luedeke of had to say about Urho Vaakanainen:

“Good height and long limbs; plus-skater who can move with speed, quickness and agility. Breaks out pucks efficiently with head up. Will join the rush and can handle the puck effectively from the blue line when the play is in the offensive zone. Smart defensive player who uses his length and reach to deny paths to the net. Not overly physical and prefers to use angles, gap work and a quick stick to keep opponents from generating scoring chances. Six points for JyP in his second pro season in the SM-Liiga, but could be on the verge of breaking out offensively with SaiPa next season.”

(Follow Kirk on Twitter: @kluedeke29)

It’s time to jump on the Urho Vaakanainen bandwagon if you haven’t already.


Image result for rob mcgovern hockeydb

(Photo Credit: Bangor Daily News)

Robert McGovern: The Weymouth, MA native is new to Bruins development camp and spent the last two years at the University of Maine, of Hockey East in the NCAA.

The 22-year-old is a tower in the net at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds. Things haven’t been easy for McGovern in college due to a rebuilding Maine Black Bears team in front of him. Maine is a team that lacks great puck-movers on the back end.

In his NCAA career, he had made 49 appearances. His GAA dropped from 2.78 in year one to 2.99, but his save percentage went up from .905 to .912%. His overall record at Maine is 11-29-6, 9-15-3 this past season. Things have been rigorous for McGovern, but he is still an impressive player, with good qualities playing against a high level of competition.

The spotlight will be bright as there are only three goalies at camp. Jeremy Swayman and Daniel Vladar being the others.

Jeremy Swayman:

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(Photo Credit:

Thank god Don Sweeney drafted a goalie. Trading a third-round pick for Zac Rinaldo made it so he missed out on promising goalies like Wilbraham, MA native Keith Petruzzelli, and Memorial Cup Champion goalie Michael DiPietro, as well as other goalies. This is not meant to diminish Swayman’s value by any means. Six goalies were taken in the third round.

An Anchorage, AK native, Swayman stands at 6-foot-2, 190 pounds in the blue paint and could join camp invitee Rob McGovern at the University of Maine in the 2018-2019 season. Autocorrect tries to correct his last name to ‘Swagman.’ New nickname?

Last season with the USHL’s Sioux Falls Stampede, Swayman appeared in 32 games and finished with a 2.90 GAA, and a .914 save percentage. He was ranked as 12th on NHL Central Scouting’s North American goalie list. Not bad for an 18-year-old being thrown into over 30 appearances his first season at a new level of competition.

Playing in the NCAA next year, no matter how much action he gets, will be very beneficial for his growth as a prospect.

Here is what Kirk Luedeke had to say about Jeremy Swayman:

“High-end athlete with good size who probably isn’t finished growing (his dad is 6-6) checks all the boxes for a developmental project goalie. Excellent quickness and great hands- glove and blocker are effective at catching pucks or directing them away from danger areas. Gets a good lateral push and tracks pucks well. Put up very good save percentage and GAA numbers (.914, 2.90) on a non-playoff USHL club, and was often lost in the spotlight of other bigger-name goalies playing in that league. Needs to be more patient at times- gets caught trying to do too much and will have to put in the work to refine his game and keep getting better. Says all the right things, but the proof will be in the continued progression and body of work.”

(Follow Kirk on Twitter: @kluedeke29)

Kirk notes his Dad’s height being 6-foot-6, so if Jeremy keeps growing, we could see another Ben Bishop with that size. Ben Bishop was once a Maine Black Bear too. Did that just blow your mind? Kirk also notes that it was tough for Swayman to succeed as much as he may have wanted to with a non-playoff team in front of him.

Kirk also notes that it was tough for Swayman to succeed as much as he may have wanted to with a non-playoff team in front of him. The thought of him growing with at a higher level with a Maine team will hopefully improve.

Swayman is a guy to be excited about because the Boston Bruins really needed to add a solid goaltending prospect and they did. He will be a bit of a project, but one that sounds very promising.

Development camp season is an exciting time for all. Fans, coaches, and other players see the future of the organizations that they are involved with at the time.

(All height, weight, and statistical information:,,