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Boston Bruins Prospect Update: Vaakanainen Learning To Adjust

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Boston Bruins Prospects Are Closer To The NHL Level Than Some May Think

The Boston Bruins Prospects, Development Camp wrapped up a couple of days ago and the prospects looked great. The standouts were Hobey Baker Finalist Anders Bjork who missed the first day due to personal matters and Urho Vaakanainen.

Some Other Standouts at the camp were Ryan Donato, Jeremy Lauzon, Joona Kopanen, and Daniel Vladar. There were many other at camp. These are the guys that seem most ready to play at an NHL level.

Anders Bjork, Forward (2014 Fifth Round)

Bjork who just finished his last season at Notre Dame looked very good at camp. He was also one of the finalists for the Hobey Baker Award. This kid is projected to be NHL ready this season look for him to get some playing time with Krejci. Here is the Bruins Player Development Coordinator Jamie Langenbrunner on Bjork:

 “I’ve liked his progression….He’s got a skill level that’s pretty high-end. He can make plays. He kind of dances on his skates a little bit. Light on his skates but strong on his feet and he pokes it around pretty good. He looks a little bit out of control at times, but he’s really not. He’s in control. He’s just moving that quickly.”

Ryan Donato, Forward (2014, Second Round)

Donato just finished his senior year at Harvard where he helped them make a Frozen Four appearance. He brought the Crimson to the semi-final where they lost to Minnesota Duluth 2-1.  Donato is a kid with very high hockey IQ and will be a big help to the Bruins if he can make the roster. He is a solid two-way forward. Hear what Done Sweeney has to say about him:

“We’ve always thought Ryan’s skillset was excellent. He’s going to play center this year and I’ve talked to [Ryan’s father and Harvard coach] Teddy [Donato] about that. We’re excited to see him play there. He had played a lot of that at Dexter [School]. It puts a lot more responsibility, more two-way responsibility on him. It’ll be interesting because he’s a primary shooter and he has an unbelievable release.”

Joona Koppanen, Forward (2016 Fifth Round)

Kopanen another guy who will need time to adjust before he plays in the NHL. Koppanen is a bit of a dark horse as he was drafted late. He is a very solid forward with a good shooting ability. Look to seem him in either AHL or with the Bruins in the next season or two. As for this year, he will play another year in the Finnish league.

Langenbrunner:

“He’s going to be playing in the [Finnish] Elite League next year. He’s signed over there and we’ll continue to monitor and see when it makes sense for him to try and transition over here. He’s already signed by us. So, he’ll be one of those guys that we’ll continue to monitor when it’s time.”

Jeremy Lauzon, Defenseman (2015 Second Round)

Lauzon is a very dependable defenseman. The only problem for Lauzon is that he was not ready to skate at development camp due to an injury. Lauzon suffered a horrendous neck injury last season. During play, he had his throat cut by an opposing player skate. He was then rushed to the Hospital for immediate surgery. He has been making a full recovery and should be skating soon.

Before his injury, it looked like he was going to be ready for the NHL sooner rather than later. Sweeney on Lauzon and Cam Hughes who are recovering from injuries:

“Lauzon wasn’t ready to skate and [Cam] Hughes is not ready to skate either. Both doing very well in their recoveries from surgeries. But, not ready to skate. But again, we have an investment in players through our organization and we want to continue it…[Lauzon will] be fine [for training camp].”

Urho Vaakanainen, Defenseman (2017 First Round)

The biggest difficulty for Vaakanainen will be adjusting to North American Style of hockey. Two weeks before development camp Vaak, traveled to Langenbrunner’s home in Minnesota to get accustomed to the culture. Vaak will be a guy to look for in the next season or maybe too. He is a very solid player but may need some time in the AHL to get accustomed. Other than that he should be a potential top 4 defenseman.

Langenbrunner:

“He’s a smooth skater. He sees the ice well, he’s got good size, and he can make plays. So, I think as the confidence grows, numbers will grow just if you’re making the right plays over and over again. I think it’s the effortlessness that he skates with – it’s smooth.”

