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The Incompletes: The Bruins used a ton of random forwards this season

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To kick off our player reviews, we take a look at the forwards who made it into just a few games.

NHL: APR 06 Lightning at Bruins Photo by Michael Tureski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Welcome to our 2018-2019 Player Reviews! Here, we’ll take a look back at the achievements of each member of the Bruins in the last season. Ratings were generated by votes from our staff. We voted based on the entire year’s worth of contributions.

At times, it seemed like the Bruins had a different random forward in the lineup every night. Whether it was due to injuries or due to the never-ending search for a right-wing for David Krejci, the B’s had a rotating cast of characters in and out of the 12-man rotation.

We don’t mean to diminish the contributions of these players, but we can’t really write a full player review on a guy who played a handful of games.

As a result, to kick off our series of 2018-2019 player reviews, here’s a look at the “incompletes,” the guys who played for the Bruins this year but didn’t play enough to get a full rating.


Ryan Donato

Season: 34GP, 6G, 3A, 9PTS

Boston Bruins v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

It’s hard to consider Donato’s time with the Bruins this season much more than disappointing. Donato came into the season essentially penciled into a top-6 wing spot, but was never really able to make that spot his own.

Donato was sent to the AHL at the start of November, and never really threatened to become a regular NHLer in Boston after that. Ultimately, he was dealt to the Minnesota Wild in the Charlie Coyle deal, a move that looks to have benefited both sides.

The Bruins are undoubtedly happy with Coyle, who had a solid playoffs and is under contract for another season at a reasonable rate. The Wild seem to like Donato, who put up 16 points in 22 games in Minnesota, earning himself a two-year contract extension last week.

Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson

Season: 28GP, 3G, 6A, 9PTS

Montreal Canadiens v Boston Bruins Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

Like Donato, JFK had a disappointing campaign with the Bruins. While he wasn’t on the roster coming out of training camp, the expectation was that he was ready to contribute at the NHL level when called upon.

That call came in mid-November. His call-up led to a stretch of almost 2 months of fairly consistent ice time for the kid, and he couldn’t do much with it. It definitely wasn’t a disaster, but it certainly wasn’t a step forward in his development.

Unfortunately, the future became a little murkier for JFK when he opted to return to Sweden for next season. Supposedly he and the Bruins are on the same page, and it’s possible that the kid just wants to play at home as he continues to develop.

Still, he was someone who many thought had a shot at being an NHL regular last season; now, he’s playing in a different country.

Colby Cave

Season: 20GP, 1G, 4A, 5PTS

Nashville Predators v Boston Bruins Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

The Cave Man! Sir Squarehead himself! Cave had a few decent showings for the Bruins, including scoring his first NHL goal back in December against Montreal. While he brought a little sandpaper to the lineup, he was ultimately sent down so the Bruins could recall Peter Cehlarik.

In sending him down, the B’s lost Cave to a waiver claim by the Edmonton Oilers. Cave ended up recording 2 goals and an assist in 33 games out in Edmonton.

Anders Bjork

Season: 20GP, 1G, 2A, 3PTS

Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

It’s a little sad to continue to use the word “disappointing” when talking about Bruins forward prospects, but...here we are!

For Bjork, the disappointment is a dash of poor production but a heaping helping of poor health. He, like JFK and Donato, couldn’t get going at the start of the season, and ended up in Providence at the end of November.

There, he fell and re-injured his shoulder. After that, he underwent shoulder surgery in January and was done for the season. The latest news is that he plans to be ready for training camp, so fingers crossed that he can stay healthy.

Trent Frederic

Season: 15GP, 0G, 0A, 0PTS

Tampa Bay Lightning v Boston Bruins Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

Just re-read the intro to the Bjork section above so I don’t have to repeat myself with the whole “disappointing” thing.

Frederic was another guy who was supposed to challenge for the 3C role coming out of training camp. He didn’t get there, but still got a cup of coffee in January. He came out flying, pummeling Brandon Tanev in his first NHL game.

After that...nothing, really. He was a little more dangerous in his second stint toward the end of the season, recording 10 shots on goal in his last 5 games.

Ideally, he learns from that cup of coffee and is ready to challenge for a spot in September.

Gemel Smith

Season: 3GP, 0G, 0A, 0PTS

NHL: DEC 09 Bruins at Senators Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Claimed off of waivers back in early December, Smith only appeared in 3 games for the Bruins at the NHL level. He brought some energy in those 3 games, but ultimately lost his spot due to the glut of bottom-six options.

However, Smith’s waiver claim really played dividends for the Bruins at the AHL level. Smith was excellent in Providence, recording 16 goals and 24 assists in 47 games.

I thought the Bruins might want to go another round with Smith, but he was signed by Tampa a couple of weeks ago. It was fun while it lasted.

Zach Senyshyn

Season: 2GP, 1G, 0A, 1PTS

Tampa Bay Lightning v Boston Bruins Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The most controversial Bruins prospect around finally made his NHL debut last season, scoring his first goal on a beautiful, highlight-reel move.

OK, it was an empty-netter, but still. It was cool to see Senyshyn at the NHL level, and he showed some signs of proving he could hang.

Still, one could consider this a make-or-break season for Senyshyn. He actually had a less productive season in Providence than he did in the prior season, which isn’t a great sign for development.

He has the talent. Can he finally put it together? He’s a right wing. The Bruins could use a couple of those heading into training camp.

Paul Carey

Season: 2GP, 0G, 0A, 0PTS

NHL: MAR 16 Blue Jackets at Bruins Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Like Smith, Carey only appeared briefly at the NHL level. Like Smith, Carey was a huge boost to the farm team. The former BC Eagle recorded 34 points in 34 AHL games (including the playoffs).

He’ll be back in the system next season, and will supposedly be given a chance to compete for an NHL spot.

Anton Blidh

Season: 1GP, 0G, 0A, 0PTS

Tampa Bay Lightning v Boston Bruins Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

Blidh appeared in just one NHL game this season, but was an alternate captain for the Providence Bruins. He recorded 25 points in 79 games and brought his hard-nosed style of play to Providence on a nightly basis.

The Bruins clearly like him, as they signed him to a two-year extension a couple of weeks ago.

Lee Stempniak

Season: 2GP, 0G, 0A, 0PTS

Ottawa Senators v Boston Bruins Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

The Stempniak Saga was one of the weirder subplots of this Bruins season. The veteran forward was practicing with the Bruins without a contract for what seemed like an eternity. The Bruins finally signed him in late February, but his impact was mostly limited to Providence.

Stempniak recorded 19 points in 24 games for the P-Bruins.