|Notes from Day 1 of Bruins development camp||07.14.15 at 3:50 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — The Bruins held their first day of on-ice work as the ninth annual development camp got underway Tuesday at Ristuccia Arena. The camp, which is headlined by goaltender Zane McIntyre and Boston’s trio of first-round picks from last month’s draft, will run until Friday.
Here are some notes from Tuesday, which featured two different groups that took the ice two times apiece in addition to off-ice testing:
– Absent from the sessions was Joonas Kemppainen, a 27-year-old center from Finland who was signed this summer. Development coach Jay Pandolfo said that Kemppainen suffered a hamstring injury in recent weeks, but could be on the ice later in camp. Kemppainen is on a two-way contract and could potentially contend for a spot in Boston this season.
– After the on-ice sessions, Pandolfo reiterated what we already knew: None of this year’s draft picks will be in the NHL this season.
Said Pandolfo: “I don’t think we’re expecting to see another [David] Pastrnak here, so we’ve got to make sure we’re patient with those guys.”
– McIntyre is here for the sixth consecutive year, making him the most frequent attendee in the camp’s history. The 2010 sixth-round pick was a project when he was drafted, but he comes to New England this season as one of the best goaltending prospects in hockey. The 22-year-old signed with Boston this offseason, but could have opted to become a free agent and sign elsewhere. Check back later for a piece on his decision to sign with the B’s.
McIntyre was joined by 2015 third-round pick Daniel Vladar and Quinnipiac goalie Michael Garteig.
– It’s early for real impressions to be made, but Jake DeBrusk stood out the most among the Bruins’ three first-round picks based solely on his size. Listed at 6-foot-0 and 174 pounds, DeBrusk looks a bit bigger and thicker. Pandolfo said the 18-year-old is not done growing, so he could be a powerful player down the road.
“He plays hard. … He’s still got plenty of room to put on weight, but he was a little taller than I thought, too,” Pandolfo said. “If he can keep gaining some weight and add size, it’s going to help us for sure.”
– Former Bruins forward and current Bruins scout P.J. Axelsson served as a coach for Tuesday’s sessions. As a responsible forward who hails from Sweden, he would figure to be a good influence on 2015 second-round pick Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson.
Other coaches included Bruins assistants coach Joe Sacco and Doug Jarvis, goalie coach Bob Essensa, Providence head coach Bruce Cassidy, Providence assistant coach Kevin Dean and skating coach Kim Brandvold.
– Miami University center Sean Kuraly, whom Boston acquired from the Sharks in the Martin Jones trade, is among the attendees. Pandolfo said after the on-ice sessions that Kuraly “fits the mold of a Bruin.”
– Pandolfo isn’t wild about spending much of the camp scrimmaging, though he did say he’s thinking about potentially having a 4-on-4 scrimmage on Friday. That would provide some of the stronger skaters an opportunity to showcase their attributes.
|Bruins announce development camp roster||07.08.15 at 7:58 pm ET|
The Bruins announced the roster for next week’s development camp on Wednesday. The group of prospects is headlined by the team’s trio of first-round picks from last month’s draft, as well as development camp mainstay Zane McIntyre.
The roster is as follows:
Forwards: Noel Acciari, Jack Becker, Anders Bjork, Anton Blidh, Colby Cave, Peter Cehlarik, Jake DeBrusk, Frank Dichiara, Ryan Donato, Ryan Fitzgerald, Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, Jesse Gabrielle, Colton Hargrove, Danton Heinen, Justin Hickman, Cameron Hughes, Alex Iafallo, Joonas Kemppainen, Sean Kuraly, Andrew Poturalski, Zachary Senyshyn, Brandon Tanev, Frank Vatrano, Mike Vecchione
Defensemen: Matt Benning, Brandon Carlo, Brien Diffley, Zach Frye, Mark Hamilton, Max Iafrate, Emil Johansson, Jeremy Lauzon, Rob O’Gara, Jakub Zboril
Goaltenders: Michael Garteig, Zane McIntyre, Daniel Vladar
Dichiara, Iafallo, Poturalski, Tanev, Vecchione, Diffley, Frye, Hamilton and Garteig will attend the camp on an invite basis.
The annual prospect camp, now in its ninth year, will begin Tuesday at Ristuccia Arena.
|New Bruins Matt Beleskey, Jimmy Hayes arrive in Boston||07.07.15 at 5:32 pm ET|
New Bruins Matt Beleskey and Jimmy Hayes met with the press at TD Garden Tuesday. Both players come to Boston with the pressure of improving an offense that struggled last season, but the duo embrace the idea of playing in Boston.
For Hayes, it’s a return home. The Dorchester native is on his fourth organization at just 25 years of age, but it’s the organization he’s long wanted to call his employer.
“This has been a dream come true for me,” Hayes said. “To be able to come home to my hometown and my family and be able to have this opportunity to win another championship for this city is a dream come true.”
The 6-foot-6 right wing is coming off a 2014-15 season in which he scored a career-high 19 goals for the Panthers. Upon being traded to the B’s last week for Reilly Smith, Hayes inked a three-year contract extension with a $2.3 million average annual value.
Even richer is Beleskey, who took a five-year contract worth $19 million (an AAV of $3.8 million) on the first day of free agency. The trade of Smith and Marc Savard‘s contract for Hayes’ rights gave the B’s financial flexibility to sign the player with some breathing room against the salary cap’s $71.4 million upper limit.
