|06.27.10 at 12:51 am ET|
Boston University defenseman and newly acquired Bruins property David Warsofsky wasn’t watching the second day of the NHL draft on Saturday. Instead, the American-born prospect and Marshfield was cheering on Team USA in their World Cup match with Ghana, an eventual 2-1 defeat.It was supposed to be one of the few days hockey wasn’t the priority for the 2008 fourth-round pick of the Blues, as he was at his brother’s taking in the soccer game with family.
Then, as these stories go, the phone rang. It was Warsofsky’s advisor, Bob Murray. Given the other sporting event taking place, the 20-year-old could imagine it wasn’t a casual call.
“Right when he called me I knew something was up because he doesn’t call me every day, especially with the draft going on today,” Warsofsky said. “I didn’t know what was going on. ”
Having just finished his sophomore year and seemingly a year or two away from signing an entry-level contract with which NHL team holds his rights, the news from Murray may not have shaken the youngster in the way a mid-season trade would for a veteran. In fact, the news that he’d been acquired by Boston was thrilling for Warsofsky in that he wouldn’t be traveling far to his new home ice once he begins his professional career.
“He said that my rights had been traded to the Bruins and my heart kind of just dropped, because living in Boston my whole life and wanting to play for the Bruins was a lifelong dream so I couldn’t believe it when I actually heard it,” Warsofsky said.
Having grown up a hockey fan in Massachusetts, Warsofsky can likely understand the general goals around these parts, which are to win a Stanley Cup and beat the to Canadiens. While he has done neither, he’s won a national championship at the college level and was a member of the 2010 Team USA U-18 squad that beat Canadians (note the difference in spelling) to give the states a gold medal at the World Juniors.
Playing and winning at such a high level should prepare him to compete hard at the next level, and any head start on dealing with the rowdy crowds up north is a plus.
‘I’ve played in front of a lot of fans at BU, Fenway, the Beanpot, a national championship game, and Canadian fans are in a league of their own,’ Warsofsky told the New England Hockey Journal following the tournament victory in February. ‘The way they cheer, it’s almost like having another player on the ice for them.’
The realization of Warsofsky’s childhood dream to play for the Bruins also meant the end of restricted free agent Vladimir Sobotka‘s time in Boston, as he was sent to St. Louis in the deal, but from a local perspective, seeing a kid raised on the Bruins should be exciting for hockey fans throughout New England.
After playing his high school hockey for Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Warsofsky’s career now gets to take the more-exciting-than-it-sounds proverbial road from Boston to Boston. The defenseman has been a very legitimate offensive threat in his time in Hockey East, scoring 12 goals in 34 games this past season as a sophomore. He had 23 total points, which tied his freshman production.
Despite the promise he shows as the offensive-minded, puck-moving defenseman the Bruins so openly covet, Warsofsky would be wise to continue refining his game under Terriers head coach Jack Parker and strength and conditioning coach Mike Boyle, as he plans to, in order to round out his overall game.
“I consider myself more of an offensive defenseman, but being at BU and working with Mike Boyle, [I’ve] just been trying to get a lot stronger,” Warsofsky said. “I know a lot of people kind of question my defensive ability so I take that and put it in my back pocket and try to work with that as much as I can.
“I think offense comes more naturally to me than defense so I’ve been trying to work on my defense ability and get stronger and work on my overall game.”
The 5-foot-8, 170-pound Warsofsky won a national championship as a freshman with the Terriers, but saw his team underachieve this past season, going 13-12-2 and failing to make the NCAA tournament it had won just a year before.
“I’m definitely excited about my junior year at BU,” Warsofsky said. “We have a few freshmen coming in, some strong players. We had a tough season last year so whenever you have those tough seasons you want to get back and get back on number one [ranking in the country].”
