Bruins Development Camp, Day 2: Thoughts and observations
BRUINS DEVELOPMENT CAMP, DAY 2
WILMINGTON -- Here are some thoughts and observations on a number of players after Day 2 of Bruins Development Camp, where the prospects went through 1-on-1 drills and did battle in the half-ice setting . . .
1. DANTON HEINEN
Danton Heinen is fun to watch with the puck on his stick. The Bruins ran through a number of breakout drills entering the offensive zone and Heinen looked completely natural setting up on the wing with his head up, looking to create plays. He has the skills the Bruins are looking for as they try to turn into an attacking team on the rush, and he showed them all off today. At one point, he found Ryan Lindgren as a trailer and set him up perfectly for a bomb from the high point that forced Daniel Vladar to make a quick glove save. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Heinen wins a bottom-six role in training camp, though a little AHL seasoning never hurt anybody in their development path.
2. EMIL JOHANSSON
I’ve watched Emil Johansson for a couple of Development Camps now, and I just don’t see it. At 6 feet and 194 pounds he isn't particularly strong, on or off the puck, and wasn’t able to keep any of Boston’s best offensive prospects from doing exactly what they were trying to do in the attack zone. Nor has he stood out with his offensive skill set (a tall order to begin with for most D-men in Development Camp). Granted, he’s only a seventh-round pick; there were never any expectations that he'd light things up. But Johansson doesn’t look to these eyes like a player who's got a future in Boston, and, at age 20. he’s running out of time.
3. OSKAR STEEN
At a listed size of 5-foot-9 and 187 pounds, Oskar Steen is the smallest player in camp. And he looked it when he was paired with Brandon Carlo during a 1-on-1 rush, opting for a perimeter shot rather than using his quickness to get to the net. But Steen also showed a good shot and the kind of skating wiggle you’d expect from a guy that size, wheeling around with the big boys. Steen looked like he was getting his feet under him on Tuesday, but definitely took a step in the right direction with a good showing on Wednesday.
4. ANDERS BJORK
Anders Bjork was the best player on the ice in Wednesday’s second session. He was blowing by defenders with his excellent skating speed, and showed the ability to finish plays with his wrist shot and by driving hard to the net. The 6-foot, 183-pounder was pegged as a likely third-line candidate at the NHL level when he was drafted, but shows some potential to play a little higher than that if his hands, skating and shot all work in tandem . . . as they have so far in camp. This is Bjork's third Development Camp and he looks comfortable and confident after leading Notre Dame in scoring last season as a sophomore. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Bruins sign him to a contract as soon as his junior season is over. He could be a wanted commodity on the free-agent market if he has another big year for the Fighting Irish.
5. JAKUB ZBORIL
Jakub Zboril is definitely in much better shape than he was at last season's Development Camp and has shown good competitiveness during game-type situations. But the defenseman still seems to be lacking a little snap during the skill-and-skating drills, and it seems like the coaching staff is looking for a little more of a “pro” attitude from the former first-round pick.
6. MARK NACLERIO
Brown University product Mark Naclerio -- one of the few camp invites after playing some games in Providence last season -- tweaked his back and may not take part in any more sessions this week.
7. JEREMY LAUZON
Jeremy Lauzon looks perfectly fine in drills, but doesn’t really stand out amongst his peers; I’m looking forward to watching him in some preseason games to see the competitiveness and the extra gear he seems to have once the puck is dropped. But Bruins coaches all raved about his work ethic and commitment to each and every drill thus far this week. It’s quite a contrast with some of the things being said about Zboril, who was taken one round earlier in the same draft class.
8. MALCOLM SUBBAN
Malcolm Subban looked healthy and was moving well between the pipes during his stints in the second session. At one point he made a great diving save on Jesse Gabrielle that seemed to show that everything -- especially his healed larynx, which was broken last season -- is in good working condition.