|Jake DeBrusk aims much higher in second training camp||09.22.16 at 9:53 am ET|
Though he’d seen his stock rise leading up to the 2015 draft, Jake DeBrusk was supposed to be a late first-round pick who was years away from making the NHL. That’s what he the scouting reports said, and that’s the path he came to expect.
“I kind of thought I was going to be a two-to-three-year [wait] for the NHL; that was my projection and what I was told anyways,” DeBrusk said Wednesday.
As it turned out, DeBrusk ended up being the second left wing drafted when the Bruins selected him 14th overall, ahead of higher-billed prospects. So what happens to one’s expectations for their development when they’re told they’re one thing and end up being another? Do they expect they’ll reach the NHL sooner? Do they expect they’ll be better?
These kind of questions are interesting in the case of DeBrusk, as he is now entering his second training camp. Assuming he doesn’t make the Bruins, he is eligible to play in the AHL. This is now officially his job, and the days of making a quick impression and then heading back to junior for the year are over.
“[Last year’s camp] was one of those things where I just wanted to learn as much as possible and things like that,” he said. “Now it’s [still] learning, but it’s one of those things where I feel I’m striving for a job and I’m motivated to do it.“
DeBrusk was not happy with last year’s training camp, one that saw him flunk his conditioning test along with fellow first-round picks Jakub Zboril and Zach Senyshyn. He was realistic in thinking he wasn’t expected to make the team, but he came away disappointed in what he showed the Bruins.
“I kind of thought last year, just try to get maybe into a game or things like that, but I didn’t know how the process worked or anything like that. It shell-shocked me, to be honest,” DeBrusk said. “It didn’t go so well and that’s one of the things I learned a lot from. You’ve got to learn from your mistakes as much as your wins.”
Now, after a WHL season that saw him miss time due to injury and get traded, DeBrusk wants to leave the Bruins with a difficult decision when it comes to roster cuts. He was more than a point-a-game player last season after his trade to Red Deer, putting up 56 points (20 goals, 36 points) in 54 games. He’s also bulked up to 187 pounds after aiming to finish the summer close to 190.
The most likely destination for DeBrusk is Providence, but the B’s failing in their efforts to get left wing Jimmy Vesey leaves the door open a crack that he could steal a job. With the CHL-NHL transfer agreement no longer blocking him from being a pro, DeBrusk is glad that he’s not in an all-or-nothing situation, but his primary objective is to show he’s closer to the NHL than people thought he’d be at this point.
“Even with the [rookie] games, I felt way more comfortable and just back to myself,” DeBrusk said. “That’s when things are going good, and that’s the best kind of hockey I play, is when I’m feeling like this. I’m just looking forward to continuing it on and strive for that Bruins squad.”
And that’s how you write about a guy without mentioning his testicles once.
|Bruins announce training camp roster||09.21.16 at 10:02 pm ET|
The Bruins announced their roster for training camp, a group that includes Zach Senyshyn, who has skated the last two days after undergoing an appendectomy on Sept. 4.
Camp will begin Thursday, with players undergoing off-ice testing before beginning practices Friday. David Backes, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, Tuukka Rask and Zdeno Chara will join the team after returning from the World Cup of Hockey. Claude Julien will also join the camp in progress, as Boston’s assistant coaches will run camp while Julien is serving as an assistant coach for Team Canada.
