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Ryan Spooner shines as Bruins prospects wrap up development camp 07.02.12 at 2:41 pm ET
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Ryan Spooner

WILMINGTON — The Bruins’ sixth annual development camp is in the books, as the B’s prospects finished the six-day camp with a power skating session and a scrimmage Monday at Ristuccia Arena.

Forward Ryan Spooner was the star of the day, scoring two goals for the white team in the black and white scrimmage. Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli called Spooner “one of the usual suspects” when it comes to players pushing for an NHL job this season along with fellow 2010 second-round pick Jared Knight and defenseman Dougie Hamilton. Both Knight and Spooner will head to the AHL if they don’t make the team out of camp, as they finished their junior careers last season in the OHL.

More to come from camp.

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Ryan Spooner and Jared Knight eyeing spot in Boston 06.30.12 at 11:50 pm ET
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Ryan Spooner is hoping to get consideration from the Bruins parent club heading into training camp this season. (AP)

WILMINGTON – Dougie Hamilton has made headlines as the player most likely to make it to Boston for the 2012-13 season out of the development camp this week. While he has the best shot at making the NHL roster, there are a few others that are probably not as far off as one would think.

Ryan Spooner and Jared Knight, who were both selected in the second round of the 2010 draft (Knight was taken 32nd overall, Spooner was taken 45th overall), are among the next tier of prospects who have a shot grabbing the 12th forward spot in Boston.

While the Bruins currently have 11 healthy forwards on the roster (12 if Nathan Horton can return in time for the start of the next season), there is a chance that Spooner or Knight impresses the coaching staff enough to earn the final spot on the roster. However, they would have to beat out any veteran free agents that the team signs along with any AHL player in line to make the jump to the next level, such as newly acquired Chris Bourque, or Carter Camper.

“Yeah, it’s going to be hard for them,” said Peter Chiarelli on Friday. “What we told them going into this camp is that you’re going to have an opportunity to make the team. There’s obviously some that are more likely than others to have that opportunity, but what we’ve done in the past and what we will do in the future is that, if they knock our socks off, we will find room for them.”

The tough task ahead to make the roster does not deter Knight, who said he is shooting to make the NHL club.

“I’m not going to go into camp thinking I’m just going to get sent down to Providence,” Knight said. “I think if I put in a lot of work these next seven or eight weeks I can give myself a chance. You never know with injuries or trades or things like that … That is out of my control though. I’m just coming to camp ready to play.”

Spooner also said that he would try his best to make the NHL team, but that right now he is just focused on improving his attention to detail.

“Hopefully one day I can make it to the National Hockey League,” Spooner said. “Right now I am just focusing on doing all the little things that are going to get me there.

“I think skill-wise I could keep up. But I think the little things, like I said, my strength, how to adjust to that type of game, [I need to improve on].” Read the rest of this entry »

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Looking back and ahead: Daniel Paille 05.17.12 at 12:32 am ET
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With the Bruins’ season in the books, WEEI.com will take a look at each player on the roster one-by-one to provide some perspective on what went wrong this season and what the future holds for the 2011 champions.

Daniel Paille played 69 games for the Bruins in 2011-12. (AP)

Daniel Paille

Age: 28

2011-12 stats: 69 games played, 9 goals, 6 assists, 15 points, minus-5

Contract status: Unrestricted free agent ($1.075 million cap hit in 2011-12)

Looking back: While the retirement of Mark Recchi and the free agent defection of Michael Ryder left some uncertainty as to how Boston’s top three lines would look entering the season, it seemed a certainty entering camp that Claude Julien would not touch the fourth line of Paille, Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton. That was indeed the case, and Julien kept the “Merlot Line,” as Thornton has long called it for the maroon practice sweaters of fourth-line players, intact.

Though the line (at least the incarnation with Paille rather than Brad Marchand) did not see its offensive success of the previous season, the trio of Paille, Campbell and Thornton continued to bring what’s required of it: energy and prolonged stays in the offensive zone.

For the most part, the former Sabres first-round pick had horrible luck this season. He was hit in the face by a Steve Staios slapshot to the face on Nov. 7. He also suffered a mild concussion on Dec. 8 and dealt with an arm injury in early March. He also found himself as the odd man out when Jordan Caron‘s torrid play down the stretch left him in the press box for four games in late March. Despite the numerous injuries and healthy scratches, Paille missed only 13 games over the course of the regular season.

It wasn’t his best statistical campaign (he still hasn’t repeated his 19-goal performance of 2007-08 with the Sabres), but it was a season in which Paille proved to be a bit of an iron man for Boston due to his ability to get back into the lineup quickly after injuries. If such goofy statistics were kept, it wouldn’t be surprising if Paille led the league in shorthanded scoring opportunities. As has long been the case with Paille, his finishing skills often let him down, but his ability to do everything but score makes him perfectly suitable as a fourth-liner and penalty killer.

Paille actually did not take a penalty in the first half of the season. In fact, his first trip to the box of the season was a fighting major that came on Jan. 16 against Ed Jovanovski, the second second fighting major of the 28-year-old’s career. He finished the regular season with 15 penalty minutes.

