Bruins sign prospect Jesse Gabrielle to entry-level deal

Bruins sign prospect Jesse Gabrielle to entry-level deal

Perhaps lost in the shuffle of a losing streak ending with a rousing win over the Canadiens was the Bruins signing forward prospect Jesse Gabrielle to an entry-level contract last weekend.

The 19-year-old Gabrielle, a fourth-round pick by Boston in the 2015 draft, currently has a team-leading 19 goals and 30 points for the Prince George Cougars with 32 penalty minutes and a plus-nine rating in 25 games this season. That’s coming off his third WHL season where Gabrielle posted 40 goals and 75 points for Prince George in an impressive offensive output to go along with a gritty, agitating game that reminds some team officials of a certain Bruins winger.

“He’s very energetic. He’s got a good shot. He reminds me a little bit of Brad Marchand in his early years: He’s a little bit reckless, and at times maybe he’s not controlling his emotions,” said Claude Julien of Gabrielle, who is the seventh of 10 players to sign contracts from the loaded 2015 draft class. “But from three years ago to this year, I thought he’d progressed there so hopefully he’s on that line of progression. But he’s got a lot of upside. He’s got some speed, he’s got some skill and he’s got a great shot. He’s not afraid to get involved.

“For him it’s more about cleaning up the parts of his game that are going to eventually allow him to become a good pro.”

One would expect Gabrielle will be one of a number of young B’s prospects that should get a cup of coffee in the AHL at the end of this season after a solid NHL training camp a few months ago. That would put the talented young forward on track to eventually get to Boston if his development keeps moving forward at the current rapid pace. 

And if Gabrielle turns into the next Marchand, well then the Bruins are really onto something that could be a lot of fun if agitator senior and junior ever play in the same lineup together. 

Donato misses Bruins practice for Harvard class commitment

Donato misses Bruins practice for Harvard class commitment

It might have caused a ripple when Ryan Donato wasn’t on the ice on Tuesday afternoon in St. Louis for Bruins practice on the day after his brilliant, three-point NHL debut for the Black and Gold. But the 21-year-old Donato was still back in the Boston area fulfilling some class requirements at Harvard University to help him close out the current semester properly, and not lose the credits that will keep him in line with fulfilling his junior year at Harvard University.

Believe it or not, the schoolwork is important to the newest member of the Boston Bruins and he intends to study and hit the books on his road trips, and also intends to take classes in the summertime to still graduate on time next season.

“I’m planning on finishing the semester academically. I want to finish the semester academically,” said Donato, after Monday’s morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena prior to last night’s debut vs. Columbus. “Obviously it’s going to be something that’s difficult, but for me it was a dream to graduate from Harvard. I’m putting that off a little bit, but I need to be able to finish this semester in order to have that opportunity, and not put it off for another couple of years. I want to finish out the semester.”

Donato is also still living in the Harvard dorms while “moonlighting” as an NHL hockey player for the rest of the season, but that isn’t all so uncommon among some of the college players that leave school early. Charlie McAvoy was similarly living in the Boston University dorms last spring through Boston’s playoff run, and didn’t clear out of his college living situation until after the Black and Gold had been eliminated by the Ottawa Senators last April.

Missing practices on an NHL schedule is certainly a new one with, Donato, however, and takes the student-athlete concept to a whole new level for somebody that's already turned pro. One has to expect this was one of the things being discussed in full when the Donato family, Ryan's agent and the Bruins discussed his contract terms over the weekend before coming to an agreement.

Along with Donato, who is scheduled to fly into St. Louis and play against the Blues on Wednesday night, Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, Charlie McAvoy, David Backes, Jake DeBrusk, Rick Nash and Torey Krug were all missing from the ice at Tuesday’s team practice ahead of a four game road trip against Western Conference opponents.


Morning Skate: Claude's Habs 'not a very good team'

File photo

Morning Skate: Claude's Habs 'not a very good team'

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while not really digging these forecasts of more snow.

*You know, if he weren’t making millions and millions of dollars I might actually feel bad for ol' Claude Julien up in Montreal busting out the “We’re not a very good team” soliloquy with the Habs. That team flat out stinks this season and these past few weeks it can’t be fun at all being the head coach of that dumpster fire.

*Darren Dreger says there is no rush for the Toronto Maple Leafs to bring back Auston Matthews before he’s ready to go, and that’s absolutely the case so close to the playoffs.

*Here are five Hart Trophy-caliber players that won’t get a sniff of the voting, but deserve some attention nonetheless. There are no Bruins players on the list if you’re wondering, but some pretty good ones in Johnny Gaudreau and Aleksander Barkov.

*The NHL general managers are weighing potential changes to the goalie-interference interpretation ahead of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

*While it still looks a Swedish defenseman is going to be the No. 1 overall pick this June, there are some other players rocketing up the list.

*For something completely different: The definitive ranking of Girl Scout cookies from best-to-worst that we’ve all been waiting for.

*Song of the Week: Haven’t done one of these in a long, long time, but I like this Calvin Harris/Katy Perry/Pharrell Williams tune that I hadn’t heard until the past couple of days.