Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston @ Minnesota: 4/4/19

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(Photo Credit: David Berding-USA Today Sports)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: Minnesota Wild

Away: Boston Bruins

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

DeBrusk – Bergeron – Pastrnak

Johansson – Coyle – Senyshyn

Heinen – Frederic – Kuhlman

Nordstrom – Acciari – Backes

Defense

Krug – Carlo

Grzelcyk – Miller

Clifton – Kampfer

Goalies

Halak

Rask

Minnesota’s Lineup

Forwards

Donato – Staal – Kunin

Zucker – Eriksson Ek – Fiala

Greenway – Sturm – Rask

Foligno – Fehr – Brown

Defense

Suter –  Spurgeon

Brodin – Hunt

Bitetto – Pateryn

Goalies

Stalock

Dubnyk

First Period

This one featured plenty of storylines coming into it. For the Bruins, it marked the NHL debut of 2015 first-round pick, Zach Senyshyn. Additionally, Trent Frederic was called back up, and David Krejci, Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara, Torey Krug, and Chris Wagner sat to rest before the quickly approaching first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The goaltending matchup was Jaroslav Halak vs. Alex Stalock.

Additionally, Charlie Coyle’s first game as a Bruin in Minnesota was set to get underway, as well as Ryan Donato’s first game against the Bruins as a member of the Wild. Minnesota had a debut of their own, as former Clarkson University captain Nico Sturm joined the team on an entry-level deal as an undrafted free agent following the conclusion of Clarkson’s season.

It was a milestone game for Bruce Cassidy, as this marked his 300th NHL game behind the bench. His record coming in was 163-98-38. Steven Kampfer also hit a career milestone with his 200th NHL game.

Good chances came on both sides throughout the first period, but no one could break through. Part of this on the Bruins end was undoubtedly due to the roster fluctuation ahead of the postseason. Sensyhyn showed a willingness to get amongst the action in the first period. With good chances and tempo, it’s a little surprising that we didn’t see any scoring on either side. The shots were 9-8 in favor of Minnesota.

Score: 0-0

Second Period

The second frame got off to a rough start early on as Kevan Miller and Jordan Greenway brushed shoulders and Miller slid awkwardly into the boards. He was helped off the ice.

The Bruins came out hard to start, outshooting Minnesota 6-2 throughout the first six minutes of the period. It was just a matter of breaking through.

That all changed with a persistent forecheck from the Bruins fourth line, and good puck movement on the blue line. Joakim Nordstrom eventually buried his seventh goal of the season, assisted by Noel Acciari (8) and Matt Grzelcyk (15).

The first penalty of the game came against Luke Kunin for roughing with 5:05 to go in the period.

Good news came late in the period as Miller returned for the Bruins. For Minnesota, well, Alex Stalock was having quite a bit of fun. Here are a couple of examples.

That wasn’t the only time he went far out of his crease to play the puck, he did so on the defensive zone boards to his left. Oh yeah, he even did a bunny hop in his crease too.

Stalock’s antics were quite the spectacle. Otherwise, the Bruins took control and doubled the Wild’s shots at 18-9 for the period. Despite such domination in the shots on goal and scoring chances categories for the Bruins, their lead sat at just one.

Score: 1-0 Boston

Third Period

The plot thickened for Kevan Miller as he was not seen on the bench to start the third period.

Brandon Carlo and Kunin both went off for roughing just less than two minutes in, neither team scored with the extra space to operate on the ice. Clifton then went off for interference about four minutes later, no dice for Minnesota.

Besides the Nordstrom goal, neither goal was giving an inch. Karson Kuhlman did ring the post one time, but the goaltending battle commenced. This was until David Pastrnak buried his 38th of the season to make it 2-0 towards the end of regulation. Jake DeBrusk (15) and Patrice Bergeron (48) had the assists.

Zach Senyshyn scored his first career NHL goal on an empty netter set up by Marcus Johansson (17) and Steven Kampfer (2).

The final shots were 35-26 in favor of the Bruins. The last game of the regular season is up next for the Bruins when the Tampa Bay Lightning come to town for some matinee hockey at 1 PM on Saturday.

Final Score: 3-0 Boston

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Providence Bruins Prospect Player Profile: Zach Senyshyn

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(Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer-Getty Images)

By: Tim Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

Zach Senyshyn was taken 15th overall in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft. When he was selected, it was a decision that drew some criticism from fans and NHL Entry Draft experts. At the time, the Bruins had just traded away defenseman Dougie Hamilton and Milan Lucic to acquire the 13th and the 15th pick in the first round to compliment the clubs original pick at 14. With the Bruins, three straight picks in 2015 they set a modern-day drafting record. There were players still on the board that many prospect people felt should have been picked ahead of Senyshyn, who himself was a speedy player with some big offensive upside. Despite that, the Bruins saw something the in young speedster, and I am here to try and show you what that was.

