If Joe Colborne can continue to turn stated goals into reality the way he has since the Bruins drafted him in the first round in 2008, the center will have a lengthy NHL career.
Colborne was one of the brightest stars of this summer’s development camp and should be in contention for a job with the big club when everyone reports in the fall.
The idea behind playing NCAA hockey at Denver rather than joining a major junior team lured Colborne because he’d have more time during the lighter game schedule to workout and get bigger. He has done that in a big way and the 20-year-old reported to his third development camp at 6-foot-5, 206 pounds. It’s safe to say, the Bruins are now witnessing their second “Jumbo Joe” era.
Obviously, Colborne still has growing to do. After an impressive, adrenaline-filled pro debut with Providence (AHL) last spring, he finished his six-game stint with just two assists and posted a minus-8 rating. His hands and instincts offensively are solid. He’ll need to improve his physical game, however, to compete as a pro and grab a hold of a regular NHL job. Defensively, he’ll need to get wiser and backcheck harder.
A season of playing wing last season for the Pioneers might help Colborne’s position this season, as Boston is loaded at center but might be willing to keep another rookie as a top-nine winger. The competition will be fierce this fall. Colborne knows that, and he has stated he intends to give it all he has to break camp with Boston. So far he’s done a great job turning words into actions and accomplishments, so it would difficult to start doubting him now. Expect to see Colborne in Boston at some point in 2010-11, even if he starts out down on the farm.