Hamilton/By S. Bradley

BOSTON — As expected, Bruins’ 2011 first-round pick skated a lot of practics drills these first three days of camp and some shifts in today’s scrimmage at TD Garden alongside captain Zdeno Chara.

It’s exciting to imagine a 2013-14 defensive pair featuring those two vertical champions of the gene pool.

Head coach Claude Julien has seen promise in his prized prospect, who’s expected to be returned to junior before camp begins.

“We did some 1-on-1s today with the backwards skating and certainly he’s a strong backwards skater and has a good stick,” said the coach after there were two split-squad practices and scrimmages today. “I think he’s learning a lot about our game and the game at the pro level. He’s one of those guys — we talk about players that come back to camp and improve every year — well he’s one of those players that will certainly do that because he’s capable of putting a little more muscle [on] and a little bit more weight [on] and it certainly won’t affect his game. He’s already a good smooth skater. He sees the ice well, moves the puck well. He has a bit of the [Nicklas] Lidstrom quality of making easy passes and seeing the ice well and making the game look easy so he’s got some good qualities there that I think will bode well for him in the future.”