Every Boston Bruins prospect that left on the bus to Kitchener for this week’s rookie tournament was eager for the opportunity to go head-to-head with prospects from three other Bruins Eastern Conference rivals.

But none could match the excitement of free-agent signee Jeff LoVecchio.

The former Western Michigan standout signed with the Bruins after his college season in 2008. He skated in 14 regular season and six playoff games for the Providence Bruins (AHL) but then suffered a serious concussion during the summer of ’08 while working out at home. As a result, he lost his entire 2008-09 season.

“It should be fine and I’m excited. It’s like an 11-hour bus ride but it’ll be the longest bus ride ever because I’m so excited to get on the ice,” LoVecchio told yesterday in the Ristuccia Arena locker room after off-ice testing.

LoVecchio was cleared for physical activity before the P-Bruins’ season ended last spring. He’s done everything he can to prepare for the 2009-10 campaign, including attending the Bruins’ development camp in July. Now he’s fresh and ready to go.

“I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in off-the-ice-wise,” he said. “I’ve done everything I can that way. Obviously, it’s going to take a couple games to get back in the flow. But I’m just mainly excited.”

Skating drills and off-ice workouts are a way to prove to the Bruins’ brass that he’s committed to making his pro career a long-time reality. But LoVecchio knows that these games against youngsters from Ottawa, Toronto and Pittsburgh are going to be the real way to make his name.

“I’m excited to get in game situations. You can only tell so much in practice and drills, but I’ve always considered myself more of a game player,” said LoVecchio. “I’m not that much of a skill guy so I’ll get out there and show them what I can do.”