Two of the most interesting and impressive forwards of the day were Sean Kuraly and Austin Czarnik. Both are likely fighting for roster spots. The two were notable for largely the same reason; being willing and able to grab pucks around the crease and either put them in the net, or start them out of the zone. Czarnik in particular put a couple shots in the twine the goalies didn’t even have time to react to.

Rob O’Gara was paired with Kevan Miller during drills, and displayed a consistent ability to take pucks from forwards. Including some jobber named Patrice Bergeron.

Matt Grzlecyk was paired with Adam McQuaid during their session. In that time he showed off something I don’t remember noting in the past; a slick and crafty ability to disrupt shots in and a round the crease and get them moving in the right direction. On a couple of rushes he disrupted he showed off soccer feet effortlessly moving the puck from skate to skate to stick. If you’re looking for a defenseman who is solid in his two way game, and stood out today, look no further.

Paul Postma played beside Torey Krug. Postma is coming off a career high in points and games. He looked respectable. He skates well, passed well, and never looked out of place. Despite his 84 points in 74 games in his final season in the WHL, he’s yet to display much offense in either the NHL or AHL.

Some of the forward groupings (not always by position):

  • Bergeron with Marchand & Bjork
  • Beleskey – Ryan Spooner – Ted Purcell
  • Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson -David Backes – Frank Vatrano
  • Sean Kuraly – Zach Senyshyn – Tim Schaller
  • Pastrnak – Krejci – Jake Debrusk
  • Nash – Acciari – Cederic Pare
  • Kenny Agostino – Austin Czarnik – Ryan Fitzgerald

David Backes was in the first session and lead stretches at the post practice stretch. During the first half of the session before ice maintenance he quite frankly did not look good. As practice wore on he stopped tripping, and looked better.

Matt Beleskey looks mechanically more sound than he did at any point after his first injury last year.

Ryan Fitzgerald looked committed to being there, focused and driven, something I couldn’t saw the last time I saw him in a camp.

The four goalies on the ice were Rask, Zane McIntyre, Malcolm Subban, and Anton Khudobin. You could split them into the pairs by the first and last two and argue quality all day. For my money McIntyre was the best goalie today, and Khudobin did not make the top three. Or even cast a shadow on them.

While it’s an outside chance of him making the team, don’t be surprised if Jesse Gabrielle makes the first or second cut.

From what I saw, and talking to other people at camp, I’d say Frank Vatrano is most in danger of losing a roster spot among the forward to play in Boston last year.

Of the three first round picks from 2015, I was unimpressed by Jakob Zboril in just about every way. Jake DeBrusk never looked out of place, and managed to both steal the puck from, and evade Connor Clifton.

More on Two Man ForeCheck which will be recorded in the evening 9/18.

Another development camp has come and gone. The prospects will by now all have had their exit interviews and been told what they need to work on.

Jeremy Louzon had his best day of camp today showing off his best puck handling and shooting to date.

Charlie McAvoy, the kid’s got wheels and when he uses them, he’s capable of leaving most players behind.

Ryan Fitzgerald had nice precise passing, and good skating in play.

Stephen Dhillon should be happy with the week he had, not only did he improve as the week went on, he drew raves from the crowd making a high end post to post save, and on a separate play was left naked with an on coming 3 vs 0 and gave them nothing to shoot at.

Ryan Lindgren had a very pretty goal against Malcolm Subban at a time in play when Subban was clearly trying to stop every puck.

Cameron Hughes showed quite well in play with speed, showed off nice hands all week, and while I can’t say he slacked off in drills, he shined more in play.

Dan Vladar came out of the net to handle the puck and made me cross off another potential hole in his game.

Oskar Steen, after doing well in the drills all week, I think what I liked most about him, aside from never looking tired, and not quitting on plays is that there isn’t a single stretch of ice he failed to use during play.

Jake Debrusk had a really nifty goal during play that drew audience appreciation and left the goaltender a bit disgusted.

Tomorrow you’ll see the top ten post of prospects based on camp performance, and soon a break down in the style differences between goalie prospects Zane McIntyre and Malcolm Subban, don’t forget you can find me on Twitter @PuckSage, on Google+, and Facebook with purely the posts and my page.

Today was a chance to see more of the players in smaller groups. There was a lot of activity leaning slightly more heavily towards individual attention helping players use their edges a bit more and make better cuts and turns.

Matt Grzelcyk has nestled into the on ice leadership slot well enough one wonders where and when he’ll have a letter on his jersey. The skating, puck handling, passing and shooting that made him stand out after he was drafted clearly haven’t diminished even a little despite a few injuries during his college career.

Wiley Sherman isn’t just a big dude, he’s a big dude with good skating, good endurance, an active stick, and a respectable shot. While other players are bent over and spent towards the end of the practice, I never saw him winded during any drill, today or yesterday.

Sean Kuraly of Dublin, Ohio looks very mature for a reason, he’s 23 years old. Just watch him drill for a bit and you’ll be impressed by his shot release.

Stephen Dillon the invite from Fort Erie pulled out a split today making a save that was fluid fast, and induced a nicely appreciative swathe of sound from the spectators. The youngest player in camp had a more even day today, and seemed to have fully settled in.

