The on-ice portion of the Bruins’ coaching camp opened Thursday and the theme of it, for a lot of contributors, is obvious.
Jobs can be found.
It is commonly foolhardy to learn into line mixture on Day One of camp and many of the models had been an intentional mixture of veterans and younger gamers.
But there have been a few groupings that bear watching. One was a possible fourth line that had 22-year-old hopeful John Beecher, the B’s first spherical decide in 2019, between Milan Lucic and Jakub Lauko. Another fascinating combo had 19-year-old Matthew Poitras, arguably the B’s finest prospect at middle, between David Pastrnak and Jesper Boqvist.
Lining up with Pastrnak could not have been Poitras’ welcome-to-the-NHL second simply but, nevertheless it did get the child’s consideration.
“It was pretty cool. He’s one of the best players in the world. Any time you can skate with a guy like that, you’ve got to try and raise your compete and level of play. Obviously, I was little nervous to play on a line in practice with a player of that caliber but it was really cool,” mentioned Poitras. “He’s a super nice guy. He came up to me and made me feel comfortable. Obviously skating with a guy like that, as young guy, I felt a little nervous. He said, ‘Don’t be nervous, just play and have a good practice.’ ”
Linking Poitras with Pastrnak was a part of coach Jim Montgomery’s tendency to make chronologically numerous strains at first of camp, nevertheless it’s additionally a recognition of the place he thinks Poitras’ talent degree may take him sooner or later.
“He’s a high-end thinker,” mentioned Montgomery. “He’s shown the ability to make a lot of plays. He had (79) assists in the OHL last year, almost one and a half a game. He’s a play-making center and we just wanted to see what he could do with a proven goal scorer. That’s the thinking. Just wanted to see if there’s chemistry.”
Poitras is in a troublesome spot. Still a young person, he can not play within the AHL this 12 months so his solely hope of going professional is that if he makes the Boston roster, a tall job for a 19-year-old even with all of the open spots. If he doesn’t make it, he’ll have to return to his junior staff in Guelph.
Poitras, who flashed his talent within the Prospects Challenge in Buffalo final weekend, hopes to take the following step in his profession.
“The goal for me is to just to try and make the Bruins. It would be a dream come true for me to play in the NHL,” mentioned Poitras. “But I just want to put my best foot forward and try and make it as difficult as possible for them to send me back to juniors.”
Beecher, in the meantime, has set his sights on locking down that fourth line middle spot, one for which he’ll face some veteran competitors from the likes of Patrick Brown and Boqvist. Montgomery mentioned he needed to see how the 6-foot-3, 215-pound University of Michigan product seemed taking part in with two gamers he expects to be on the roster.
Montgomery additionally reiterated how he believes his staff must be extra bodily at each internet fronts, which may assist Beecher, who discovered to make use of his body higher because the season went on in Providence final 12 months.
“I think everybody at camp is fighting for a spot and I think if I’m to contribute to the team this year and be able to help them, then that’s probably where I’ll do the best,” mentioned Beecher of the fourth line pivot. “It’s not a role that I have an problem playing. I’ve played on so many high-powered offenses, if you look back at my time at (the U.S. National Program) and then over at Michigan, I’ve always played that power forward role, being heavy, being hard to play against in the D-zone. So it’s definitely something I take a lot of pride in.”
While nothing shall be handed to any teen, hopefuls like Beecher and Poitras can take motivation in the truth that the B’s have prided themselves on opening spots for gamers who earn it in coaching camp.
“That was the first message that I talked to the group today about,” mentioned GM Don Sweeney on Wednesday. “Training camp is the ultimate opportunity for every player in that room, whether you’re on a PTO or whether you’re an established player. You make hard decisions in this business. We want players. Jakub Lauko is a great example from last year and A.J. Greer is another good example from last year. They just made sure that the decision was really hard on us and rightfully so. They played well. And everybody in that room should realize that they can be next.”
The competitors is formally on.
Another teen trying to keep within the combine this 12 months is 2021 first-round decide Fabian Lysell. While Montgomery mentioned it’s robust to make any judgments on a busy first day of camp, he did say Lysell introduced a combined bag.
“I noticed him at times struggling defensively,” mentioned Montgomery. “And I did notice at times his incredible speed and he took pucks to hard areas, which is what we’re looking for from him on the offensive skill side of things. We can correct the defensive miscues, but it was great to see how aggressive he was offensively.”