Daniel Vladar, Golie (2015 Third Round)

Vladar is exactly the kind of goalie you want in the system. He will be able ti put pressure on both Tuukka Rask and Zane McIntyre for the starting gig. Goalie competition is a great thing to have. If Rask knows his job is at risk he will play better. Unfortunately for Vladar, he has also run into some injury issues. So look for him to gain some confidence this season in the ECHL.

Sweeney

“Daniel had a bit of a disjointed year for a number of reasons. He was in the World Junior camp [with the Czech Republic] and he was taken away from his time, he had some injuries…He had played up in Providence and did have some success up there as well.

“I think he is ready for it full-time, but we just want to get Daniel the net as much as possible this upcoming season. We’ll be very cognizant. It likely will be back in the East Coast [Hockey League].

Justin is a Computer Networking student at Wentworth Institute of Technology and joined the Trifecta Network as an Editor in February of 2016 and is a guest on Down to the WIRE Sports Talk.

Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins Former Coach Claude Julien Returns To Boston

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Claude Julien Applauded Or Booed Upon Return?

Boston Bruins former coach Claude Julien coached the team for a decade. will make his return tonight as the Bruins face the Montreal Canadiens tonight. He led the team to bring Lord Stanley’s Cup back home to Boston. He also coached many of the current bruins as they were just starting out. The most significant being Patrice Bergeron and look how he turned out. Claude did many great things for Boston in his time here.

While in Boston he was loved by the players and fans. Claude brought the team to be known as one the if not the top defensive team in the league year after year.  After winning the cup in 2011 he then brought the team back to the cup in 2013 where we all know what happened. After that, the league seems to make a shift towards a faster-paced game and more offensive. Not only the offense but the defensemen were also looking to be more offensive. Claude was not one to change his style and he stuck to his guns. Continually playing the savvy vets over the skilled and less defensive kids.

This may have been one of the reasons he was fired because Cam and Sweeney wanted a younger faster team. Still, once the video tribute to Claude comes up which will definitely include Captain Zdeno Chara hoisting the cup he will get an ovation for all that he did for the team. Claude has cemented his name in Boston Bruins history and we will not forget what he did for this city. He is the Boston Bruins winningest coach with 419 wins. Also in 2009, he won the Jack Adams Trophy as the NHL’s coach of the year.

The Players Opinion

The players that were coached under him seem to not have much emotion going into tonight’s game. Although some look back at what Claude did for their careers.

Here is Marchand on his time with Claude:

“He gave me an opportunity to play, dealt with me more than I think a lot of coaches would have, worked with me tirelessly,” Marchand said of the former Bruins coach. “Had plenty of conversations about how to act and how to be a good player, a good pro, how to learn the game and become a better player.

Brad Marchand is now one of the best wingers in the game today and it may Claude has a lot to do with that.

Another young kid that grew up playing under Claude is David Pastrnkak who is still developing. He also had a few words about his former coach:

“He’s the one that I was given the opportunity to play in the NHL, We had a bunch of meetings in the time I was here…obviously have a lot of good memories. He spent so much time with this organization and has given a lot.”

Captain Zdeno Chara had some nice words to say to the coach who gave him the “C”:

“He definitely should be recognized for that…he’s a great coach, a great person, taught me a lot about how to play the game the right way in certain situations. He’s just a great teacher.”

Tonight’s game may be a bit odd for some of the players that were the core of the team while Claude was here. These players have all said that they are treating it like any other game and are looking to go out there and win. Tonight’s game starts at 7:30 and will air on NBCSN.

 

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Boston Bruins Have A good Problem To Have With Their Roster

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The team has many players that could play each night

Boston Bruins of late have been playing really well and have had almost a 100 percent healthy roster. This leads to a great problem to have. The problem of having many players that can play every night and not knowing which ones to start.

Bruce Cassidy has had to make these tough decisions on who plays and who sits. Not to mention who gets sent down. Now Bruce does not have a big role in sending players to Providence but he definitely gets a say. With all this, it seems as if he has found his roster with a couple players still on the Bubble.

