As summer winds down and training camp quickly approaches, fans, players, and coaches begin to speculate on what the roster for the upcoming season will look like. For the most part, the Bruins' big club roster seems to be set in stone, but there is always a chance that someone will wow the coaching staff in training camp and earn a locker stall at TD Garden. So, which Bruins prospect has a shot to make the jump this year?
Tyler Seguin, the 2nd overall pick in this year's NHL Entry Draft will likely be on the NHL roster to start the season. Since Seguin was drafted out of a one of the leagues that comprises the Canadian Hockey League and is under the age of 20, he is not permitted to play in the American Hockey League this season. The Bruins can play Seguin for up to 9 games in the NHL before they decide whether or not to send him back to his junior team (Plymouth Whalers) for the season. Ideally, I think Seguin would benefit most from playing at the AHL level as he would learn the Bruins' systems and the organizational culture, but that is not an option. Based on his junior career Seguin certainly has the talent to make the jump to the NHL, but at 18 years old, many wonder if he is mature enough to make the jump and deal with the grind of an 82 game season against grown men.
Based on the talk from Tyler Seguin, GM Peter Chiarelli, and Head Coach Claude Julien, I think Tyler Seguin will be given every opportunity to crack the NHL lineup as a rookie. The consensus seems to be that Seguin will line up as a winger due to the Bruins logjam of talent up the middle. Several people, including Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com have suggested having Seguin skate on a line with Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi. I really this idea because like Haggerty said both these guys will be great mentors for him. Who better to mentor a teenager trying to break into the league than someone that did it a few years ago...and someone who is old enough to be his father? Think back to when Bergy broke into the league. Recchi could easily fill the same role that Martin Lapointe did in Bergeron's development.
January 30, 1990
Joe Colborne, the Bruins' 1st round pick in 2008 left the University of Denver to join the Providence Bruins at the end of last season. Colborne posted 41 points (22-19-41) in 39 games as a sophomore for the Denver Pioneers. The 20-year-old Calgary native appeared in 6 games for the Baby B's posting 0-2-2 totals and a -8. Colborne has added some weight and strength since being drafted by the Bruins, but by many accounts needs to become more physical in order to adjust to the pro game. Look for him to spend the year in Providence with maybe a a call-up or two to the big club. For more on Joe Colborne, check out the interview I had with him back in February.
The Bruins drafted Zach Hamill in the first round in 2007 and many puck pundits thought that he would be playing in the NHL by now. For whatever reason Hamill's games has not evolved the way that most thought it would. Hamill has been very impressive in rookie camps and training camps, but has been somewhat of a disappointment at the AHL level. Last season, Hamill posted 44 points (14-30-44) in 75 games with the Providence Bruins. He also appeared in one NHL game for the Boston Bruins, recording an assist. This will be a pivotal year for Hamill's development within the organization. Look for him to be in Providence with an occasional trip up 95.
#63 / Center / Boston Bruins
May 11, 1988
There is only one word to describe Bard Marchand: Pest. Despite his small stature, Marchand is not afraid to go to the danger areas on the ice. Marchand has shown that although he always looks like he is going to cry, he isn't afraid of much. On Marchand's first day of rookie camp back in 2008, he dropped the gloves with the much bigger Jordan Knackstedt. The Halifax, Nova Scotia native recorded 32 points (13-19-32) in 34 games with Providence last season. He also appeared in 20 games for the Bruins as a call-up recording an assist. I'm not sure if Marchand is ready to be a full-time NHLer just yet. Look for Marchand to split time between the 9th floor of The Garden and the ice at the Dunkin' Donuts Center.
The Bruins first round pick in 2009 finished the season in the QMJHL with 53 points (26-27-53) in 43 games. He began the year with Rimouski Oceanic, but was traded to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 20 games into the season. Caron has looked sharp in the Bruins development camps and could have a shot at the being on the NHL roster at some point this season. My guess is they will send Caron to Providence to gain some experience playing the pro game. For more on Jordan Caron, check out my interview with him from this past season. (If you notice, he says "I always believe in my chances of making the team". He was talking about making the World Junior roster, but you have to believe he has that same confidence entering this training camp.)
Some questioned Jamie Arniel's maturity and character after a drunken driving arrest on the same night he was drafted by the Bruins in the 4th round in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Arniel seems to have learned from the incident and has stayed focused on hockey. Arniel was named the Providence Bruins' Rookie of the Year last season after finishing the season with 28 points (12-16-28) in 67 games. The log jam of talent at the center position will likely keep Arniel in Providence this season.
Jeff LoVecchio signed an amateur tryout agreement with the Providence Bruins in March of 2008 before the Bruins signed him to an entry level deal. LoVecchio appeared in 14 games for the Baby B's at the end of the '07-'08 season posting 3-2-5 totals. A concussion left LoVechhio on the shelf for all of the '08-'09 season. He finished his first full pro season in '09-'10 with 24 points (15-9-24) in 65 games. LoVecchio will likely be in Providence to start the year.
Who do you guys think can make the jump to the NHL out of the Bruins forward prospects? I'm looking for my P-Bruins fans to chime in here.
Later in the week, I will take a look at the blueliners.