WILMINGTON, Mass. — Marc Cantin doesn’t have to wonder what the Bruins organization thinks of him.
The Bruins have already expressed how impressed they are.
After attending last summer’s development camp as an invitee, Cantin was invited to main training camp. An off-ice injury kept him from attending, but the Bruins kept their eyes on him and in March signed him to a free-agent contact.
Now he’s back at Ristuccia Arena for the fifth annual Bruins development camp with a little less to worry about in terms of his future and bigger goals than just testing himself against some of his better peers.
This summer he has also brought a more well-rounded game than last time he set foot on Bay State soil.
“I think there’s always stuff to work on after you come to a pro camp,” said Cantin, 20. “You see your competition and see what you have to strive towards. Obviously, physical conditioning’s one of the most important things. Everyone’s going to leave here and come back for main camp stronger and better than they ever have. I thought that this year my offensive game got sculpted a little bit. I was running the power play, which I haven’t really done before and I had pretty good success. Again, it’s all opportunity.”
Cantin’s time at development camp with Boston last year helped convince him to choose the Bruins over another couple teams in the running last season. Signing his contract with the club capped a wild season.
First he didn’t play a game until October because he was assaulted in a Windsor bar in August and suffered a broken jaw. When he returned, he had to wear a full cage through Christmastime. By then, he’d been traded to Mississauga, who hosted the Memorial Cup. With Mississauga, Cantin was put in more of a two-way role rather than his shutdown role with Windsor, and he answered the call with 10-31-41 totals in 61 games after he’d put up just 2-5-7 totals in 24 games for Windsor.
In the Memorial Cup, Cantin had a chance to defend his personal championship, as he’d won the huge title with Windsor the year prior. However, Mississauga came up short in its bid.
A winning pedigree is another reason why the Bruins liked Cantin as a free agent.
“Marc Cantin has won everywhere he’s been,” said assistant general manager Don Sweeney. “He’s got kind of the build that Mark Stuart had. I haven’t been inside the locker room with him but all indications are that he has the intangibles of the player that we lost in Mark. So we’ll see what continues.
“I mean, he’s got some areas that we’re going to continue to work. But we’re really excited to have him. He was a player that went through the draft. We acquired him through free agency. He was an unsigned, undrafted player. Coaches speak highly of what he brings to the table and he’s just a kid that kind of, you know, puts the boots on and goes to work.”
Cantin says all the winning has more to do with good timing and teammates than his own personal contributions.
“I surround myself with good guys. I get lucky enough to get traded to good teams and have good coaches and I’m just a piece of the puzzle,” he said. “I do my part and we have good teams.”
With a second development camp under his belt, Cantin can now focus on making sure the Bruins – Boston and the Providence farm club – can keep his winning ways going. As long as he works his hardest, the organization’s opinion of him won’t change.