BRIGHTON, Mass. – Now that the first day of training camp has arrived, the Bruins coaches finally unveiled some of the things they’ve been drawing up over the summer with the players present on the ice. One player not on the ice was sniping winger Frank Vatrano, who is expected to play an expanded offensive role on the NHL roster this season.
The 21-year-old Vatrano was missing from both sessions with what is reportedly a lower body injury. Bruins assistant coach Joe Sacco wasn’t really able to expand on that following the double-session camp practice.
“I’m not sure of the exact status with Frankie,” said Sacco. “I’m sure that’s something Donnie will talk to the medical staff about, and if there’s something there I’m sure they’ll notify you guys.”
Of the players that were ready to go on the ice, a David Krejci line with youngsters Zachary Senyshyn and Danton Heinen on his wings highlighted the afternoon practice group. That’s a lot of playmaking skill with Krejci and Heinen working together, and a dash of speed and scoring punch with Senyshyn skating on the right side as he recovers from an appendectomy.
“We just wanted to give some speed to that line [with Senyshyn]. One thing I noticed today just from watching him is that his speed jumps out at you right now. I think that was the thought putting those two together was ‘let’s see what this kid can do.’ He’s obviously scored a lot of goals in junior hockey,” said Sacco of Senyshyn, who scored 46 goals for the Soo Greyhounds of the OHL last season after being selected 15th overall by the B’s in the 2015 NHL Draft. “For Day One, I thought he did okay. He kind of fatigued a little toward the end, but it’s the speed factor he brings.
“Heinen can make plays. He’s a left-handed shot and with a right-handed center-man in David [Krejci] there’s an ability to work give-and-goes and things. I think that’s something we looked at. It’s early and it’s just a look, so we’ll see how it goes.”
Here are the line combos and D-pairings from both Group A and Group B after the first Thursday session with David Pastrnak, Tuukka Rask, David Backes, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Claude Julien still indisposed with the World Cup. David Pastrnak made a cameo in the B’s dressing room following the second session now that the Czech Republic has been eliminated.