Zach Senyshyn was drafted by the Boston Bruins because of his incredible speed, and his goal-scoring ability. His 2015-16 season in the OHL was his first since being drafted by the Bruins and did he ever show off his offensive upside. In 66 games with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds he pocketed 45 goals while dishing out 20 assists for 65 total points with a +/- rating of + 5. He also helped the team in a big way during the playoffs in 12 games he netted 2 goals while handing out 7 assists for 9 total points and a +/- of 0. This season drew a lot of praise from people, and it made the Bruins look great taking him when they did in the first round.

The 2016-17 season was a big one for Senyshyn. Both he and the Bruins hoped that he would build upon his big year and assert himself has a top prospect in the league. He did just that. In 59 games with Sault Ste. Marie, he netted 42 goals while tallying 23 assists for 65 total points and a rating of +16. Also, in 11 playoff games, he scored 4 goals added 1 assist for 5 total points and rating of 0. This was a great season for Senyshyn. He was able to not only show off his great speed but also his scoring ability. He seemed to outgrow playing in the OHL, and it was only a matter of time before we started hearing his name in Boston. The Bruins were so happy with the season that they signed him on to play for the Providence Bruins in the playoffs that same year. In 4 playoff games with Providence, he did not register a point and had a rating of -2. Overall it was a very successful second season since being drafted for Zach.

Coming into the 2017-18 season, it was a big deal for Zach Senyshyn. It was his first full season of professional hockey with the Providence Bruins, and they had hoped he would continue to grow and develop on the same trajectory that he had the last two seasons. His first full season in Providence was streaky, but it was also respectable. In 66 games with Providence, he grabbed 12 goals while helping with 14 assists for 26 total points and a rating of +3. While in 4 playoff games he had 0 goals and 1 assist for 1 total point and a rating of –1. Overall it was a season that Senyshyn can build upon going forward.

This season is another big one for Senyshyn. With other players from his draft having successful years in the NHL some people are getting impatient with his development. So far this season in 17 games with Providence Senyshyn has 5 goals while adding 2 assists for 7 total points with a rating of –9. He has started out slow, but in every year he played in the OHL his offensive output increased, and there is no reason why he would not be able to do that in the AHL as well. Something that is still showing is his speed. When he is flying up ice, it is like he was shot out of a cannon. This speed and his scoring ability should ultimately win out, and he can be a good player in the NHL.

One major thing to remember with Zach Senyshyn is he is only 21 years old. He has time to develop into a good NHL player. One comparison I have seen most often is that he can be a Chris Kreider. This would not be a bad thing. That would mean he is a good wing who is going to consistently score 40+ points a season in the NHL. While it may be frustrating to see other players the Bruins passed on in the 2015 NHL Draft be successful in the NHL, I preach to you be patient. Players all develop at different rates. If we are patient with Senyshyn that patience could be rewarded. The reward? A good NHL wing who is on the Bruins top 6 for many years to come.

Bruins And Backes Hit Critical Moment

(Photo Credit: Rich Gagnon)

By: Chris Nosek | Follow me on Twitter: @cnosek6342

Coming into this season, there were only a couple of question marks when it came to who would be on this Bruin’s roster. One player, in particular, David Backes was primed to play a key role for the Bruins as he is taking up $6 million of the cap space allotted for the black and gold. With the top line solidifying their positions from last season, Jake Debrusk and David Krejci played themselves to another “must keep together pairing” last year as well.

With many players going to get a chance to play next to them, it was clear after a miserable opening night against the defending champion Washington Capitals that solving the open line spots would prove to be a difficult test. It did not improve much improvement the next night in their game against Buffalo when it became clear that center Sean Kuraly was overmatched being on the third line and that as versatile as Noel Acciari has been he is best suited for the right wing role on the fourth line – not at center.

After being on the right wing during the first two games, where he has played for much of his career, Backes was slid over to the third line center role to start off the third game of the season when Boston faced off against Ottawa. Backes was slotted into this role for the next five games, before taking a hit from Edmonton’s Matt Benning. During these five games, he proved to be proficient in the faceoff dot while failing to get himself on the scoreboard. The question about Backes now is how effective he will be upon his return to the lineup? With his season last year ending because of a concussion suffered from a hit by J.T. Miller hit, Backes has a history of injuries and in particular head injuries.

With Backes now missing time, newcomer Joakim Norstrom – whose performance had him placed on the Krejci line – is now being forced into third line center duties. To his credit, wherever they have played the 26-year-old veteran, he has given the Bruins solid play and looks like he will be their next Riley Nash. The question now remains about David Backes for when he returns from injury.

