Former Michigan State  captain Torey Krug thinks he’s ready to make the jump from the college hockey to the NHL , and after signing with the Bruins over the weekend following his junior season, the 20-year-old defenseman skated with his new teammates for the first time Tuesday morning.
“A couple of days ago, I was sitting in my house in East Lansing getting ready to study for a test, and here I am sitting in a locker room full of NHLers,” Krug said. “It’s been a great past couple of days, and I’m looking forward to the next couple of weeks.”
When negotiating with the Bruins, it was agreed upon that Krug (pronounced KROOG), would spend the rest of the regular season in the NHL , which burns a season of his three-year entry level contract. Krug doesn’t know whether he’ll get into any games, but he’s eager to learn from players he grew up looking up to. In the case of Zdeno Chara , the 5-foot-9 (if that) Krug takes the expression literally.
“I’m looking up very high,” he said with a laugh. “I don’t know if they built these lockers for him, but I can barely reach my helmet up top. It’s pretty funny, and I look forward to learning from him.”
His lack of size is something Krug has heard about his whole life. It’s likely why he went undrafted, but he uses as motivation.
“My whole life, I’ve been told I’m too small, and I think that’s one of the reasons that I wasn’t drafted,” he said. “At the same time, not being drafted is a blessing in disguise. There are few times in pro sports where guys get to pick where they want to play. I had the opportunity, and here I am in Boston.”
What Krug lacks physically, he makes up for with his leadership skills. He was a captain at Michigan State  the last two seasons, wearing the ‘C’ for the first time as a sophomore.
“The kid’s got tremendous character,” Peter Chiarelli said on Sunday. “He’s not a big player, but he’s got a lot of heart.”
Said Krug: “I’d like to think I’m a dynamic skater. I can definitely play both sides of the puck. A lot of guys see me as a smaller defenseman and they think, ‘Oh, he’s just an offensive defenseman,’ but I like to take care of the D zone. I take a lot of pride in making that first pass out of the zone.”
When Krug decided to leave after his junior season, he had his choice when it came to where he wanted to play. Having watched the playoffs last spring, he saw a lot to like about the Bruins, so they were the pick.
“When you make a decision like that, it comes down to a lot of things, but the one thing that it always came back to is I want to be part of a winning organization,” he said. “That’s what the Boston Bruins  have here.”