After three days of on-and-off ice workouts and drills, it begins to be apparent, even to the casual bystander, who the emerging leaders are in this rag-tag bunch of fresh-faced rookies. They're the guys that lead the drills every time, the guys who can be heard audibly shouting instructions to the others - the ones who are listened to and clearly respected.
In the two most recent camps, that leader has been Joe Colborne. The outspoken, well-spoken kid with the openly friendly face was a good presence for the other players to look to, especially last year in his third development camp. With his departure to Toronto, that job has fallen on the shoulders of three players in particular: defensemen Tommy Cross, David Warsofsky, and Ryan Button.
At the beginning of every drill, these three are always first to go, and when they screw up, they're the first to laugh it off, Button in particular. In his third year of camp, and with a little bit of professional experience under his belt from the end of the year last year, he's come into this camp knowing what to expect, and, according to him, just looking to help the other guys out where they need it.
"I've told the guys, especially the guys whose first year it is, that if they need any help with anything to come talk to me," Button said in an interview after camp on Friday. The other players can attest to that; Brian Ferlin and Marc Cantin both spoke positively about Button's good attitude.
Warsofsky and Cross aren't quite as loud and outwardly enthusiastic as Button, but they both lead by quiet example, stepping up to demonstrate drills and imparting experience as some of the older, more experienced guys in the room. Although this is only Warsofsky's second development camp after being traded from the St. Louis Blues last summer, his age and experience at Boston University help him out, and in Cross' case, this is his fifth year with the organization - he's been a part of every development camp that the Bruins have held, despite being injured for one of them.
Up to this point, camp has mainly consisted of off-ice workouts and team bonding - paintball in Maynard was on the agenda yesterday, as well as a cooking class today - as well as on-ice workouts, drills and practice type situations. Tomorrow the really exciting part begins, as the group will split into teams and scrimmage as a unit for the first time. Expect to see Cross, Button and Warsofsky leading from the blueline if you head to Ristuccia tomorrow or Monday.
Fun sidenote, Warsofsky and Cross could even patrol the blueline together in Providence if things shake out.