After a collegiate career that culminated in a 2015 NCAA National Champsionship, Providence Friars forward Noel Acciari was signed by the Bruins to an entry-level contract and spent much of this season with the Providence Bruins in his old "hometown". Acciari was decorated in that championship season for his strength as a defensive forward by both Hockey East and the NCAA; and, given the Boston Bruins' proclivity for defensive forwards (not to mention that Acciari is a 'good New England boy') it looked great on paper. The fact that he was able to make an impression and be called up to Boston was impressive in its own right, making his NHL debut in March as the Bruins were trying to keep their bathtub afloat.
His Time in Providence
You could see Acciari hitting his stride with Providence - in November, he showed serious improvement in the points department, his shot totals were up, and this continued when he returned from injury - a nasty jaw fracture caused by taking a shot to the face in early December. Clearly he earned his time with the big club. All that was left to be determined this season was whether he could stick with the big club, and with the ineffective fourth line in turmoil, a little youthful energy was needed.
His Pro Tryout
First of all, if you're able to stun Brooks Orpik, you're going to endear yourself well to Bruins fans.
Acciari was not shy about embracing his role. The kid clearly likes to hit people - a great trait in an energy-line forward. What's more, Claude tested him in tough situations, and he performed admirably for a rookie. His shots on goal were nearly on par with his time in Providence; unfortunately, these barely registered on scoresheets as Acciari had just one assist in a month with the Bruins. We've addressed it before in Max Talbot's report card; Acciari was not brought up for all the offense, but 4th-line forwards are still forwards. It's more of an assessment of the 2015-2016 4th line as a whole, but in his own right, Acciari was not effective enough and was returned to Providence in exchange for Talbot with just days to go in the season.
Noel Acciari stepped into an abbreviated role on the 4th line, only to be shuttled back to Providence in those "ever-crucial" final games of the season, where Julien erred on the side of experience. Erred, indeed - Acciari was the most recent champion on the team, and he may very well have brought some of the Pastrnak-esque vitality to the depth on this team. He'll be given more opportunities next year as long as he comes to camp ready to rock.