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Some thoughts heading into Bruins training camp

09.15.11 at 10:52 pm ET

The Bruins will return to TD Garden Friday as they officially open training camp with the thing every young hockey player dreams about: fitness testing. With rookie camp concluding on Friday, the players invited to camp will hit the Garden ice on Saturday.

Click here for the training camp roster, which is essentially the Bruins’ roster and the rookie camp roster (minus five players) with the addition of veteran tryout Chris Clark.

Camp will open with the roster spit into two squads, with each group holding their own practices for the early going. The Bruins will hold a black and white scrimmage in on the Providence Bruins’ ice at the Dunkin Donuts center on Tuesday, and they’ll play their first preseason game Wednesday in Ottawa, their first of two preseason meetings with the Senators.

The preseason schedule also features two contests against both the Islanders and Canadiens.

Here are the groupings:

Forwards: Jamie Arniel, Patrice Bergeron, Gregory Campbell, Nathan Horton, Alexander Khokhlachev, Lane MacDermid, Kirk MacDonald, Kyle MacKinnon, Daniel Paille, Benoit Pouliot, Calle Ridderwall, Yannick Riendeau, Tyler Seguin, Jamie Tardif, Shawn Thornton, Trent Whitfield.
Defensemen: Matt Bartkowski, Johnny Boychuk, Colby Cohen, Andrew Ference, Steven Kampfer, Nathan McIver, Zach McKelvie, Dennis Seidenberg.
Goaltenders: Anton Khudobin, Tim Thomas.

Group B
Forwards: Anthony Camara, Carter Camper, Jordan Caron, Stefan Chaput, Chris Clark, Craig Cunningham, Zach Hamill, Josh Hennessy, Chris Kelly, Jared Knight, David Krejci, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Rich Peverley, Tyler Randell, Max Sauve, Ryan Spooner.
Defensemen: Andrew Bodnarchuk, Ryan Button, Marc Cantin, Zdeno Chara, Joe Corvo, Dougie Hamilton, Adam McQuaid, Kevan Miller, David Warsofsky.

Goaltenders: Michael Hutchinson, Tuukka Rask

There are a few things that come to mind when looking at the groupings. Here are some random notes attempted to be turned into something interesting:

– Some of the youngsters with little chance of making the team are at least paired with guys they can learn from. Take Group B for example. Camara, the Bruins’ their-round pick in June, is a gritty young winger with his fair share of fights in the OHL. He’s in the same group as Lucic, who could give him a bit of advice as one of the premier power forwards in the NHL.

Then there’s Hamilton, the ninth overall pick in June’s draft. Hamilton has long looked up to the 6-foot-9 Chara, the tallest player to ever play in the NHL. While Chara can’t teach the 6-foot-5 Hamilton how to be as tall as him, he can certainly help show the young defenseman the ropes.

– Group A has two defenseman who figure to last long into camp battling or the seventh defenseman spot in Bartkowski and Kampfer. Bartkowski made the Europe trip with the team last year and was the last guy cut from camp, but Kampfer ended up playing in 38 games for the B’s in an up-and-down rookie year. With Corvo figuring to take Kaberle’s spot in the lineup, the Bruins have a couple of young defensemen with NHL experience competing for the role McQuaid filled early on last season.

– One guy to watch will be Hamill, who was the eighth overall pick of the 2007 draft but has played just four games in the NHL. This is the final year of his entry level deal, and he’ll be a restricted free agent at season’s end. With open roster spots minimal, it will be interesting to see where Hamill stands amongst the other players likely destined for Providence this year.

– Speaking of high draft picks, 2010 second-rounders Knight and Spooner both impressed in camp last season before returning to the OHL. If a young player is going to push Caron for a roster spot, it could be Spooner or Knight, who had 35 and 25 goals in the OHL last season, respectively. The team told Spooner he needed to put the work into his body last year, and he spent the year cutting down his body fat, something for which the team has commended him.

– There are no questions as to which goalies will be on which team, an injury to Thomas or Rask is the only thing that could give Khudobin or Hutchinson even the smallest of chances of making the NHL team. Saturday will be Thomas’ first time on the ice with his teammates this preseason, as he was not at optional veterans’ practices.

Read More: Training camp 2011,
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