To his credit, Backes re-evaluated his game and body structure during the offseason and took it upon himself to slim down and get quicker as he shed about 10 pounds in the offseason. During the preseason, anyone could see he was quicker and slightly more agile – however, during those games he was on the right wing. At this point, we have enough of a sample size to know that David Backes should not be playing center. The only remaining question is; when he gets fully healthy is he still one of their best options on the right wing? Although this remains to be seen, the Bruins have reached a point that it is critical that Backes start putting points on the board as the secondary scoring on this team is lacking in so many ways. If his streak of games without a point continues upon his return, then Don Sweeney will quickly be looking at the waiver wire for the 34-year-old.

Although exposing such a veteran player and leader to the waiver wire sounds like a very risky move, especially this early in the season, in this case of Backes there is, in fact, little to no risk for Boston. To begin with, there are only 14 teams currently with enough cap space to even take on the $6 million albatross contract that comes with Backes and most of those teams would rather spend their cap money on their own soon to be RFA’s or one of the big name UFA’s who hit the free agent market after this season. Should he get claimed, then it solves Sweeney’s longer-term question about what to do with him next season, but when he makes it through to Providence, he will free up another $6 million bringing them to almost $10 million in usable cap space for the remainder of this season.

Image result for david backes hurt (Photo Credit: nhl.com)

Sending the underperforming veteran down to Providence (or letting him get picked up by another team), opens the door for his roster spot to be taken by one of the younger players who is still working towards hitting their peak performance. As much as I too want to see the turnstile of wingers next to David Krejci stop turning, Danton Heinen is much better suited for the third line and seeing if either Cehlarik or Senyshyn can fill that void could really help the secondary scoring this team is lacking. Sweeney has shown that he is not afraid to put a veteran like him on notice as he did so with Matt Beleskey back in 2017. Backes does deserve a chance to come back from this injury. However, that doesn’t mean that Sweeney and Cassidy should give him a long leash for underperforming.

Bruins Prospect Andersson Returned To SEL, Among Other Monday Roster Moves

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(Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney announced a series of roster moves yesterday.

One of the most noteworthy comes in the form of 2018 second-round draft pick Axel Andersson being returned to Djurgarden IF of the SEL. Andersson had a solid summer in Boston, most notably in preseason action with the Bruins. Returning to his Swedish stomping grounds will allow the 18-year-old defenseman to grow and improve as a hockey player in SEL, a league in which he has past experience in. This past Saturday, Axel got in the board in some preseason action this past Saturday against the Detroit Red Wings.

Additionally, four young Bruins are heading to Providence, as Cameron Hughes, Emil Johansson, Joona Koppanen, and Zachary Senyshyn have been sent to the AHL. Johansson and Senyshyn return to the Providence with 50+ games of AHL apiece, while Hughes and Koppanen are still getting their feet wet. All four, regardless of experience, join a group in Providence with a good mix of veterans as well as young, skilled players that could very well be a solid Atlantic division team yet again.

To wrap up the series of moves, forward Tanner Pond will report to Providence as well. After amassing 163 penalty minutes on top of 37 points in 61 games with the Atlanta Gladiators last season, Pond is not one to shy away from the fisticuffs.

The moves will continue to come as the regular season gets closer and closer to the regular season. One thing is for sure — roster decisions won’t become any easier for Bruins management as some roster battles still rage on.

Boston Bruins: The Pros & Cons Of An Artemi Panarin Trade

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PHOTO CREDITS: (USA Today – Adam Hunger)

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

Oh, the offseason. The best time of the year for all of the craziest rumors, trade ideas, and organizational moves as the teams prepare for the upcoming season. With the Boston Bruins, the 2018 NHL Offseason has been filled with rumors from all over the place. From signing big name players such as Ilya Kovalchuk or John Tavares to the more-recent idea of trading for Columbus Blue Jackets forward, Artemi Panarin.

Often, the speculation for certain moves come without any deep thought, as although the player supposedly coming to the roster would bring some amazing talent and would make the team better on paper, there are usually some negative pieces that have to be recognized before that trade. The trade for Artemi Panarin would be no different.

Pro – Consistent 30 Goal/70 Point Scorer

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PHOTO CREDITS: (nhl.com)

Since joining the league three years ago in the 2015-16 season, Panarin has hit the seventy-point mark in every single season, reaching 77, 74, and a career-high of 82 during last season.

The Chicago Blackhawks signed the Russian forward to a two-year contract back in May of 2015 after he posted 26-36-62 numbers in fifty-four regular season games with the SKA St. Petersburg in the KHL. Panarin clicked with fellow Blackhawks star Patrick Kane, a large contributor to the 30-47-77 totals he posted in his debut year. The outstanding year also led to him winning the 2015-2016 Calder Memorial Trophy as the league’s best player in their rookie season.

