June 23, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Urho Vaakanainen poses for photos after being selected as the number eighteen overall pick to the Boston Bruins in the first round of the 2017 NHL Draft at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

David Banks/USA Today Sports

Will Urho Vaakanainen make Bruins' roster?

Erin Walsh
September 27, 2018 - 9:43 am
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Urho Vaakanainen has made a great impression upon the Bruins coaching staff thus far in training camp. During Wednesday night's game in particular, he was phenomenal. But, will there be enough room for him on the roster? Or will he be sent to the Providence Bruins?

Bruce Cassidy certainly did not plan on Vaakanainen making this good of an impression during training camp, leaving him and his coaching staff to decide the fate of the young blueliner. Vaakanainen claims he is NHL ready and thinks he has what it takes to be a full-time NHL player.

Although the 19-year-old did not record a point in Wednesday night’s overtime loss to the Detroit Red Wings, Vaakanainen was an integral part of the game. He moved the puck well, made plays, his skating was above average, and had a few shots on net. He effectively moved the puck through the neutral zone and was able to jump into the offensive rush.

Vaakanainen’s play itself may not be enough to land him a roster spot. Although the youngster is confident in his game, there may not be room for him on the blueline.

The Bruins main seven defenseman will most likely be Zdeno Chara, Charlie McAvoy, Torey Krug, Brandon Carlo, Kevin Miller, John Moore, and Matt Grzelcyk.

The Bruins may ultimately rotate through defenseman throughout the first few weeks of the regular season, and that rotation could include Vaakanainen. It’s not ideal for a rookie to be rotated in and out though, as it would be best if he were consistently playing at the NHL level instead of sitting on the ninth floor of TD Garden watching the action.

With a plethora of young, talented players, the Bruins have found themselves in a bit of a pickle. They could send Vaakanainen to the AHL, where he will develop his game against the likes of pro talent, or keep him on the Bruins roster where he may have to sit and watch a lot of the games.

Ultimately, it seems like the Bruins should send the young blueliner to Providence. He will be available to be recalled in case of injury to one of the B’s regulars, and will also be able to play every game and make an even greater impression on the Bruins coaching staff. He will improve his game even more if sent to Providence, and could end up making the B's roster for the 2019-2020 season.

Also, don't rule out a trade. The Bruins could ultimately end up by trading one of their regulars during the season and put Vaakanainen onto their roster permanently. It is unlikely they trade someone for this reason, but never say never.

Expect more roster cuts with the Bruins preparing for their final preseason game against the Flyers on Saturday.

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