Player Rating: 5.4
When the Bruins acquired Steven Kampfer in the Adam McQuaid trade last summer, the logic was that we wouldn’t see much of him at the NHL level. “Sure,” the thinking went. “He’s here to be a 8/9/10 defenseman. That’s fine.”
And then the season happened, and the Bruins started having injury troubles on the back-end. Kampfer was called upon, and he ended up playing nearly a half-season’s worth of games for the big club.
Truthfully, in those games, he wasn’t half bad. Kampfer showed flashes of offensive ability and smooth skating. Those were mixed in with some lax coverage and some questionable plays in his own end. Basically, he evened out.
To be fair, Kampfer wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought he might be when the Bruins re-acquired him. He held his own for much of the season, and considering the expectations, he may have deserved a slightly higher grade.
Still, he wasn’t really above average in any category, and to be honest, that’s just fine. He was acquired as insurance, and he played that role well. He was valuable to the Bruins in a couple of tough spots, particularly when they needed him to fill in during the playoffs.
The Bruins clearly liked what they saw with him, signing him to a two-year extension earlier this summer. It’s a good signing too. As we saw this season, you might not want him playing 82 games a year, but he’s a good guy to have in your back pocket in case you need him.
Kampfer wasn’t expected to be elite, and he wasn’t. But while he may not have been spectacular, he had his moments, and helped the Bruins out when they needed him.
Plus, he finished the playoffs with a perfect shooting percentage: 1-for-1. NOT BAD.