The full roster is as follows:
Forwards: Noel Acciari, David Backes, Matt Beleskey, Patrice Bergeron, Anton Blidh, Colby Cave, Peter Cehlarik, Austin Czarnik, Jake DeBrusk, Brian Ferlin, Jesse Gabrielle, Seth Griffith, Colton Hargrove, Jimmy Hayes, Danton Heinen, Justin Hickman, David Krejci, Sean Kuraly, Brad Marchand, Dominic Moore, Peter Mueller (professional tryout), Mark Naclerio, Riley Nash, David Pastrnak, Tyler Randell, Zac Rinaldo, Tim Schaller, Zach Senyshyn, Ryan Spooner, Frank Vatrano, A.J. White
Defensemen: Linus Arnesson, Chris Breen, Brandon Carlo, Chris Casto, Zdeno Chara, Tommy Cross, Alex Grant, Matt Grzelcyk, Torey Krug, Jeremy Lauzon, John-Michael Liles, Adam McQuaid, Colin Miller, Kevan Miller, Joe Morrow, Rob O’Gara, Alex Roach, Jakub Zboril
Goaltenders: Anton Khudobin, Zane McIntyre, Tuukka Rask, Malcolm Subban, Dan Vladar
|David Backes wasn’t happy with Phil Kessel’s Team USA tweet||09.21.16 at 1:19 pm ET|
Stanley Cup champion Phil Kessel was the coolest American hockey player on Tuesday night. After Team USA got eliminated from the World Cup of Hockey with a 4-2 loss to Canada, he went on Twitter and dogged management for not putting him on the team.
This was funny for a lot of reasons, one of which was because pretty much everyone agreed that his omission was a move that suggested Team USA wanted to be tough more than it wanted to be good. Plus people didn’t know that Kessel, whose social skills have been overanalyzed throughout his entire career, had such a zinger in him. It was a feel-good moment for humor, for social media and for America.
Well, David Backes was pissed about it.
David Backes said it’s disappointing that former USA players were critical on social media last night. “Distasteful and aggravating”
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) September 21, 2016
Backes said tweets “don’t get lost in the fray and those comments are there and have been read and I think will be remembered.”
— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) September 21, 2016
You can understand why a player on Team USA wouldn’t appreciate jokes so soon after an embarrassing exit from the tournament. Nobody is of higher character than Backes, but of course he’s going to be offended when someone makes a joke like that.
Yet the joke obviously wasn’t about Backes, unless Backes felt that Kessel was suggesting he should have been on the roster instead of the former Blues captain. The joke was clearly more of a shot at Dean Lombardi and John Tortorella, and quite frankly Kessel has been the butt of so many jokes that should be able to make fun of everyone for the rest of time without getting any backlash.
|Left off World Cup of Hockey roster, Phil Kessel mocks Team USA after elimination||09.20.16 at 10:59 pm ET|
Phil Kessel was infamously left off Team USA’s roster for the World Cup of Hockey, as the team placed a higher emphasis on intangibles than skill.
The Penguins forward might not have ended up being able to participate in the tournament due to a hand injury anyway, but that didn’t stop him from getting a jab in after Team USA was eliminated from the World Cup in two games, the minimum possible for a team to get bounced.
Just sitting around the house tonight w my dog. Felt like I should be doing something important, but couldn't put my finger on it.
— Phil Kessel (@PKessel81) September 21, 2016
For what it’s worth, Kessel had two fewer goals than Team USA did in its decisive two games.
|Team USA loses to Canada, eliminated from World Cup of Hockey (already)||09.20.16 at 10:53 pm ET|
Well, that didn’t work.
Team USA was eliminated from the World Cup of Hockey in the first round, a fate that was sealed with a 4-2 loss to Team Canada in the second game of the tournament Tuesday. The States were blanked by Team Europe in the tournament’s opening game Saturday.
The top two teams from each of the two groups after the three-game first round will advance, with Team Canada (2-0-0) and Team Europe (2-0-0) already locking in their spots in Group A through two games. The Czech Republic (0-1-1) will join Team USA in heading home early. The Czech Republic and Team USA will play each other Thursday to conclude their stays in tournament.
In Group B, Sweden’s 2-0-0 start is enough for them to advance, while North America (1-1-0), Russia (1-1-0) and Finland (0-2-0) are also still alive.
