Anthony Camara scored 16 goals in the OHL last season. (AP)
WILMINGTON — Entering last summer’s development camp, Bruins’ 2011 third-round pick Anthony Camara had fought fellow B’s prospect Tyler Randell during the OHL season, making for some interesting stories. This year, the tough youngster says he has no such stories with current B’s prospects, but he has hit Malcolm Subban where it hurts — even if Subban won’t admit it.
“I scored a couple of times on Subban this year,” the reserved Camara said. “I don’t think there are too many guys in here who I fought this year, but I definitely got Subban for a couple of goals.”
Subban begs to differ.
“I’ve seen him make a few nice passes, but I don’t know about him scoring on me,” last week’s first-round pick said with a smirk. “I know he does everything else pretty well though.”
Turns out Subban — a hit with the media and teammates — is already lying to them one week into his Bruins career. Camara, who didn’t do much scoring at all prior to being drafted by the B’s, has indeed scored a rather nifty goal on the Belleville Bulls netminder, albeit off a broken play. Still, a goal’s a goal, and Camara put quite a few in this past season.
Based on where he was drafted and what he might be becoming, there are few Bruins prospects more intriguing than Camara. The B’s turned heads last June when they drafted Camara, a fighter first and foremost, in the third round. The 6-foot-1 left wing had only scored eight goals in the OHL in his draft year, and just six in the previous season, but Boston saw enough in Camara to take him 81st overall.
The Toronto native used last summer’s development camp to show that he was more than just a grinder, but this past season saw Camara really add the element of offense to his game. He scored seven goals in 35 games for Saginaw before being traded to the Barrie Colts. There, he added nine more goals in 31 games with the help of a Hall-of-Famer.
“I just felt like I had more opportunity when I got traded,” Camara explained Sunday. “Definitely I put up some good numbers in [Saginaw], but when I got traded my coach was Dale Hawerchuk and he definitely knows how to play hockey. He put a couple numbers up in his day [1409 to be exact], so he taught me a few things in different situations. That definitely helped me out.”
Claude Julien took in a bit of last year’s development camp and came away particularly impressed with Camara, calling him a “pretty tough individual that can play the game.” At this year’s camp, the Bruins have observed Camara — who got in 15 fights this past season — as being every bit as tough as he was when they drafted him, but more offensively potent.
“He’s better,” Providence coach Bruce Cassidy said after Sunday’s scrimmage. “… He wants to get noticed, finishing checks. He also prides himself on wanting to be able to to play with the puck. He doesn’t want to be typecast, so to speak, and he wants to have an all-around game.”
While the stats made it easy for Camara to be typecast on draft day, he certainly isn’t among his future teammates.
“He’s a great player,” Subban said. “He brings great energy to the game, a great hitter with a great shot.”
A great shot that can get past Subban.