Bruins training camp, Day 2: This team is actually stacked with potential

Sara Civian
September 14, 2018 - 6:36 pm

Winslow Towson/USA Today Sports

Some were in China, some were in Boston, but all scheduled to participate in the Bruins’ first practices of the season finally returned to the ice Friday.

Lines from practice in Shenzhen ahead of Saturday’s preseason game vs. Calgary:

Brad Marchand - Jack Studnicka - David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk - Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson/Colby Cave - Ryan Donato
Peter Cehlarik - Trent Frederic/Jordan Szwarz - David Backes
Joakim Nordstrom - Chris Wagner - Martin Bakos

John Moore - Charlie McAvoy
Matt Grzelcyk - Kevan Miller
Jakub Zboril/Urho Vaakanainen - Brandon Carlo

First of all, woah.

“(Various prospect) has a bright future” is one of the easiest storylines to push, but this is a lineup you stay up till 2:30 a.m. to watch a pre-season game for.

North American teens aren’t allowed to play in the AHL, so it’s NHL or OHL for 19-year-old Studnicka. Director of player development Jamie Langenbrunner said it’s a “lofty goal” for someone so young to make the NHL, but he “wouldn’t put it past" someone like Studnicka.

The 2017 second-round pick from the GIF above has the most at stake, and he’s playing in between Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. Calculated NHL projections aside, how entertaining will that be?

Then we have DeBrusk-JFK-Donato. We already know how skilled these three are. This line combination is perfect for evaluating how much they’ve all grown playing away from the puck. Where Studnicka will get a boost from his linemates, JFK will give us a better look at how capable he is at, say, centering a third line on a National Hockey League team based in Boston.

Backes dropped 10 pounds over the summer, so watch out for a potential increase in speed. Providence Bruins coach Jay Leach has described Frederic as a no-nonsense, “old school” center, so maybe that’ll jive well with a veteran like Backes.

Next, there’s the mysterious fourth line. The Bruins basically signed Nordstrom and Wagner for reliable depth, so this will be a first look at if they can summon the Noel Acciari-Tim Schaller-esque chemistry that worked so well last season.

Lines from practice in Boston:

Group A:

Ryan Fitzgerald - Sean Kuraly - Anders Bjork
Jakub Lauko - Joona Koppanen - Karson Kuhlman
Anton Blidh - Mark McNeill - Zach Senyshyn

WIley Sherman - Axel Andersson
Olivier Galipeau - Connor Clifton
Joel Messner - Mark Fayne

Group B:

Cameron Hughes - David Krejci - Danton Heinen
Dan Winnik -  Brett McKenzie - Lee Stempniak
Austin Fyten - Cedric Pare - Marcel Noebels

Zdeno Chara - Cody Goloubef
Jeremy Lauzon -  Daniel Bukac
Emil Johansson - Steven Kampfer

• Bjork’s back after a shoulder injury ended his season last January. The speedy winger earned a spot on the first line out of last season’s camp. I don’t know if he’ll win that role again, but I’d bet on his success regardless. 

"It seemed like he worked hard in the offseason, got stronger," Bruins assistant coach Joe Sacco said. "He looks like he put some weight back on, looks to me like he's more fit…He's in a position where he's competing for ice time. He's a guy that makes plays. He has the ability to make plays. He creates offense, so he's going to have to do that."

"I worked on my shot a good amount this summer, so I’m more confident in that" Bjork offered. "Hopefully I can use that confidence and shoot more, especially when I'm in the slot and in good areas. I think that's really important for me to take my game to the next level. I focused a little more on my upper body and trying to get stronger.”


•Tuukka Rask debuted some new pads:


Do these come with skate blades?