Beleskey is the most notable player the B’s have added in an offseason that has seen Dougie Hamilton (Flames) and Milan Lucic (Kings) depart. Beleskey figures to replace Lucic on David Krejci‘s left wing, but he says he’ll play wherever coach Claude Julien feels is appropriate.
“I’m going to play my same game: be a power forward, get in on the forecheck and go to the net hard,” Beleskey said. “That’s what I’m going to do, and if he sees me play wherever, it doesn’t really matter. I’m going to do what he needs me to do, and he’ll put me where he thinks I belong.”
The 27-year-old Beleskey hopes to build on the first 20-goal season of his career. Asked whether the vacancy in Boston’s top six (and thus opportunity to skate with Krejci or Patrice Bergeron) made the B’s an attractive destination, he said Boston would be an ideal landing spot regardless of the roster.
“It’s the Boston Bruins. It’s an extremely attractive place to be,” he said. “I looked at their team, and I talked with my agent, my family, and it’s always been a place I’ve liked.”
One pressure that Beleskey won’t face is that of playing in his hometown. The Windsor, Ontario native is far from home, whereas Hayes now has the opportunity ‘ and potential burden ‘ of playing in front of friends and family.
Hayes says he hasn’t gotten ticket requests just yet, but given that his father is a ticket broker, that might work out well for his family.
“I’ll leave that one for my dad,” Hayes said with a grin. “Keep his ticket business going in a little bit.”
|Bruins sign Jimmy Hayes to 3-year deal, Brett Connolly to 1-year deal||07.06.15 at 2:34 pm ET|
The Bruins have signed right wings Jimmy Hayes and Brett Connolly to new contracts, the team announced Monday.
Hayes’ contract is a three-year deal with an average annual value of $2.3 million, while Connolly has agreed to a one-year contract with an AAV of $1.025 million.
With Hayes and Connolly signed, the Bruins have approximately ($66,410,667) committed to 20 players for next season.
While the Bruins owned both players’ rights as restricted free agents, both players will look to make a name for themselves in Boston next season after playing the bulk of their NHL careers elsewhere.
Connolly, acquired at the trade deadline from Tampa for a pair of second-round picks last season, played just five games for the Bruins after returning from a hand injury suffered in his first practice with the team. The 23-year-old had no goals, two assists and 10 penalty minutes in his late-season stint in Boston’s lineup.
The sixth overall pick in the 2010 draft, Connolly had 12 goals in 50 games for the Lightning last season before being moved to the B’s due to a surplus of right wings in Tampa.
Hayes, 25, was acquired last Wednesday in a deal that sent Reilly Smith and Marc Savard‘s contract to the Panthers. The Dorchester native was a second-round pick of the Maple Leafs in 2008 before being traded to Chicago in 2010. He played parts of three seasons for Chicago prior to a trade to the Panthers in November of 2013. The Boston College product enjoyed the best season of his career last season for Florida, scoring 19 goals and adding 16 assists for 35 points in 72 games.
The team also signed forward Brandon DeFazio to a two-way contract.
|Chris Breen signs 1-year, 2-way deal with Bruins||07.02.15 at 3:49 pm ET|
The Bruins signed defenseman Chris Breen to a one-year, two-way contract worth a potential $600,000 at the NHL level on Thursday.
Breen, a 26-year-old left shot blueliner, spent all of last season with the Providence Bruins. It was his first season in the Bruins organization after playing the first four years of his professional career with the Flames organization.
The 6-foot-7, 224-pound defenseman will have his work cut out for him if he seeks a spot in Boston, as the B’s have a number of blueliners contending for a spot in an offseason that has seen the departure of Dougie Hamilton and the addition of Colin Miller.
|Taking a look at Bruins roster after busy start to offseason||07.02.15 at 12:15 pm ET|
If you’ve forgotten what exactly the Bruins roster looks like after all these moves, it’s understandable.
In a nutshell, the Bruins have moved things around offensively while taking a step back defensively this offseason. The team has multiple candidates to take jobs on both offense and defense, though the team’s top-nine looks more or less set at this point.
Including goaltender Jeremy Smith ($600,000 on a two-way deal), the Bruins have approximately $63,085,667 against the cap committed to 18 players for next season.
Here’s our attempt at a forward/defense depth chart after Don Sweeney’s flurry of moves. (Read it vertically rather than horizontally, as these are not projected lines.)
|Bruins sign Jeremy Smith to 1-year deal||07.01.15 at 9:25 pm ET|
In announcing their flurry of acquisitions Wednesday, the Bruins slipped in an interesting name that had yet to come up during free agency: Jeremy Smith.
The B’s announced that they had signed the goaltender, who split time with Malcolm Subban in Providence last season, to a one-year, two-way deal worth $600,000 at the NHL level. That would make it likely that Smith will at the very least contend to be the backup in Boston behind Tuukka Rask next season.
Smith has never played in the NHL. The Bruins have had mixed results with giving unproven veteran AHLers their backup gig in recent seasons. Chad Johnson proved to be a steal for $600,000 in the 2013-14 season, while the team lost faith in Nicklas Svedberg last season on the same contract. Svedberg bolted Boston early in the offseason to play in the KHL. Both Johnson and Svedberg had one-way deals, however, so Smith could easily be stashed in Providence for less money should he not make the big club.
Assuming Smith makes the team, the Bruins have $63,085,667 against the cap committed to 18 players for next season.