Panarin would continue the success he had from the incredible rookie season to produce another 31 goals and 74 points in 82 games with the Hawks, guaranteeing a pay raise from his contract that earned him $7 million over the two seasons, ($5.375 million in performance bonuses). In December of ’16, Chicago rewarded Artemi with another two-year deal with an AAV of $6 million.

In the following offseason, the Blackhawks would trade away Artemi Panarin, Tyler Motte, and a 6th Round Pick in 2017 to Columbus for Brandon Saad, Anton Forsberg, and a 5th Round Pick in 2018. The move would be considered a salary move for Chicago, but Panarin would have to become accustomed to Columbus for the 2017-18 season.

Without Patrick Kane and the rest of the scoring players on the Blackhawks, Panarin was able to strive in his first year with the Blue Jackets, leading the team in goals, assists, and points with eighty-two in 81 games as well as a career-high +23 rating. The goal scoring for Panarin would be undeniable and would be a great addition to the Bruins roster.

Con – Contract Situation

With one year left on that two-year deal he signed back in December of 2016, Panarin will most likely demand more than the $6 million annual salary (8.22% cap hit) that he is currently receiving with the Blue Jackets. Panarin has been the league’s best scoring players, and with his young age of twenty-six, it makes for the perfect recipe for a new, larger deal.

There is also the uncertainty of whether or not he will even re-sign with the Bruins following a trade unless some sort of sign-and-trade scenario takes place between Boston and Columbus. For the Blue Jackets, it is in their best interest to keep Panarin for the long-term. However, there are reports that he does not wish to sign back with Columbus for a long-term deal because he does not enjoy living in Ohio and would prefer somewhere else.

An article on NHL.com on Friday, July 20th, states that Panarin has given a deadline to Columbus for a contract extension, September 13th, the day training camp begins for the club. Daniel Milstein, Panarin’s agent, said the following to The Athletic.

“Artemi loves hockey. He hates the business side of hockey. When the season starts, the focus can only be on playing. He’s going to play his best and give his best to the hockey club.”

The love for hockey overtakes a lot for Panarin, but his previous doubt for signing a long-term deal could bring along some worry if the Bruins do not have a guarantee of a contract around the seven or eight-year mark. The best possible scenario for the B’s here is to nail in a sign-and-trade with Columbus, making sure that Artemi is okay with joining Boston for an extended amount of time.

Pro – Possible Brad Marchand Replacement

There is no question – the Boston Bruins have been moving more towards a younger, faster lineup over the past few years and Artemi Panarin would fit right into that new system.

At only 26-years-old, Panarin is one of the youngest players to consistently produce the numbers he has so far in his career, something to be recognized in this new league that allows the youth to strive. After he was sent to the Jackets via trade, the doubts began to fill his name, due to the connection with Patrick Kane. However, as previously stated, he would prove the doubters wrong with an 82-point campaign with Columbus.

It seems that Panarin continues to get better as his NHL career progresses and if he can join a team that he is willing to play long-term with, he can be a franchise player. Now, the Bruins happen to have another superstar on the left-wing, Brad Marchand.

While it looks like Marchand is getting better with age, at the ripe age of thirty, there is no certainty that Marchand can keep up his production for the next eight years. At the same time, Marchand has had possibly one too many warnings when it comes to his questionable behavior, and if he is forced to change his act, there is a chance that his production levels could decrease for the future.

This point is not suggesting the Bruins could move Brad Marchand, but it would indeed be nice to know that the Bruins could have a player who can score goals on that left side.

Con – Assets To Columbus

With all of the points that have been covered in this article thus far, the biggest negative to a possible Panarin trade would the pieces shipped out of Boston. Clearly, no insider or hockey analyst has any scoop on players/draft picks that Columbus would receive in a trade with the Bruins, at least not any that I know of as of July 21st.

In my opinion, the Boston Bruins would have to send away forward Jake DeBrusk at the very least. If the Blue Jackets are going to trade away Panarin, a 26-year-old, then they will most likely demand a young left-winger in return. Due to his breakout, (and rookie) season this past year where he put up 16-27-43 numbers in seventy games, Jake could peak the interest of another team, possibly Columbus if the trade is needed.

However, the chance that a one-for-one type of trade takes place in this scenario. The Blue Jackets could very well demand a future First-Round pick and either a defensive or an offensive prospect. When considering Panarin’s point-per-game season last year and DeBrusk’s average rookie campaign, Columbus would have to want more assets in return – especially if the deal includes a sign-and-trade type agreement.

