WILMINGTON, Mass. — There was no farewell campfire (although there is a cookout tonight) and the coaches didn’t hand out any funny camp-end awards, just two on-ice sessions snapping about two and a half hours today at Ristuccia Arena to conclude the five-day Boston Bruins development camp.
Director of Hockey Operations Don Sweeney gave the week’s activity a thumbs up.
“I thought we had a really good week,” Sweeney said. “I thought the kids really came in and worked hard. I believed that the talent level of this group compared to the first year we had, no slight against the second year. But I think that the first year we had a lot of guys that we had familiarity with and this camp had a little bit of that as well.”
The Bruins’ brass has now touched base with some of its longer-tenured prospects, new draft picks and a couple rookie free agents. Each has had a chance to test his skills against players with pro potential and they’ve all received guidance from NHL-caliber coaches. Now a lot of the onus will be on the players to make sure they continue their development into the type of performers the Bruins think they can become.
“We’re giving them, obviously, snippets along the way as the week goes along. And then we’re having an exit-type of meeting with them to kind of get their feedback and also give them a little bit of what we thought and how their week went,” explained Sweeney. “And we’re providing the resources going forward. Probably a more key component to that is to say, ‘listen, if you have things going on — be it off the ice, on the ice, whatever the case is — they have to take a little bit of ownership of that.’
“There’s just no way you can go out and put everybody under an umbrella to make sure that this player’s eating such and such. (You) give them the knowledge and hope that they latch onto it. But be there to support it because if you just give it to them and walk away it defeats the purpose.”
By all accounts the Bruins third development camp was a rousing success. I’ll have some more post-camp coverage as the day and weekend unfolds.