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Matt Grzelcyk is our 17th best player under 25

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Hard to spell last name and hard to play against

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
  • Position: D
  • Height: 5'10
  • Weight: 175
  • League last year: NCAA
  • Age this year: 21
  • Acquired: Drafted 85th overall in the third round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft
  • The Bruins have had no shortage of offensive defensemen prospects over the last few years. Matt Gryzlek will have to prove he can seperate himself from the pack of Diet Krugs© currently racing through the Bruin's pipeline. Can he do it? Let's compare his NCAA career thus far to Krug's.

    SEASON TEAM LEAGUE GP G A TP PIM +/- PPG
    Grzelcyk-Freshman Boston Univ. NCAA 38 3 20 23 26 12 0.605
    Grzelcyk-Sophomore Boston Univ. NCAA 19 3 8 11 16 -7 0.579
    Grzelcyk-Junior Boston Univ. NCAA 41 10 28 38 36 32 0.927
    Krug-Freshmen Michigan State Univ. NCAA 38 3 18 21 67 -3 0.553
    Krug-Sophomore Michigan State Univ. NCAA 38 11 17 28 59 -5 0.737
    Krug-Junior Michigan State Univ. NCAA 38 12 22 34 51 17 0.895

    So, other than his sophomore season in which he and the rest of BU produced a lemon, and one in which he seperated his shoulder, he seems to be keeping up with Krug in terms of scoring. He has had better forwards to pass too during his time at BU, especially last season, but he also plays in a tougher conference than Krug did.

    Watching him play, his game varies from Krug's quite a bit. Grzelcyk relies more on his skating and passing and less on his shot to generate offense. That's not to say he doesn't have a booming shot, because he does. But his shot isn't as good as Krug's, or as important to his game. Likewise, he's easily the better skater between the two of them, and he uses that a lot. That skating game helps him on the other side of the ice, too, as he's played better defense against tougher opponents than Krug did during his tenure in the NCAA. This year, Grzelcyk proved to be just as important on the PK as he was on the PP, a rarity for undersized offensive defensemen at any level.

    If any player has good intangibles, it's Grzelcyk. He's clearly as clutch as can be. He scored two goals, including the OT game winner, in BU's 4-3 Beanpot victory against Northeastern. In fact, 3 of his 10 goals this season were game winning goals. He averaged a point per game in the post season, which is even more impressive considering he played those games with a knee injury that required off season ACL surgery to repair. After BU's loss in the NCAA finals, Grzelcyk decided he'd play out his senior year as BU's captain as opposed to turn pro and graduate to the AHL. It's hard to imagine the Bruin's didn't offer, as Providence lost David Warsofsky during the offseason and could lose Joe Morrow to the big club.

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    I have a feeling he'll get a few more chances.

    And the list so far:

    1. David Pastrnak (63%)
    2. Torey Krug (47%)
    3. Ryan Spooner (60%)
    4. Zach Trotman (40%)
    5. Brett Connolly (46%)
    6. Colin Miller (21%)
    7. Alexander Khokhlachev (27%)
    8. Jesse Gabrielle (29%)
    9. Zach Senyshyn (20%)
    10. Joe Morrow (17%)
    11. Zane McIntyre (25%)
    12. Malcolm Subban (37%)
    13. Seth Griffith (27%)
    14. Danton Heinen (25%)
    15. Jakub Zboril (39%)
    16. Jake Debrusk (24%)
    17. Matt Grzelcyk (27%)

    Who's going to be 18?