Columbus already has a young defensive core with the likes of Seth Jones (23), Ryan Murray (24), Markus Nutivaara (24) and, Zach Werenski (21) already on their roster, but when taking a look further down in their system, their organization seems to lack defensive prospects. One could argue a defenseman like Jakub Zboril would be in the trade and even maybe a Zachary Senyshyn as well.

Hypothetically, here would be the vague idea of what Boston would be giving up in this deal.

Columbus would possibly receive: F Jake DeBrusk, D Jakub Zboril, F Zachary Senyshyn, 2019 1st Round Pick

Boston would possibly receive: F Artemi Panarin

Again, my idea for how the trade would look may have been inspired by my NHL 18 experience on the PlayStation. However, it is nearly certain that the Boston Bruins would need to sacrifice some big parts. If the two, three, four pieces leaving Boston equal improvement with the addition of Artemi Panarin, then it is the right idea, but there may be a thought of over-paying for some fans.

With that, the debate is open for discussion. Personally, I am a big fan of Jake DeBrusk, mainly due to personally meeting him at a Western Hockey League game in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan as well as his incredible eight points in twelve playoff games against Toronto and Tampa Bay. However, Artemi Panarin could very well be our John Tavares going forward and at a younger age. Sure, it is a big IF, but if the contract could be agreed upon for long-term and the Bruins do not overpay for the Russian, then I am all for it.

Follow me on Twitter (tkdmaxbjj) and tell me your thoughts and opinions on the possibility of trading for Artemi Panarin.

Boston Bruins: Projecting The Kids

 

( Above Photo Credit:  NHL .com )

By: Jesse Jimenez                             Follow Me On Twitter @Jessemedscience

How many times over the last 2-3 years have we heard the terms “speed,” “youth,” and “skill” thrown around the NHL? The league is evolving at a rapid rate, and many teams have already started to adopt the new model. Enforcers seem to have been put on the “endangered” list, conceding to the less violent albeit a much more entertaining brand of hockey. The new style of play has no doubt benefited the league from a marketing and promotional perspective, attracting a diverse global audience. Boston, an original six team, and one of the NHL’s most prestigious organizations have already started putting its fingerprints on the new culture.

It’s no secret the Boston Bruins have one of the deepest prospect pools in the NHL and fans got a small taste of it this past season. Young 20-year-old defenseman Brandon Carlo exceeded expectations, making the team out of training camp and putting up a solid line of  6g-10a-16pts with a plus 9 rating while averaging just north of 20-mins TOI per game. University of Denver sophomore standout Danton Heinen had a cup of non-expresso coffee with the parent club before being sent down to Providence for some seasoning. Despite not registering a point in 8 games with the Bruins Heinen showed flashes of creativity, smarts, and essential tools that allowed him to capture 2015 NCHC Rookie of the year and 2016 NCHC best forward awards. After a dry spell for Providence Heinen really turned it on during the last quarter of the season and into the playoffs, leading the team in scoring with 18 points in 17 games including 9-goals. Youngsters such as Austin Czarnik, Peter Cehlarik, Sean Kuraly, Noel Acciari, Rob O’Gara, Anton Blidh and Matt Grzelcyk also got brief stints during the 2016-2017 campaign.

Ironically enough, we have not even touched on the top-tier prospects knocking on the door for the Bruins. Recently signed Notre Dame sophomore dynamo Anders Bjork tops the forward list with his dynamic skating, exceptional hockey sense, and world-class creativity. Bjork was named a finalist for the Hobey Baker this past year after posting 21g and 52-points in just 39 games for the Fighting Irish. Bjork may top the list for forwards due to his polished offensive game, but Zachary Senyshyn may have the purest natural ability of the crop. After registering back to back 40g+ seasons for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL Senyshyn is poised to make the best out of development camp after missing out last year due to mononucleosis — He saw limited time at the tail-end of the main camp in September. Then there’s Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, the Sweedish Bergeron as I like to call him. The Boston University product, whose game resembles the 4-time Selke award winner (not too shabby), may be the most rounded forward prospect and Boston’s top prospect at the center position. JFK possesses excellent hockey sense and vision and has a knack for potting big goals. His two-way game is polished and will translate to the NHL, making him an immediate contributor in all situations.

These are three excellent and exciting prospects, but none make you reach for the popcorn more than Charlie McAvoy will. Equipped with a 3-zone game, smooth skating, excellent vision, and a physical edge McAvoy may be the favorite for the Calder trophy this coming season. The former Boston University standout and 2017 WJC Gold Medalist took the NHL by storm as a 19-year old baby-faced rookie during the Stanley Cup playoffs. While the offensive numbers don’t jump off the page, 3 apples in 6 games, it was his matured play in all 3 zones that really captured the attention of fans, team executives, league analysts, and scouts. McAvoy averaged more than 25-min TOI per game — And was the go to quarterback for Boston’s first power-play unit. His ability to jump into the play, provide support for his forwards and transition defense to offense with a crisp first pass pretty much cemented how special and unique he is. McAvoy has generated lots of comparison to Los Angeles Kings stud defensemen Drew Doughty, sure Bruins fans weren’t too disappointed to hear that.

