BRIGHTON -- Jake DeBrusk was just a wide-eyed kid a year ago at his first Bruins rookie camp fresh off being selected in the first round. But DeBrusk still managed to impress Bruins coach Claude Julien with his willingness to battle as a “skill player”, and the kind of hockey smarts he showed off in game situations as the son of a former NHL player in Louie DeBrusk.
This time around DeBrusk brought the offense with him as a more experienced 19-year-old winger with a decent shot at winning an NHL roster spot with the Black and Gold, and scored a goal in each of the two rookie camp games in Buffalo. In both instances DeBrusk was set up by fellow forward prospect Peter Cehlarik, and scored power play goals showing off both his excellent shot and his ability to move into scoring positions without the puck.
COUNTDOWN TO CAMP PREVIEWS
DeBrusk is overjoyed at getting his training camp off to a strong start with the rookies, and now the talented winger is geared up to fight for a roster spot with a group of fellow B’s forward prospects.
“The games and just they were being played, I felt way more comfortable and back to myself,” said DeBrusk, who was held to 21 goals in 61 junior games last season while battling through injury issues. “It felt nice to score some goals; that’s for sure. I got some really good passes. Pretty much both of them were identical, and I’ll always score those ones.
“I’m looking forward to the next step now, and just want to keep going. I [think I got to show] my game, my style and how hard I work from goal line to goal line. Being in and around the net and my goal-scoring touch, I think I did a good job of that over the weekend. I think a lot of [Bruins prospects] were able to show their worth. I was happy with how I played, and was able to show my style of hockey.”
DeBrusk, Heinen and Cehlarik all enjoyed extremely good rookie camps, and will join the fray with other veterans like Peter Mueller to compete for at least one open winger spot among Boston’s top-9 forward group this season.
Now it’s up to DeBrusk to dig into main training camp as it starts on Thursday, and keep showing off the shot, release and hockey IQ that’s allowed the youngster to score goals at every level of hockey he’s played at during his young career.