Before any shots at redemption are to be taken by the Terriers, Warsofsky’s biggest order of business this offseason will be to meet and skate with his new organization. He plans on attending the Bruins’ developmental camp, which runs from July 6-10 at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington, just under an hour away from Marshfield.
|06.26.10 at 4:57 pm ET|
It may not have been of the magnitude some may have expected in recent days, but the Bruins did trade for a player at the NHL draft. Peter Chiarelli told the media in Los Angeles that the team has traded center Vladimir Sobotka to the St. Louis Blue in exchange for Boston University sophomore defenseman David Warsofsky.
Warsofsky, who hails from Marshfield, had 23 points in each of his first two seasons at BU, though he played in 34 games as a sophomore to his 47 as a freshman. He scored 12 goals this past season.
‘He sees the ice, he moves the puck,” Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said of Warsofsky. “He’s almost a 190 pounds. We seem him a lot. We like him.’
The 20-year-old Warsofsky was orginally selected in the fourth round as the 95th overall pick of the 2008 draft by St. Louis. Prior to attending BU in the fall of 2008, he competed with the USA Under-18 team in the NAHL, playing 15 games and toalling six points (4 G, 2 A).
The Russian-born Sobotka was also a fourth-round pick, but in the 2005 draft. He was up and down between the Providence Bruins and the NHL team over the last three seasons. He played a career-high 61 games this past season, scoring four goals and contributing six assists for 10 points on the year.
Though the team now parts with Sobotka, Chiarelli spoke highly of the restricted free agent.
‘He’s like a little wrecking ball, he’s a competitive kid,” Chiarelli said. “We acquired Greg Campbell, we’ve got some more centers coming in. ‘¦ I talked to Vlady, he’s glad we’re giving him a chance some where else.’
As Chiarelli alluded to, it’s hard to imagine there being a spot on the the depth chart for Sobotka. With Marc Savard, David Krejci, Tyler Seguin, Patrice Bergeron, and Campbell already in the mix, Sobotka wouldn’t have had much of a chance to even earn a spot centering a line.
Chiarelli said it was not the team’s intention to pressure Warsofsky into skipping his final two years at BU so he could sign. He will likely spend at least another season playing under Jack Parker.
Prior to trade for Nathan Horton, the belief was that the Bruins would target a defensive prospect with the 15th overall pick. The Bruins now come away from Los Angeles with Warsofsky as their new defense prospect after moving the aforementioned pick to the Panthers.
|06.26.10 at 4:36 pm ET|
The Bruins selected their first defenseman of the weekend on Saturday when they chose Russian defenseman Maxim Chudinov with the 195th overall pick of the NHL draft. The 5-foot-11, 187-pounder was draft eligible a year ago, making him the third Bruins draft pick this season that was passed over in the ’09 draft.
Chudinov played for Cherepovets Severstal of the KHL the last two seasons, totaling just 13 points in 73 games.
The team also traded their seventh-round choice in the 2011 draft to the Blackhawks in exchange for the 210th overall pick on Saturday, which was the last pick of the draft. With it they chose defenseman Zach Trotman out of Lake Superior state.
|06.26.10 at 3:58 pm ET|
The Bruins broke up their string of five forwards in a row by drafting goaltender Zane Gothberg with the 165th overall pick, their allotted sixth-round selection. Gothberg is committed to the University of North Dakota after an upcoming stint with the USHL’s Fargo Force. The Bruins first three picks were centers, followed by a pair of left wings.
Gothberg had a 1.84 goals against average in his senior year at Thief River Falls high school in Minnesota with a 9.22 save percentage. The 6-foot-1, 177-pounder also played for the United States under-18 team.
Three shutouts as a senior helped earn the 18-year-old Gothberg the Frank Brimsek award, which is given to the state of Minnesota’s top senior goalie each year.
|06.26.10 at 3:47 pm ET|
The Bruins continued their all-offense draft by selecting Justin Florek from Northern Michigan University with the 135th overall pick. In his sophomore campaign the 6-foot-3, 195-pound Michigan native totaled 35 points.
