With the loss of David Krejci to injury, the Bruins leadership is faced with the tough decision of who to fill a roster slot with. It almost certainly won’t be someone playing at center when they are added to the lineup as Bergeron and Savard are obviously one and two, with Sobotka and Begin filling three and four. Here’s a look at some of the guys you might see at forward if Krejci can’t play. They also don’t need to replace Krejci’s size as he’s generously listed at 177lbs.
Mikko Lethonen, he topped the Providence Bruins in goals and points with 23-27-50 lines. The downside for this right winger is that he’s only seen two NHL games. One was a Bruins / Hab’s tilt, but that’s the closest he’s ever come to an NHL playoff intensity game. On the plus side in addition to a scoring touch he’s got good size at six three and just a touch under two hundred pounds.
Brad Marchand is the speedy little pest we all like, but who hasn’t done much with his twenty games in the NHL this season. He may not be entirely to blame as injuries and a team wide funk left the Bruins heavily lacking in offense and synergy. He had just 1 assist and was a -3 in his time in Boston’s lineup. In Providence he had a very respectable 13-19-32 line with a +14 in 34 games.
Zach Hamill was the Bruins first selection in the 2007 draft and the 8th pick overall. Injuries have plagued the young center since and hampered his development. When he was called up for the first and only time since he was drafted this year he performed admirably, playing a solid 12:08 and earning himself an assist. He’s another of the small skilled forwards the Bruins have drafted in the past few years. He had a very solid preseason, was asked to help lead the rookie camp and was one of the last players assigned to the AHL when the season opened.
Jeff Lovecchio, after missing all of last season with a very severe concussion he came back and put up modest numbers in Providence but still finished 3rd on the team with 15 goals. He’s a about the same size as Lethonen, but is a left winger.
Trent Whitfield. Whitfield was called up several times as injuries took their toll on the Bruins roster. How likely he is to go in depends entirely on which Whitfield shows up in practice. Several of the games he played for the Bruins made you think he really does belong in the NHL, others were not so fun to watch. At his NHL best he’s a hard working grinder. Despite all the time he spend with Boston, he was still third in scoring in just 52 games in Providence.
Maxim Suave. I really expected Suave to make the team out of camp. I suspect no trade clauses had a bit to do with why he didn’t. He’s fast, agile and like Krejci he’s a left hand shot. He played most of the year in the QMJHL and was added to Providences roster after his season concluded. With only six AHL games on his resume, it’s hard to see how he’ll get slotted in ahead of others.