If you’re like most Bruins fans, most of the names on Boston’s training camp roster will come as no surprise to you. You’ve got Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Krejci, Tuukka Rask, Matt Filipe, Brandon Carlo, Charlie...hey wait a minute, who’s Matt Filipe?
For that matter who the heck are Robert Lantosi, Jack Ahcan, Nick Wolff, and Callum Booth and why are they among the 41 players at Warrior Ice Arena?
No offense to these guys, but when you join an organization during a pandemic or sign a deal mixed in with other news, it can be hard for fans to remember your details.
If you have never heard of any of these guys or may have just heard their names once or twice, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s get familiar with these ‘other guys’ and speculate why they were selected to join the Bruins’ training camp:
As you may recall, the Bruins signed Matt Filipe to a two-year entry-level contract that gives the Bruins the rights to Filipe through the 2021-2022 season. Filipe, a Lynnfield, MA native, played his college career at Northeastern University, where he recorded 75 points in 136 games.
In 2016, he was drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes, but failed to lock down a contract in their system, opening the door for Boston to sign him.
While Filipe’s offensive game is nothing special at this point in his career, his size and heavy style of play have garnered comparisons to Sean Kuraly.
It would be a surprise to all if Filipe earned a regular spot on Boston’s roster this season, but the fact that he was selected to attend training camp may show that management sees something in the young forward.
Like Filipe, Robert Lantosi also received an entry-level contract this summer for one year at a cap hit of $750,000.
Lantosi came to the Bruins organization via an AHL-only deal in 2019-20 and showed his merit by putting up 31 points (11 goals and 20 assists) in 50 games for the P-Bruins.
Prior to the 2019-20 season, Lantosi lit up the Tipsport Liga (Slovakia’s top league), scoring 20 goals and 38 assists for 58 points in just 56 games.
Lantosi is a speedy, highly skilled winger who’s certainly fun to watch. While, him earning an entry-level contract shows he’s gained the attention of Bruins GM Don Sweeney, it’s unlikely he makes the big squad out of training camp this season.
The more likely scenario is that Lantosi plays the full year in Providence, with the possibility of being an emergency call-up at some point this season.
If there’s a name you’ve heard on this list of players, it’s probably Jack Ahcan.
There’s been a lot of buzz around Ahcan ever since the Bruins signed him to a two-year entry-level contract following his final year at St. Cloud State University, mainly because of comparisons to another undrafted college star: Torey Krug.
Like Krug, Ahcan put up solid offensive numbers in college, showing great vision and a knack for getting pucks to the net. On the defensive side of the game, Ahcan can also hold his own against much bigger players and is known to throw some seriously solid body checks from time-to-time.
Ahcan will certainly get a good look from the B’s coaching staff this training camp, but with the number of more seasoned young defensemen in Boston’s depth chart, expect Ahcan to transfer from the Jacksonville Icemen to the Providence Bruins at the beginning of the AHL season, where he’ll likely spend the rest of the season.
The graphic above should clearly show why the Bruins are interested in Nick Wolff: he’s a really big dude.
The former captain of the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs (the same school Karson Kuhlman attended) signed a one-year entry-level deal this past spring, and was recently playing in Slovakia on loan before joining the Bruins’ training camp.
Wolff doesn’t make much of an impact on the scoresheet, but his impact can certainly be felt when he hits you. Though he’s a smart defender with a nasty side that will appeal to many Bruins’ fans, Wolff will have to improve his mobility and foot speed to play in an NHL that is faster than it’s ever been.
Wolff’s presence is a bit of a surprise at this year’s training camp, but perhaps losing the size and toughness of Zdeno Chara (it still hurts to think about this) may be a reason for his selection to this year’s camp.
Once the AHL starts its season in February, expect Wolff to slot in as a 5 or 6 d-man in Providence.
With all the ‘excitement’ of the signing of Greg McKegg on October 14th, many fans might not have noticed the signing of Callum Booth to a one-year two-way contract with a cap hit of $700,000.
Booth, who was initially drafted by the Hurricanes, has played most of his professional career in the ECHL, posting a 36-19-4 record with three shutouts, a 2.66 goals against average and .908 save percentage in 60 games.
Booth uses his size and strength very efficiently in net, but has reportedly had problems with rebound control in the past.
While the selection of Booth to the Bruins training camp must certainly be an honor for the young goaltender, most would put Booth 3rd or 4th on the Bruins depth chart, behind goaltending prospects like Dan Vladar and Jeremy Swayman, and perhaps on par with Kyle Keyser.
Given the ‘taxi squad’ that NHL teams will carry in addition to their regular roster, Booth could be given an opportunity to regularly suit up for the P-Bruins this season.