Florek spent his two years prior to Northern Michigan playing on the USA under-18 team, where he registered 27 points in 50 games. Like fourth-rounder Craig Cunningham, Florek was draft-eligable last year but went undrafted.
|06.26.10 at 2:43 pm ET|
After not having a pick in the third round, the Bruins selected 5-foot-10 Vancouver (WHL) forward Craig Cunningham with the seventh pick in the fourth round of the NHL draft on Saturday. The pick was the 97th overall choice choice and was acquired from the Carolina Hurricanes in the Aaron Ward deal. The Bruins first three picks were centers Tyler Seguin (second overall), Jared Knight (32), and Ryan Spooner (45).
Now 19, Cunningham played four years of junior hockey. After winning a Memorial Cup in his first year with the Giants, his production increased significantly each year. His point totals in his four years were five, 25, 50, and 97. He scored 37 goals this past season.
A left-handed shot, the 5-foot-10, 184-pound Cunningham played center in the WHL but is believed to be a left wing at the next level.
|06.26.10 at 2:15 pm ET|
LOS ANGELES _ There should be no shortage of talented forwards in the Bruins future.
Having already selected Tyler Seguin, the top ranked center in the draft, with the second overall pick Friday, the Bruins continued the trend in the second round of the draft Saturday.
With the 32nd overall pick in the draft, which was obtained from Toronto in the Phil Kessel trade, the B’s chose center/winger Jared Knight, who had 36 goals and 21 assists in 63 games with the London Knights of the OHL this season.
The B’s had a sense that Knight was flying under the scouting radar. Although he was ranked as the 82nd top prospect by the NHL scouting combine, Knight scored ten goals in 12 playoff games after he was diagnosed with diabetes and began taking insulin late in the season.
‘I did have a slow start because of that,’ said Knight . ‘I was diagnosed in November and it’s all taken care of. It’s all under control. I’m taking four shots a day. I’m eating better; I’ve got my diet under control. Everything is under control. Obviously hindered me a little bit at the start but once I got in under control my game really took off.’
GM Peter Chiarelli agreed that the diabetes issue is not a concern.
“He’s been completely treated for that, he lost a bunch of weight and that’s when he started flying under the radar at the start of the season, then he lit it up for a long time,” said Chiarelli at the conclusion of Saturday’s draft. “He’s a shooter, this guys a shooter. He’s strong on the puck. This kid is a good player.”
Knight did not attend the draft. The 5-11, 186-pound right-shot center is the first player from Battle Creek, Michigan to be drafted in the NHL.
“I think, if you’re going to look at my play, I think [I’m] just a hard working player, a hard-nosed player who goes hard to the net, who’s not afraid to take the post off,’ said Knight. ‘ I think I have a good skill set too and I think what really sets me apart is my work ethic and the way I work out there.‘
Knight is also sold on Boston.
‘I was down there a couple weeks ago and we tested there at their practice facility and we went around town,’ said Knight. ‘We went to Ray Bourque‘s restaurant. It’s just a great city. I watch the games, I love the Boston Bruins. They’re one of my favorite teams to watch. Their fans are just unreal. They’re really passionate fans and its something I’m really looking forward to.‘
Spooner was the 39 ranked skater in the draft. A broken collarbone limited the 5-10, 172-pounder to playing just 47 games this season but he was not disappointed with the way things worked out at the draft.
‘I was pretty nervous at first, but once I heard I went to Boston I was pretty happy,’ said Spooner.’I couldn’t be any happier now.’
The first order of business will be for Spooner to bulk up.
‘Obviously I’m a skill player, I’m going to work on that, but overall strength and getting a bit heavier, stuff like that,’ said Spooner who has also played with wing on occasion.
‘I’ve mostly played center, but when I played with Team Canada at times I played on the wing,’ said Spooner. ‘So I guess I can do either.’
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