Trent Frederic had an apparent split in ability between pure drills, and simulated player versus player action. He looked notably better in the latter.

Ryan Lindgren was on the ice today, looking like he was still skating the kinks out early and settling in to the drills nicely.

Jakub Zboril looked his best today in a one on one drill against Oskar Steen.


  1. Americans: 14
  2. Canadians: 7
  3. Czechs: 2
  4. Swedes: 2
  5. Fins: 1

#53 Fitzgerald aces a puck handling drill.

Tallest: Wiley Sherman Lightest: Cameron Hughes 160lbs

Another year of watching the Bruins prospects is upon us and while the show was fun, there were some big disappointments. Some of the most intriguing prospects were not on the ice. Rob O’Gara is no where on the list even attending this years camp, Matt Benning was likewise conspicuous by his absence. Zachary Senyshyn is down and out with mono, and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson is not attending for “personal reasons”. Worse, only the absence of the latter pair is explained. With the utter lack of quality in the Boston Bruins defense this year not seeing O’Gara and Benning is likely cause for concern.

A few players stood out in multiple areas. I thought Heinen, Steen, and Kuraly had the most developed shots. The release from all three is hidden  until the puck is two feet off the blade of their stick. Matt Grzelcyk as the grizzled veteran of the skating contingent looked to have slid into a leadership role demonstrating all the drills, and showed the high end agility, puck handling and shooting we’ve come to expect from the healthy and fit version of the Charlestown native.

What might be the most pleasant surprise is Daniel Vladar who looked like he could have stopped pucks for another six hours. He is a big, tall goalie who unlike a lot of guys approaching his six and a half feet he doesn’t seem to lose the puck when its on the ice right around his pads and skates. Day one is hardly the time go projecting NHL career lengths for anyone but he made the skaters work for the very few pucks that went by him, and had a quiet efficiency of movement.

Wiley Sherman is another of the jumbos, he seems to have put on some muscle filling out a body that looked a bit scary his first year at camp. That first year you’d watch him recovering between drills or at scrimmage and you’d see his jersey get sucked into his ribs when he breathed. To go with the muscle his straight line speed is certainly adequate.

Brandon Carlo should probably get the “Anthony Camara” award for body contact as he pressed hard on forwards during drills and the center ice simulate play.

In the first half of day Stephen Dillon looked a bit ragged and the skaters put more than a couple pucks past him in the early drills, repeatedly going to the same spots. As he warmed up and settled in the Niagara Icedog (and youngest player in camp) looked better and better.

The biggest takeaway from the group as a whole is the most noticeable separation between the most agile third of the players present, and the rest of the group. Not surprisingly small and very small men like Steen, Grzelcyk, and Fitzgerald were near the top of the chart.

Malcolm Subban and Zane McIntyre were on the ice early today doing goaltending drills with the staff, but did not participate in the general session with the youngsters. The most impressive player of the day was hands down Daniel Vladar who didn’t flinch from contact, tracked the puck well, and used pads, stick and glove to great impact.

As with most development camps day one was getting everyone’s feet wet. While some of these young men haven’t skated in weeks, a few managed to stand out.

Anthony Camara’s puck handling ability is far in excess of his first trip to camp. Since last time we saw him he made the Canadian World Junior Championship team, went a point per game in the playoffs for the Barrie Colts, and in general continued to be a menace on the ice.

Bruins development camp 7/10 Left to Right: #53 Ryan Fitzgerald, #78 Derek Docken, #80 Brian Ferlin, #82 Alex Cord, #64 Anton Bligh.  In net: #60 Zane Gothberg

Bruins development camp 7/10
Left to Right:
#53 Ryan Fitzgerald, #78 Derek Docken, #80 Brian Ferlin, #82 Alex Cord, #64 Anton Bligh.
In net: #60 Zane Gothberg

Anton Blidh is in his first camp for the Bruins and showed off a quick, hard shot on day one.

Brian Ferlin spent the school year at Cornell holding down the second spot in scoring on his team, and playing in more games than his freshman season. Smooth, purposeful movements with a clear confidence on the ice.

Alex Cord an invitee from the Mississauga Steelheads opened the door for physicality throwing the first, and loudest hit of the morning.

Matt Benning, while it is hard to judge defensemen at these camps it is obvious that Benning who outscored five other defensemen on the his Clark Cup USHL championship team came to camp very fit and notably poised. This fall Benning is off to Northeastern, and the man who will be coaching him spoke quite highly of Matt and his season.

Zane Gothberg watching Gotherberg in net is a lot of fun. He’s very precise in his movements. When he moves there’s no flailing to stop, when the puck hits his equipment he doesn’t have to search for the puck he just puts his hand down or takes control of the puck with the stick. Backwards, sideways or forwards he seems to always end up exactly where he needs to be.

Off Ice Notes:

Don Sweeny said the team expects 2012 1st round pick Malcolm Subban to turn pro this year. Organizational history indicates that he’ll likely spend the season getting a lot of reps split between Providence and the ECHL rather than minimal games at the NHL level. The assistant general manager also noted that the small size of the development camp this year will allow the players in camp more reps, and be a bit more draining.

Oldest to youngest the players will be competing to see who can knock the most back in the very near future. The Bruins have planned a bowling expedition in addition to their team building and community service projects.