Every time the Bruins play the Maple Leafs , there will always be talk of the forwards the teams have swapped, but beginning Wednesday, that conversation will be about more than just Phil Kessel  and Tyler Seguin .
Center Joe Colborne, the Bruins’ first-round pick (16th overall) in 2008 draft and the centerpiece of the package the B’s sent to Leafs in February for Tomas Kaberle , has played the last five games in the NHL  and is already producing.
The 21-year-old Colborne has been skating on the third line for the Leafs, and has registered four points (1 G, 3 A) in his five NHL  games this season. Now that he’s facing the B’s, he’s got plenty of motivation to prove them wrong.
‘Anybody, who says they don’t want to do well against your old team would be lying,’ Colborne told the Toronto Star  Tuesday. ‘I hope I can show what I can and contribute to the Leafs.’
Colborne was in his first AHL season when he was shipped to Toronto, but said that he was in the organization long enough to know what the Bruins were all about.
‘I understand the hard work they went through to win the Stanley Cup  ‘ after getting rid of me,’ he jokingly told reporters. ‘It’s going to be interesting. I’m looking forward to it.’
While playing for Providence, Colborne had 12 goals and 14 assists for 26 goals in 55 games. The 6-foot-5, 213-pound forward added eight points and eight assists for the Toronto Marlies of the AHL last season following the trade. Count Claude Julien  among those happy to see him in the NHL and playing well.
“I think it would have been a matter of time, probably with us as well,” Julien said Tuesday of Colborne playing in the NHL. I liked him. I liked his skill level. Obviously his size, [he’s] a big strong centerman and stuff like that.
“I don’t think anybody wishes him not to do well. I’m one of those guys that really liked him personally. He’s a great individual, and to see him get an opportunity to play in the NHL is always nice. Unfortunately you can’t always be with the same team, but at least the guys that deserve it get to play in the NHL. He’s certainly one of those players that I think deserves it.”
While the Kessel trade will never be in question from Boston’s end because it landed the B’s Seguin, Dougie Hamilton and Jared Knight, the Kaberle trade is somewhat of a different case. In addition to Colborne, the B’s sent their 2011 first-round pick and a 2012 second-rounder to Toronto in exchange for the defenseman, who had a generally dreadful stay in Boston. Still, it all ended with him hoisting the Stanley Cup, so it’s hard to criticize the trade, regardless of the fact that the Maple Leafs will likely have gotten the better players, and for far more service time (Kaberle was not re-signed following his four-month stint with the Bruins).
The B’s are happy to see Colborne doing well, but now that they’ll be seeing a lot of him for a long time, that may soon change.