Who: Philadelphia Flyers vs. Boston Bruins
Where: TD Garden
When: 5 PM EST
How to Watch: NHL Network, NESN
How to Listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub
For the Boston Bruins, the battle to center the third line has come down to the wire. With early camp favorite, and our number one ranked prospect, Jack Studnicka being sent back to the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League, it is clear he won’t be getting the job. Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, a 2015 second round pick for the Bruins, was cut yesterday afternoon. That leaves Sean Kuraly and Trent Frederic.
Sean Kuraly is the favorite for the spot. He has played 83 regular season games for the Boston Bruins over the last two seasons, adding another 16 in the playoffs. His play was strong enough to earn him a three-year extension with an average annual value of $1,275,000. The twenty-five-year-old centered Ryan Donato and David Backes in practice on Friday, who will most likely be the third line left and right wingers.
On the other hand, Trent Frederic still has his foot in the door. The 2016 first round draft pick of the Bruins recorded 32 points in 36 games last season for the Wisconsin Badgers. He also scored 5 goals for Team USA during the World Juniors Championship, all before heading to Providence to record 9 points in 16 games in the American Hockey League. Frederic is expected to center the first line tonight in replacement of Patrice Bergeron, who should be ready to go Wednesday night in Washington, as he fights for a spot on the big club.
As for the Flyers, their third line center battle seems to be over as Mikhail Vorobyev has “knocked the door down” with a terrific training camp and preseason. The 2015 fourth round pick spent last season with the Flyers American Hockey League club where he recorded 29 points in 58 regular season games before tallying another 2 points in 9 playoff games. The Russian failed to record a point Monday night as the Bruins beat the Flyers 4-3.