Countdown to Camp: David Krejci
Countdown to Camp: David Krejci
From now until the beginning of training camp, Bruins Insider Joe Haggerty is profiling players who will be on, or have a chance to be on, the 2016-17 Bruins. Today: David Krejci.
Bigger and better things are expected from several players on the Bruins roster, and one is David Krejci. He's battled hip problems in each of the last two seasons, and it was particularly bad in the second half last year. That considered, his 17 goals and 63 points actually weren't now bad. But now that he's healthy, the Bruins should be able to once again build around their top two frontline centers . . . provided Krejci doesn’t end up getting traded.
What Happened Last Year
Krejci got off to a good start, and his 17 goals and 63 points in 72 games are right in line with the playmaking center’s career marks. But it was clear that he was really struggling in the second half of the season as hip pain impacted his skating and explosiveness. Three goals and 12 points in 19 games, along with a minus-3 rating, in March and April when the Bruins needed him most wasn’t good enough, and it was a direct reflection of how the injury affected him. Also, the Bruins weren't able to find consistent wingers to pair with Krejci, as they have in the past. It’s a credit to Krejci that he was able to play through these things and put up numbers that look like something of a normal season.
Questions To Be Answered This Season
Krejci turned 30 last April and will be motivated coming off surgery to show he’s still got all of the offensive jump, explosiveness and skill that he did in his 20s. Krejci also knows he needs to be one of the keys for the B's to make it back to the playoffs, so it will be on him to be more productive. With his good health back, Krejci should be fully capable of taking advantage of a system that’s geared for players like him. There’s also the simple question of whether Krejci will remain with the Bruins, considering their logjam of centers and the necessity for defensive help. There were whispers of Krejci’s name on the trade market this summer, and that could intensify this season if Boston’s back end remains a big roster weakness.
In Their Words
“I felt like we had some good chemistry going. It was tough to see [Loui Eriksson] go, but I’m getting kind of used to seeing my guys, my favorite guys, going away [like] Milan [Lucic], Nathan [Horton] and [Jarome] Iginla. So I’m going to have to play my game, and find chemistry with whoever is going to play on my line.”
– David Krejci, who has become used to playing mix-and-match with his wingers after going a long stretch with Milan Lucic on his left and another power forward on his right.
Krejci has been at captain’s practice from the very beginning: Working with the Bruins training staff, pacing himself through practices, and slowly pushing himself toward being ready for the regular season. The rehab cost Krejci his chance to play for Team Czech Republic at the World Cup of Hockey, but it should have him ready to post one of the best seasons of his career. Krejci should be able to improve on those 17 goals and 63 points now that he’s fully healthy again, and he will make whichever wingers he’s skating with that much better. The only question, as mentioned previously, is whether he's is in the Bruins' long-term plans after they signed David Backes, Dominic Moore and Riley Nash to go along with Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, Ryan Spooner and Noel Acciari at center. It would appear that at least one of those players must move, and it would make sense that No. 46 would get the most return in trade once he proves that he’s healthy during training camp.