BEDFORD, Mass. — Denver head coach George Gwozdecky might not like to hear it, but Boston Bruins prospect Joe Colborne isn’t shy about the fact that he doesn’t plan to play four years for the Pioneers.
Fresh off his freshman campaign, Colborne explained that today after the first day of the Bruins’ Third Annual Development Camp at The Edge Sports Center, where the attendees were put through some land testing and then team-bonding exercises.
“I’m ready to be a Bruin whenever I can be,” Colborne, the Bruins’ first-round pick (16th overall) in ’08, explained. “But again, I’m not going to kind of rush myself in so that I’m not ready. I have a great situation back at Denver, so whenever we sit with management we’ll figure that out.”
Colborne produced 10-21-31 totals in 40 games for the Pioneers this season. But those aren’t the numbers he and the Bruins are most interested in. For Colborne, playing college hockey in the U.S. is all about bulking up. He weighed in today at 206, which he said is 13 pounds more than he weighed at the start of Denver’s season. So eating eggs every day and hitting the weights as often as possible,paid off.
“It was a lot of hard work. That was the main reason I went to the college route because I could be working out three times a week all year,” he said. “We have a great trainer down there and ever since I’ve been home in the summer I’ve been working out in Calgary six times a week. It’s nice to finally see the rewards starting to come.
“I definitely think from the start of the year to the end, when I put on some pounds, I noticed a huge difference in my game — just coming out of the corner with the puck more often and I look to really continue that.”
On first glance today, Director of Hockey Operations Don Sweeney could tell that Colborne achieved some of his developmental goals.
“I think that Joe’s identified some of the things he needed to work on, and I think he’s gone and done that,” said Sweeney. “And college obviously sets up conducive to do that — the structure of the games and some of the things that they do relative to a junior schedule.”
As a second-time attendee of the camp, Colborne knew how grueling the first-day testing would be, unlike some of his rookie colleagues. Colborne’s confident his cohorts will get more comfortable just like he did lasts summer.
“I think some of the guys that haven’t been here before, especially today, were a little bit shocked by what we were doing,” said Colborne, who played both center and wing for the Pioneers but thinks he’d still like to be a center in the pros. “But we were all in that situation, especially last year. For me being in that situation, I felt a little bit out of place sometimes, not knowing what to expect. They’ll learn quick just like we did last year.”
Colborne obviously caught on quick to college life. He said he kept his grades up and learned to cook a bit. And on the ice and in the weight room he made major strides. The next step is to turn pro — when it’s determined by all parties he is ready, but sooner rather than later.