A day of challenges for Bruins rookies in matinee vs. Avs


A day of challenges for Bruins rookies in matinee vs. Avs

The Bruins' young guns were impressive in the season opener, accounting for a couple of the goals and a handful of points in the 4-3 win over Nashville.

The challenge now will be for players like Jake DeBrusk, Anders Bjork and Charlie McAvoy, among others, to maintain that performance through an 82-game regular season, and that will be apparent when those players suit up for a Monday afternoon matinee against the Colorado Avalanche at TD Garden.

The Bruins haven’t beaten the Avs at home in their last nine meetings dating back to 2001, and many of them have been sleepy, low-emotion affairs that you sometimes see in non-conference match-ups. With the Bruins' youngsters not used to participating in the afternoon matinees that pop on an NHL schedule, they need to find a way to manufacture readiness in a potentially challenging setting.

“We have to guard against [low energy] because we have got some young players that might be used to playing at night all the time,” said coach Bruce Cassidy. “We have to make sure with our group that we’re up and at them and on-time. Colorado has been out East for a while and going through New York, so they should be adjusted.

“We just need to play our game. [The Avs are] probably not coming in here in the greatest of moods after losing to New Jersey, but we need to concern ourselves with being ready. I don’t say that facetiously because some of our young guys just aren’t used to it, and we have to get them going . . .  because we have a lot of them in the lineup.”

Everything will be a “first-time” experience for the Bruins rookies, who are so crucial to the success of this year’s team, and Monday represents another one of those challenging experiences. The good news is that Boston’s group of youngsters have good heads on their shoulders and seem ready for these moments.

“The tempo, the style of play, it’s NHL it’s the real deal. No slouches out there,” said DeBrusk. “There are usually one or two guys on each team [in juniors or the AHL] that you can try to circle and expose but there wasn’t one [in his NHL debut], that’s for sure.”


Bruins trade target Hanifin traded to Calgary

File photo

Bruins trade target Hanifin traded to Calgary

Former Boston College defenseman Noah Hanifin, a Bruins trade target who they once tried to trade up to get in the 2015 draft, has been traded from the Carolina Hurricanes to the Calgary Flames in a deal that includes former B's defenseman Dougie Hamilton going to Carolina.

The 'Canes sent center Eric Lindholm and Hanifin, both restricted free agents who rejected Carolina's most recent contract offers, to Calgary for Hamilton, winger Micheal Ferland and prospect defenseman Adam Fox, who was a third-round pick in 2016 now playing at Harvard,

The Bruins have a longstanding interest in Hanifin that goes back to their efforts to trade up for him in when he was the fifth overall pick three years ago. The Canes likely sought Bruins left winger Jake DeBrusk in the hefty package they were seeking for Hanifin. 




Bruins choose Swedish D-man, Czech forward with first two picks

Bruins choose Swedish D-man, Czech forward with first two picks

DALLAS – On the second day, the Bruins finally got involved in the NHL draft at the American Airlines Center and made a few picks. The day started in the second round (57th overall) with the B’s selecting young Swedish defenseman Axel Andersson from Djugardens, a 6-foot, 183-pounder from the Swedish junior leagues who's put up pretty good offensive numbers with what’s said to be pretty good skating ability.

"It meant a lot to me and my family," Anderson said. "My mom is in tears right now, and we just hugged each other. It was a big day for me."

In the third round (77th overall), the Bruins took Czech center/left wing Jakub Lauko, who played for Team Czech in the World Junior tournament this past season. Lauko, 18, is 6-foot, 179 pounds and is a speedy, tenacious forward from the assorted scouting reports on him. Lauko was expected to be drafted higher than the third round and certainly didn’t lack for confidence in saying he’s one of the fastest skaters in the draft.

“My speed is my biggest strength. I think I’m one of the fastest players in the draft, so I want to use my speed to help a team like Boston,” said Lauko, who said he only spoke with the Bruins scouts at the NHL combine earlier this month in Buffalo. “[Detroit Red Wings'] Dylan Larkin is the same like me. He’s a really fast guy that likes the breakaways. I think in this way we are the same.”

Lauko compared himself to Larkin and the speed game is certainly one that the Bruins are continually interested in with their prospects.

There was a very funny moment when the Czech-born Lauko was asked what his parents do (for a living), and he misunderstood the question and answered: “I don’t know? Maybe they will drink tonight.”

In the fourth round (119th overall), the Bruins took big center Curtis Hall, a 6-foot-3, 191-pounder who's committed to Yale next season and who scored 13 goals and 31 points in 54 games last season for the USHL Youngstown Phantoms.  

In the sixth round with the 181st pick, the Bruins selected 6-2, 188-pound defenseman Dustyn McFaul out of the Ontario Junior Hockey League. McFaul is considered a strong two-way D-men with good size and skating ability and is committed to play at Clarkson University. 

With their final pick (seventh round, No. 212), the Bruins selected forward Pavel Shen, 18, from Russia. The 6-1, 183-pounder got into 29 KHL games last season with 12 goals and 14 assists, which is impressive considering his age.