Team USA’s horrid performance in the tournament comes as something of a surprise, as the States were expected to be one of the tournament’s favorites behind the loaded Canada squad. The roster construction and coaching of Team USA was questioned from the start, however, with John Tortorella opting against dressing perhaps his best goalie (Cory Schneider) in both of Team USA’s first two games.
|Peter Mueller says he was immature in last attempt at NHL comeback||09.20.16 at 12:51 pm ET|
BRIGHTON — Peter Mueller wants to resurrect his NHL career. He feels repairing his reputation is part of that.
A 28-year-old skilled forward whom the Coyotes chose eighth overall in 2008, Mueller has spent the last three seasons playing in Europe. After injuries derailed his NHL career, he planned to play the 2013-14 season in Switzerland before returning to the NHL for the 2014-15 season. A one-year deal with the Blues was the Minnesota native’s ticket back to North America, but he ended up going back to Switzerland after he and the team mutually agreed to terminate the deal at the end of the preseason. He’s been playing in Europe since, spending one more season with the Kloten Flyers in Switzerland and then last season with the Malmö Redhawks of the Swedish Elite League.
Mueller still harbors ill feelings over his brief St. Louis experience, but his disappointment is directed more at himself than the Blues. After management told him of their intentions to send him to the AHL, Mueller said he wanted out, a move he feels has left him with a reputation.
“It didn’t work out in my favor, and I could be a little immature, and a little, on my behalf, not fully committed to the organization, which was tough for me,” Mueller said Tuesday after captain’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena.
“A lot of things happened when that happened. [Two] years have gone past, and I’ve matured a lot more. I’ve got a family. It’s amazing what a child will do to your life and how committed you are. It was a tough situation for me at that point in time, but that’s all behind me and I’m hoping to prove to everyone in North America that this is no joke and this is for real this time.”
To that point, Mueller said Tuesday that he would sign in the AHL if he did not make an NHL team this season. He felt it was important to make that clarification to teams, as the St. Louis ordeal might have left clubs thinking bringing him to camp would be a waste of time.
“I think I have to prove to everyone that I’m here to stay and I want to stay here,” he said. “Whatever Boston has in store for me, I’m ready to accept.
“I think it’s always curious to a lot of people on what happened there. To be honest, I don’t blame them because it was a weird situation for everybody. I’ve talked to people that showed interest and told them whatever happened happened. People understood my situation, but also it’s a tough situation to walk away from. It’s unfortunate that I did, but I’m just trying to make up for it now.”
Drafted as a center back in the day, Mueller said that his recent years in Europe have been spent mostly at left and right wing. That’s good for his chances of making a B’s team that is overflowing with centers in David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, Ryan Spooner, David Backes, Dominic Moore, Noel Acciari and Riley Nash.
Last season, Mueller had 13 goals and 12 assists for 25 points in 43 games for Malmö. His best season overseas came in 2013-14, when he scored 24 goals and had 22 helpers for 46 points in 49 games with Kloten.
|Zach Senyshyn joins Bruins in captain’s practice, Torey Krug continues to progress||09.20.16 at 11:19 am ET|
BRIGHTON — Zach Senyshyn was kept out of the Bruins’ rookie tournament in Buffalo due to an appendectomy performed in early September, but the team didn’t rule out the possibility of him taking the ice at some point during training camp. That now looks like a good bet, as the 19-year-old right wing joined a large group of Bruins at captain’s practice Tuesday at Warrior Ice Arena.
Senyhsyn, who also missed the team’s development camp this summer due to mononucleosis, did not appear to be limited in Tuesday’s skate. He is a longshot to make the Bruins this season, as it’s expected the 15th overall pick in the 2015 draft will return to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds for a third full season in the OHL. Last season, Senyshyn scored 45 goals in 66 games for the Greyhounds.
In other health news, Torey Krug took a good number of one-timers on Tuesday, something he couldn’t do earlier in the month due to his rehabbing shoulder. Krug is pushing to be ready in time for the team’s Oct. 13 season-opener.