While it was clearly overshadowed by the Kevan Miller contract extension last week, the Bruins also inked Seth Griffith a one-year, two-way deal that could end up helping the Black and Gold next season.
Griffith had an excellent season with the Providence Bruins, finishing second in the AHL with 77 points (24 goals, 53 assists) in 57 games, and forged a nice little bit of chemistry with scoring machine Frank Vatrano in the AHL.
The 23-year-old Griffith only saw a brief cameo role in Boston, going scoreless in four games, but the 5-foot-9, 192-pounder should get more of a look in training camp as he reaches a do-or-die point for his NHL chances.
The skilled forward could be a very affordable NHL answer on the wing as the Bruins fill out their forward lines, or it might be simply as a depth player dependent on injuries at the NHL roster. Some of it will clearly depend on what kind of roster reshuffling Don Sweeney does with his NHL group the next few months.
The six goals and 10 points in 30 games two seasons ago featured some highlight reel goals and clearly revealed some NHL skills within the talented, young player. But it was also clear the former fifth-round pick was going to have to make up in hockey smarts, quick shooting release and hands what he didn’t really have in the skating speed and strength areas.
Claude Julien also said he hopes to see a little more consistency from the youngster, who would go from dazzling, leaping goal through the air to disappearing on some nights when he got an extended look in just his second pro season.
“I think with Seth, he came in a couple years ago and had a bit of a stint, and you know he did okay. But I think from him probably consistency is what I’m hearing. I don’t see him playing all the time in Providence. All I can rely on a little bit is what he’s done here. And you know he came up for a few games this year; we didn’t quite see enough so he ended up going back,” Julien said last week at the press conference for the Miller signing. “He’s had some good spurts there in Providence is what I’m being told. Consistency is probably what you want from Griff.
“He’s a skilled player; he skates fairly well. But at the same time, at the NHL level here the biggest thing is you try and find players that you know what you’re going to get on most nights. So if he can improve in that area I think that’s going to be a big boost for him.”
It remains to be seen next season if it could potentially be a big boost for the Boston Bruins or again for the P-Bruins, where he has routinely produced the past three seasons.