With an influx of young talent knocking on the door this year lets take a look at some lineup possibilities along with realistic expectations for each player.

Boston Bruins 2017-2018 Opening Day lineup:

Marchand-Bergeron-DeBrusk

Bjork-Krejci-Pastrnak

Heinen-JFK-Backes

Kuraly-Czarnik-Nash

Chara-Carlo

K.Miller-McAvoy

Krug-McQuaid

Projections

Jake DeBrusk — 18g 24a

Anders Bjork — 20g 28a

Danton Heinen — 16g 25a

JFK — 13g 30a

Charlie McAvoy — 10g 32a

Of course, there are plenty of moving parts and variables in play. Free agency is around the corner, and the Bruins remain very active in the trade market as they continue their search for a top-4 left shooting defensemen and top-6 forward. That being said, the Toronto Maple Leafs proved that young, inexperienced players can compete in the NHL. With a well-rounded veteran core of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, David Backes, Tuukka Rask and Zdeno Chara the Bruins find themselves in an excellent position to integrate their young talent.

Other Prospects that could push for spots:

Jakub Zboril

Jeremy Lauzon

Jesse Gabrielle

Agree? Don’t agree? I’d love to hear your thoughts as well. Who do you have making the Bruins this year?

Signing off,

Jesse “The Dominican PuckHead”

-Stay Inspired

 

 

 

Cratty: My Boston Bruins Picks For The 2017 NHL Draft

(Photo Credit: HFBoards, The Daily Free Press)

By Mike Cratty                                                Twitter: @Mike_Cratty

The first round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft will take place tomorrow night, Friday, June 23. This draft is a little different than the past two in the sense that there isn’t a stud considered to be at Auston Matthews and Conor McDavid level. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a wealth of talent within the draft class. The Bruins first two selections in the draft are the most important, 18th overall and 53rd overall. Those are the picks that will be highlighted going forward. Their other selections include picks #111, 173, 195, and 204.

18th overall: C/RW, Kole Lind, Kelowna Rockets (WHL)

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(Photo Credit: NHL.com)

With the 18 overall pick, Don Sweeney attacks the team’s biggest prospect hole, the right wing position by selecting Kole Lind of the Kelowna Rockets. One major thing that will stick out to Don Sweeney is his positional versatility. What General Manager wouldn’t love a player who can play multiple positions? Lind can do that.

Where Lind will go is kind of a tossup, but Bruins fans shouldn’t be disappointed if they see Lind taken 18th overall. He is typically projected from pick 18 to late in the first round. He would add a great set of skills to a position within the organization that needs it. He was ranked 23rd on the NHL Central Scouting List for North American skaters. Lind is a player with high hockey IQ, an impressive ability to make things happen offensively and a solid shot. His high hockey IQ allows him to make plays with the best possible outcome in mind, set up offensive chances and pounce on loose pucks in the defensive, neutral and offensive zones. He isn’t the biggest kid, listed at 6-foot-1, 185 pounds according to eliteprospects.com, but that doesn’t seem to bother him.

This past season with the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets, Lind exploded for 30 goals, 57 assists, and 87 points in 70 regular season games. He then added six goals, six assists, and 12 points in 17 playoff games.

This was a massive improvement on the 14 goals, 27 assists, and 41 points he tallied in the 2015-2016 season with the Rockets. In this same season, he had zero points in the playoffs. To go from zero to 12 points during the part of the season with the highest amount of pressure shows great poise and confidence.

Another impressive facet of Lind’s game is his speed. His speed is a huge reason as to why he is so good at pushing the pace in the offensive zone especially. The combination of his many skills, mostly offensively, make him an attractive draft target. With some work on his defensive gain and physical maturity, Lind would be a welcome addition. David Pastrnak has clearly surpassed prospect status and Zachary Senyshyn needs some company in the right-wing core. Insert Kole Lind.

(Kole Lind, NHL Combine) (Video Credit: NHL.com)

53rd overall: G, Jake Oettinger, Boston University (NCAA)

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(Photo Credit: SI.com)

The Boston Bruins need a high-end elite goaltender prospect. They can get one this year and Jake Oettinger would be an excellent choice. Goaltenders are a bit trickier to project and evaluate than centers. Oettinger could very well be taken before pick #53, but his projections show him as a late first-round to second round prospect and possibly the first goalie off the board.

