WILMINGTON, Mass. – Don’t expect Bruins center Joe Colborne to play down the significance of getting to play at TD Garden Wednesday and Thursday in Boston’s two rookie games against similarly experienced players from the New York Islanders’ organization.
WILMINGTON, Mass. — The two most impressive sights (not related to Tyler Seguin) to me on the first day of Bruins rookie practices at Ristuccia Arena were Max Sauve flying down the ice like a rocket and Jared Knight victimizing the goaltenders with his laser of a wrist shot.
Beyond the hype about first-round picks Seguin, Joe Colborne and Jordan Caron, Sauve and Knight might be the next two prospects ready to make a bid for an NHL job this fall.
It’s been a summer of new experiences and great personal on-ice growth for goaltender Zane Gothberg.
And the hope is that at some point in the next several years, the Bruins will reap the rewards.
I’m sure many of you have followed my Bruins prospect rankings and you’ve agreed or disagreed with some or all of my player placement. When you next peruse the list, remember that it’s ranked based on the odds of making it as an NHLer this season, not on overall talent or future potential.
There is only one Bruins prospect that could top the list of players closest to earning a job as an NHL regular — No. 2 overall pick Tyler Seguin.
You never want to say that a 22-year-old player is entering a make-or-break season, but Brad Marchand’s 2010-11 season could go a long way toward determining whether he has a long future with the organization.
Marchand is entering the final year of his entry-level contract, and will have to show this season that he can build of the experience he accumulated as an occasionally-used call-up to Boston and a Providence (AHL) veteran last season.
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.
A fractured collarbone cost the Bruins a chance to see what Jordan Caron could do last fall. But a solid return to his junior team, plus a strong showing at the World Junior Championship and this summer’s development camp proved to the club that it has a future player.
The ’09 first-round pick’s development could go one of two ways, but in either direction he should be an NHL regular real soon.
The injury bug bit Boston’s back end so much in the 2009-10 season, a lot of doors of opportunity opened for a young defenseman to grad some NHL experience.
Adam McQuaid barged right through that door and proved he could be a pretty reliable third-pair player.
If ’08 first-round pick Joe Colborne and ’09 first-rounder Jordan Caron were overshadowed at this summer’s development camp by 2010 No. 2 overall pick Tyler Seguin, imagine how ’07 first-round pick Zach Hamill must be feeling about his pecking order in the organization.
With two-plus pro seasons now under his belt, the center looks like he has been leapfrogged on the depth chart.
There always seems to be room in the NHL for a defensive defenseman with a gritty side.
Andrew Bodnarchuk hopes that continues to be the case, and that his lack of size doesn’t leave him behind.
Perhaps disappointingly, it didn’t take a high-speed drive away from pursuing Soviet agents to get Yuri Alexandrov to the Bruins the way the Buffalo Sabres once spirited Alexander Mogilny away from his home country’s national team.
All it took was a contract and a plane flight to get the Russian in Boston and add to the Bruins’ depth on defense.
When you’re 5-foot-10, 191 pounds and playing defense in pro hockey, your size is always going to be a cause for question marks about your potential.
Jeff Penner is slowly but surely quieting those who criticize him as too small.
I’m not dreaming of some fairy-tale ascension of the undrafted college free agent from the ranks of the ECHL to the NHL and then superstar status.
But I wanted to include a goaltender on this list, and based on his career experience I think Matt Dalton is currently the closest to at least earning a chance to be Boston’s backup.