|Report: Bruins sign Jared Knight, Ryan Spooner||07.19.11 at 11:52 am ET|
According to Kirk Luedeke (one of, if not the best, hockey prospects writer out there) of the New England Hockey Journal, the Bruins have signed both of their 2010 second-round picks in right wing Jared Knight and center Ryan Spooner to three-year entry level deals.
The signings of the player in no way impacts their standing with the big club, as the 19-year-olds would both have to return to their OHL clubs if they don’t make the Bruins this season. They do not have AHL eligibility for the full season given that they are under 20 and haven’t played four years of junior hockey. Both did finish last season in Providence, however on amateur tryout agreements. Knight had a pair of assists in three games, while Spooner had two goals and an assist in his three contests.
Knight, selected 32nd overall in 2010, was a product of the Phil Kessel trade, as the pick used to select him was acquired in the Sept. 2009 deal. He had 25 goals and 45 assists for 70 points for London (OHL) last season. Spooner, selected 45th overall, had 35 goals and 46 assists between Peterborough and Kingston (both of the OHL) last season.
Both players were singled out by B’s general manager Peter Chiarelli as players who impressed at this summer’s development camp.
“For a guy like Spooner, one of the things that we told him at the end of last year and at development camp and at training camp, was he has to put the time in to get better, to get stronger, to get bigger,” Chiarelli said. “And he did. He did do that, and all the testing showed that. There’s still room to improve, but you could tell, we take the testing very seriously and Ryan put the time in and you could see it in his play. He had a little more spring in his step with the puck, he had a little more bulk in his, he was able to protect the puck a little bit better.
“You see it firsthand, so a guy like Knight, he was already last year in tremendous shape and this year he’s even improved.”
|Jared Knight on expectations and the Brian Wilson obsession||07.07.11 at 8:39 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Given that Tyler Seguin made it to the NHL as a rookie, only two of three Bruins’ pieces of the Phil Kessel deal were present at the open of development camp at Ristuccia Arena on Thursday. While 2011 ninth overall pick Dougie Hamilton (the player chosen with the other first-round pick acquired in the trade) was surrounded by a large media scrum that lasted as long as the Bruins’ availability, Knight didn’t attract as much attention. This isn’t his first rodeo, so the getting-to-know-you stage of Knight’s relationship with the Bruins is a thing of the past.
The 32nd overall pick of the 2010 draft impressed in last year’s development camp and into the team’s training camp, the latter of which he was cut from on Sept. 24. After finishing the OHL season with 70 regular-season points (25 goals, 45 assists) and six more in the playoffs, Knight signed an amateur tryout agreement and played the final three of the games for Providence. He picked up a pair of assists in the AHL.
“Last year, I think I put a lot of pressure on myself,” Knight recalled Thursday. “I was a little nervous coming in. This year, I’m a little nervous, but not as nervous as last year. I kind of knew what to expect.”
Now, the fans that have packed the stands at Ristuccia are a familiar sight. Knight could certainly compete for an NHL this year, but knows that there’s a time for that, and that it isn’t over the five-day development camp. Assistant general manager Don Sweeney has cautioned the players about over-thinking things, telling them “the Bruins are here to learn about you, and you’re here to learn about the Bruins and how we do things.” Back for a second time, it’s a message Knight has listened to.
“For me, this is my second time coming in here, so I have a little more experience. Really in development camp, you just come in and you try to work hard and try to show your best,” Knight said. “Sweeney said ‘You’re not coming here to make the team, you’re coming to make a good impression.’ That’s what I’m going to do, just work my hardest and just play hard.”
With the retirement of Mark Recchi and the free agent departure of Michael Ryder to the Stars, the signing of Benoit Pouliot means there remains a forward spot open heading into next year. While it could, in theory, be filled by a potential return of Marc Savard, it also means one of the youngsters could seize it themselves. Jordan Caron figures to play more than the 23 games at the NHL level he played a season ago, and in the spirit of healthy competition, the Bruins would have to be pleased with a group of their prospects making cases to play in Boston.
THE BRIAN WILSON OBSESSION
While Steven Kampfer and Seguin are both on Twitter, there is no better tweeter in the Bruins’ organization than Knight (@JKnight97). Interestingly enough, though, Knight does not even use a picture of himself to represent his account. Instead, it’s a picture of San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson.
“I love Brian Wilson,” Knight said Thursday. “He’s a crazy guy. I love the way he pitches. Other than hockey players, he’s my favorite athlete. He’s pretty cool. He’s pretty weird. I watch some of his interviews. He’s kind of psycho.”
Knight’s idol doesn’t exactly come from far away, as Wilson hails from Londonderry, N.H. The Michigan native has yet to cross paths with Wilson, but perhaps with the notoriety of being an NHL player will come such an opportunity.
“I haven’t met him. That would be pretty cool to meet him,” Knight said. “That’s one thing I want to do, is meet him, because he’s just different than everyone else.”
Knight may be a big fan of Wilson’s, but he doesn’t seem willing to copy his look yet. Missing is the shoe-polish-colored beard on the clean-shaven 19-year-old.
“If I could grow a beard like him, I would grow something like that,” Knight said. “I can’t yet. Maybe one day.”
|Bruins prospects used to fighting… each other||at 6:26 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Some of the forwards at this week’s Bruins development camp could end up fighting for a spot on the Stanley Cup champions’ opening night roster. For some of the OHL players in town, the fight is nothing new. They’ve already fought each other.
The Bruins have some experienced dancers in camp in 2011 third-round pick Anthony Camara and 2009 sixth-rounder Tyler Randell. The two one another, as they are from the same area in Ontario and work out together back home. Before they knew they’d be in the same organization, they also knew each other from another experience, and it did not involve gloves.
The two squared off back on Jan. 15, when Randell’s Kitchener Rangers were playing Camara’s Saginaw Spirit. They dropped the gloves in the Kitchener zone in a fast-paced, spirited (no pun intended) bout.
“That was a bit of a weird fight,” Randell recalled Thursday. “We squared off. One of my teammates ended up tripping him up, so finally we got together and went down pretty quick.”
Camara wasn’t the only in-house dance partner of Randell, as the 6-foot-1, 195-pound Randell fought a rather unlikely opponent on Nov. 15 in right-wing prospect and 2010 32nd overall pick Jared Knight. There are certainly no hard feelings between any of the three players, and Knight and Randell actually sit next to each other in the Wilmington dressing room. Having their conversation interrupted with a question about the time they fought was something they didn’t mind.
“It was my only fight of the year, and it was against a heavyweight like him,” Knight said, slapping Randell on the back.
Halfway through the third period of a game in which Kitchener was crushing Knight’s London Knights by a 7-1 score, Knight gave Randell a little something along the half wall, and when Randell came back seconds later, the gloves came off.
“It was [7-1]. I didn’t really realize it was him,” Knight recalled with a grin. “I gave him a cross-check to the face, I think. He didn’t like it, so I dropped my gloves, he dropped his gloves and it wasn’t a very long fight. … It was [7-1], and there was probably no reason to fight, but I did it.”
Any past bouts between prospects are long forgotten by now, and if anything, they’re a good conversation piece for the players. Knight and Randell said they chatted with one another from the penalty box after their fight, and on Tuesday they laughed about the lack of actual punches exchanged.
“We know our role, and we know what we have to do,” Randell, who got in 21 scraps in the OHL last year, said. “You could be great friends or you can hate each other, and you still do the same job on the ice. When you’re off the ice, it’s a whole different world.”