Looking ahead: When it comes to the Bruins’ priorities with their free agents this summer, Paille is certainly no Chris Kelly, but he’s still someone who has carved out a niche in Boston and would be a good guy to have back.

Paille is one of five Bruins forwards who are free agents (the others are Kelly, Campbell, Brian Rolston and the restricted Benoit Pouliot), so Boston’s offense could look pretty different next season. If Paille isn’t brought back, it could open up a full-time job for Caron or provide an opportunity for a youngster like Jared Knight. If Rolston retires (which he has yet to decide), a spot for Caron might be there anyway.

The 28-year-old Paille is also a great character guy who is a good presence in the Bruins’ dressing room. After spending the previous season seeing significant time as a healthy scratch, it seemed he had earned himself a full-time job in the Boston lineup this season, but he didn’t feel entitled or pout when Julien had to scratch him in favor of Caron late in the regular season. Of course, if Paille does re-sign with the Bruins, he’ll probably do so in hopes of being in the lineup every night.

Paille might never end up justifying his first-round selection (20th overall back in 2002), but he serves his role as a fourth-liner very well in Boston. Perhaps there there will be opportunities in free agency for the Ontario native to play more and on a higher line, but the Bruins would be smart to do what they can to retain his services.

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Ryan Spooner named OHL Player of the Week 11.14.11 at 7:39 pm ET
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Kingston forward Ryan Spooner was named the OHL Player of the Week for the week of Nov. 7-13 on Monday. Spooner, a second-round pick of the Bruins in the 2010 draft, had 10 points over three games during the week.

The standout performance in the brilliant week for the 19-year-old was a five-point night against Saginaw Sunday in which he scored a shorthanded goal and contributed four assists, thus factoring into all five of the Frontenacs’ goals in the 5-3 win.

Spooner is among the Bruins’ brightest prospects, and joins Dougie Hamilton (Niagara), Jared Knight (London) and Alexander Khokhlachev (Windsor) as B’s prospects currently having big seasons in the OHL.

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A look at how Bruins prospects are doing in the OHL this season 10.12.11 at 2:47 pm ET
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It’s early on in the OHL season, but here’s a look at how some of the Bruins’ top prospects are doing in juniors. Included below are defenseman Dougie Hamilton (1st round, 2011), and forwards Alexander Khokhlachev (2nd round, 2011), Jared Knight (2nd round, 2010), Ryan Spooner (2nd round, 2010) and Anthony Camara (3rd round, 2011).

Alexander Khokhlachev (Windsor)         7 GP       4 G        8 A       12 PTS

Dougie Hamilton (Niagara)                       6 GP       2 G        9 A       11 PTS

Jared Knight (London)                                5 GP       4 G        3 A        7 PTS

Anthony Camara (Saginaw)                       8 GP      0 G        5 A        5 PTS

Ryan Spooner (Kingston)                            7 GP       1 G        2 A        3 PTS

Check out the video below for highlights of Khokhlachev’s four-point night Saturday.

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Ryan Spooner, Jared Knight lead Bruins’ rookies past Islanders 09.12.11 at 9:56 pm ET
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The Bruins’ rookies defeated those of the Islanders, 8-5, Monday night at Nassau Coliseum. It was the first rookie game of the preseason, with another to follow Tuesday night in New York.

Both Ryan Spooner and Jared Knight, the two players in rookie camp who figure to push the hardest for a roster spot, had two goals apiece for the Bruins in the victory. The B’s also got goals from Dylan Hood, David Warsofsky, Yannick Riendeau and Carter Camper.

Last year, Jordan Caron figured to compete for a job on the Bruins and came out with a hat trick in the first rookie game. Knight and Spooner showing their chops early on this year should come as no surprise.

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Bruins announce contracts for Jared Knight, Ryan Spooner, Stefan Chaput, hire Kevin Dean 07.20.11 at 6:54 pm ET
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The Bruins announced four deals Wednesday, as they made the signings of 2010 second-round picks Jared Knight and Ryan Spooner official and announced a one-year extension for forward Stefan Chaput. The B’s have also hired former NHL defenseman Kevin Dean as an assistant coach of the Providence Bruins.

While Dean and Chaput will spend next season in Providence, Knight and Spooner will not. Because they are both 19 years of age and will not be 20 before Dec. 31, they will either have to make the Bruins’ NHL squad or return to their OHL clubs.

Spooner was told last year by the Bruins that he needed to put work in to get stronger, and general manager Peter Chiarelli said at this month’s development camp that Spooner clearly had done what was required of him. He echoed how much he’s been impressed by each player’s progress Wednesday.

“Both of them got a little bit stronger, a little bit faster,” Chiarelli told a pool reporter. “Specifically Spooner, his testing improved from when we did the last till now. And you can see his a little bit bigger a little bit faster, a little bit more committed. Knight was always strong, he seemed a little more comfortable with his game at that level. And they both had good junior years. So I like to see them put some work in and then we decided to sign them.”

Once again, Chiarelli offered no update on the negotiations with restricted free agent Brad Marchand.

“I’m not going to comment on progress,” he said. “We want to get him signed and we’ll continue to work towards that.”

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