Having seen Jake Oettinger hold down the crease live numerous times, as well as on TV, he plays well above his age. As just a freshman this past year playing in Hockey East, one of the toughest conferences to play in throughout the NCAA, he was one of the nation’s top goaltenders. His poise, talent and athletic capabilities in the net are top notch. He displays excellent vision as well which makes tracking pucks easy and allows him to see the play in front of him at a high level.

He is a tower in the crease at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds according to eliteprospects.com and moves very swiftly and effectively for someone of that size. NHL Central Scouting has Oettinger ranked as the #1 North American goalie in this year’s draft class. He led Boston University to the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament before falling to tournament finalist, Minnesota-Duluth. Oettinger’s endurance was tested in the two NCAA tournament games he suited up for. The Terriers first round matchup went to double OT against the University of North Dakota, then OT against Minnesota-Duluth. Both games in which Oettinger played very well in.

In 35 appearances with the Boston University Terriers, Jake Oettinger finished his freshman year with a record of 22-11-3, a 2.11 GAA, and a .927 save percentage. Extremely impressive numbers for any goalie, nevermind a freshman. Oettinger is a guy that I see as an elite NHL goaltender someday and Sweeney would be foolish not to take him, if he’s available, at 53rd overall.

(Jake Oettinger, NHL Combine) (Video Credit: NHL.com)

If Don Sweeney manages to snatch up Lind and Oettinger, Bruins fans should be very happy. The Bruins would address their two biggest prospect needs and add some more talent to be excited about down the road.

Bruins Prospect Senyshyn Is Chasing 40

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By Mark Allred      Follow Me On Twitter  @BlackAndGold277

With a two-goal effort in last night’s 6-0 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds victory over the Guelph Storm, Boston Bruins prospect Zach Senyshyn is now just one goal away from reaching the 40 goal mark for the second consecutive season. Last year he set a career high of 45 goals and with seven games remaining in the regular season for the Greyhounds this year his chances are good to break his personal record.

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The 42-15-3-1 Greyhounds are sitting in second place in the Western Conference and with 88 points have clinched a spot in the 2017 OHL playoff picture. Currently at 39 goals so far this year the 6′-3″ 196-pound Ottawa, Ontario native has a slight advantage breaking the 40 goal mark as his Hounds travel to the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium to take on the Rangers.  In 11 career OHL games against the Rangers, Senyshyn has 10-2-12 numbers against tomorrow’s opponent and could set the tone chasing a career high of 46 tally’s with the limited games remaining.

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The 2015 first round selection of the Bruins has 58 points in 52 games thus far and has 111-59-170 career stats in 188 games played. Senyshyn turns 20-years-old at the end of this March and will be eligible to play next season in the American Hockey League with the Bruins top minor-pro affiliate the Providence Bruins. As an organization, the right wing position looks thin in developmental ranks, and Zach certainly could add a new level of talent to the position. He could very well be a solid replacement for the slumping Jimmy Hayes who’s failed to live up to expectations as a local player playing for his childhood team.

Although Senyshyn started the 2016-17 OHL season with struggles, it didn’t take long for him to jump back on the horse offensively to find his game. In his first 14 games of this year, he went a slow 5-2-7 but got things together to go 34-17-51 in 38 games afterward. His slow start could be contributed to scary health situations over last summer’s offseason when he missed the Bruins annual development camp with a nasty care of Mononucleosis and missed September’s rookie camp with an emergency appendectomy. He did make a full recovery enough to participate in the NHL Bruins training camp before being released from his training camp experience back to his Greyhounds Canadian junior team.

Below is a link to last night’s 6-0 Sault Ste. Marie win over the Guelph Storm 

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds Vs. The Guelph Storm Highlights Courtesy of the ontariohockeyleague.com website

 

Bruins Prospect Senyshyn Continues Streak

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Above Photo Credit:  BSN Denver

By Mark Allred   Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Last night Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds forward Zach Senyshyn scored his 32nd goal of the season in a 7-5 victory over the Guelph Storm at the Essar Center in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The 2015 first round selection of the Boston Bruins scored the game-winning goal at the 12:16 mark of the third period to help the second-ranked Western Conference Hounds team to a 77 point 37-13-2-1 record. With the win, the Soo are only two points behind Conference-leading London Knights who have 79.

In 44 games played this season the 6′-3″ 196-pound right winger has 32-13-45 numbers with 15 games remaining in the 2016-17 season. Senyshyn is currently on a three-game goal streak and has contributed 12-2-14 totals in his last 15 games. The Ottawa, Ontario native is ranked fifth in goals and 42nd in overall points.