Boston current roster looks like so:

Forwards:

Brad MarchandPatrice BergeronDavid Pastrnak

Jake DebruskDavid KrejciRyan Spooner

Danton HeinenRiley NashDavid Backes

Tim SchallerSean KuralyNoel Acciari

Defense:

Zdeno CharaCharlie McAvoy

Torey KrugBrandon Carlo

Matt GrzelcykKevan Miller

Goalies:

Tuukka Rask

Anton Khudobin

Players On The Bubble

Now then who is missing well there are a couple big names missing. Adam McQuaid is the biggest, now he is not a star defensemen. Although he has been a solid D for the team over the years and now he is a healthy scratch every night. The reason being is that Grzelyck has shown that he has what it takes to be in the big club and it would be stupid to take him out. Also missing just recently is Anders Bjork who has not been performing to his expectation.

Now at the beginning of the year, Bjork and Bergeron were paired before his injury. When Bergy cam back they put Pasta with him and Bjork with Krejci. Maybe Bjork and Krejci are not a good fit. Still, the kid needs to produce and Bruce has no problem sitting anyone. Also along with Bjork is Peter Cehlarik who had claimed a roster spot until injury and now he too is on the outside looking in. Also with Cehlarik is Frank Vatrano who has been a bit of a disappointment since he’s been here. He has had spurts of great, then he just seems to lose. Look for him to be used in a trade if the B’s lose someone.

Providence and Prospect pool are Abundant

Even the B’s System is stacked with talent that could be up here very soon. They also have many kids that are playing in the NCAA that look great. Two of them are currently playing for Team USA in the World Juniors. Then just yesterday Bruin prospect and current Harvard member Ryan Donato was named to the 2018 Olympic team.

The Current Roster is here to stay

Bruce seems like he has found his crew and will look to stick to his guns. Possibly Bjork renters the roster, other than that most likely not much deviation. The main reason being is that with this roster they are currently in second place in the Atlantic and only 10 points back of first. The team has brought there differential from -6 to plus 20 and have been playing better overall. In the last 10 games, the team is 7-1-2.

This team could be a cup contender if they keep playing like this.

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Boston Bruins Showing They Are Here To Win 

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Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

Boston Bruins Have Moved Into Second Place In The Atlantic With

5th Straight Win

The Boston Bruins are sitting in second place with last nights win over the Ottawa Senators. With 45 points and two games in hand to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Now Boston is just 9 points back of Tampa Bay who sits at 54 points. Hopefully, the B’s can keep the streak alive.

Last night we saw the points come from a very underrated player on the roster. Riley Nash finished the game with 2 goals and an assist.

Nash’s goals were not garbage goals either they were indeed the opposite and very skilled goals. Since joining the team last year as what most people believed to be a role player as well as a veteran presence. Then last night on the Broadcast Jack and Brick had stated that Nash has been told to shoot more. Clearly is paying off, as Nash shows that he is not just a role player.  Nash only has 32 points in the year and a half he has been here but most things he does do not go on the score sheet. Boston will look to see some more production from him.

Then there is the rest of the team, they seem to have found “it” and whatever “it” is it needs to stay. In the last 10 games, the team is 8-1-1. The only teams better in that stand are Vegas and Tampa who are both in first place in their respective divisions. The Patrice Bergeron line is looking like the conehead line from the movie Miracle (Pass, Pass, Score). Then there is the Nash line with Danton Heinen and David Backes on his wings.  Backes has found his games on the wing with Nash and currently has 5 goals and 11 points in 16 games this season. The team as a whole has just been great.

Then Tuukka Rask has been playing the way he is expected to play. It might be too early to say but the Bruins are a contender for the cup right now. The only thing missing is Anders Bjork who has been quiet as of late. If he can find his game then Boston will be a hard team to beat.

Up Next:

Boston is on to take on what seems to be the unbeatable Braden Holtby and the Washington Capitals. The Capitals are always a tough matchup and it would be a great team to beat.

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