Local defender thrilled with trade to Bruins
|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.