In 180 career games in the Ontario Hockey League all with the Greyhounds, the crafty and speedy winger has 104-53-157 numbers in his third full season in one of the highest leagues in Canadian Junior Hockey.

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The 37-13-2-1 Greyhounds are at home once again tonight when they play host to the 24-21-1-4 Flint Firebirds. Puck drops from the Essar Centre in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario at 7:07 pm. Sault Ste. Marie looks to continue their three-game winning streak against the Firebirds who are coming off a 4-3 shootout loss to the London Knights on Wednesday night.

Last night’ss full game highlights between the Greyhounds and Guelph Storm matchup can be seen in the link provided below.

http://ontariohockeyleague.com/video-channels/highlights/feb-1017-gue-5-ssm-7

Some Videos below to give a better look at what type of player the 20-year-old forward could be for the Boston Bruins in the future.

 

Bruins Struggles Continue

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Above Photo Credit:  bleacherreport.com

By: Mark Allred    Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

The Boston Bruins are currently on a four-game losing streak with a loss on the road against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paint Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania earlier this evening and looking at the next two games ahead, it certainly doesn’t look like it’s going to be any better. This week’s games will have the Detroit Red Wing visiting Boston on Tuesday night and the Penguins who beat up on an effortless B’s team today coming to the TD Garden on Thursday night.

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Now I’m not one for writing articles about trashing my beloved team, but I have serious concerns about our beloved Bruins and their efforts on home ice and in front of hard working paying fans/season ticket holders. The B’s are currently on a two-game winless streak at home but what’s more frightening is when you look at the games left in the 2016-17 NHL regular season campaign and see the Bruins will be playing 19 of the remaining 32 games at the TD in Boston. As all Bruins fans know this organization in the past few seasons has had a tough time when returning home.

The Bruins and their home woes seemed to trend downward after going 31-7-3 in 2013-14 which would be the last time this franchise has been involved in the NHL’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. Following that year the B’s went a respectable 24-10-7 in 2014-15, then hit a brick wall in 2015-16 when the team had a pathetic under .500 record (17-18-6). This season the team is 10-12-0 on home ice and on the path to be even worse than last year.

With the lack of motivation to make changes that many seem necessary, Don Sweeney and other members of management seemingly want to stand firm and ride out the year to not push the panic button and risk key members of this team’s future. The Bruins prospects in the lower levels of development are mere years away from breaking out as many of them will be operating on low-risk entry-level deals creating valuable cap space to have the flexibility to afford a decent player as this franchise continues the rebuild.

Additions By Subtractions Approach In The Future?

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With the Bruin likely walking away from defensemen like John-Michael Liles and Joe Morrow at the end of this season and keeping the team’s obligation with Captain Zdeno Chara for another year, this organization could make some impressive additions with younger talent. This would be a great time to promote defensemen currently with the AHL’s Providence such as Matt Grzelcyk or Rob O’Gara or blueliners that are eligible for the AHL or NHL next season, like Jeremy Lauzon or Jakub Zboril. These young defensemen that are knocking on the door of the NHL are going to put General Manager Don Sweeney and organization in a tough spot with the extensions given to vets Adam McQuiad and Kevan Miller. Let’s not forget about 2016 Bruins draft pick Charlie McAvoy and where he could end up as he’s in his sophomore season close by at Boston Universtiy.

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Now the offense in the future is certainly going to be interesting as the team will most definitely say good-bye to forward Jimmy Hayes as he’s got one more year left on his deal but can be bought out after this season fro a mere $816,000. Do you resign Dominic Moore whos’s added a nice touch to the fourth line? Has Tim Schaller and Austin Czarnik earned more time in the NHL? What do you do with Ryan Spooner as the pending extensions of young forward David Pastrnak is set to begin contract negotiation at the end of this season? Is Riley Nash deserving of a buyout at the end of the year over Jimmy Hayes at his walking number could be under a million? All questions that will be addressed in the coming time but the future is something to be noticed now.

Looking at the forward depth players such as Peter Cehlarik, Sean Kuraly, Anton Blidh, Danton Heinen, and even Jake deBrusk who’s been playing decent lately all have shots at an NHL roster spot during the team’s annual training camp every September. Not to mention forward prospects Jesse Gabrielle and Zach Senyshyn who are officially eligible for the AHL and NHL next season as both are currently playing their last seasons of Canadian Junior Hockey.

Relax My Friends………. Easier Than Said Than Done

With all this being said, Yes I understand the fans and the passion to win now, but I think this Bruins organization is going to need 3-5 years to build a solid team like the one that brought the team the Stanley Cup in 2011. Embrace the youth coming into the system and have patients as these young men develop the skills needed to be ultimate professionals in the world’s best league.