Bruins

Could Oskar Steen be a dark horse forward candidate for Bruins this season?

Could Oskar Steen be a dark horse forward candidate for Bruins this season?

BRIGHTON – This summer is the fourth Bruins development camp for Swedish draft pick Oskar Steen, and should be his last as a prospect rather than a player who can help the NHL club.

That’s because the 21-year-old Steen is headed to North America this season, where he'll develop his game in the AHL with Providence in a first real attempt at winning an NHL roster spot.

That news may not be noteworthy for a former sixth-round draft pick from four years ago, but Steen is worth paying attention to. He has looked good in past development camps, flashed in 2018 with a feisty performance for Team Sweden at the World Junior tournament and was among the Swedish League’s leading scorers last season with 17 goals and 39 points in 46 games for Farjestads BK Karlstad.

“It’s very exciting for me. I’m looking forward to the season,” said Steen. “I look up to a guy like Karson Kuhlman who was here [at development camp] last year and now he’s played in a Stanley Cup Final after having a really good season. He’s a really good guy and I look up to how he did it [last season]. Signing for the Bruins was very big for me. I’ll get there in September [for training camp] and do my best.

“I was at the rookie tournament four years ago so I know a little bit about the game [in North America] and I’ve played in some international tournaments here. So I know a little bit, but it might take me a little time to adjust.”

It's interesting that Steen notes Kuhlman as a role model, as Steen could be the kind of player who makes the steady progression to NHL level that Kuhlman managed last year. 

He has a long way to go before he’s doing any of these things at the NHL level for the Bruins, but he’s also a potential center/right wing who could really flash this season at a position where the B’s could use somebody to step up. It’s a long way from proclaiming him a legit candidate for a top-six spot where the Bruins could use another dynamic player, but there’s also no reason that Steen shouldn’t be listed with in-house Black and Gold organizational candidates like Peter Cehlarik or Zach Senyshyn, either.

“His development has gone exactly how we’d hoped," said Bruins Coordinator of Player Development Jamie Langenbrunner. "To say the transformation from a little boy a couple of years ago to a man now. The game this year was very good in that league he was top-10 in scoring. I think his competitiveness and his willingness to get inside on people is going to translate even better over here [in North America] than it did on the big sheet over there."

“He should be a very effective player for us in Providence to start and we’ll see how quickly he can translate that to be on the radar for [Bruce Cassidy] and the guys [in Boston]. In general sub-5-foot-11 guys have a hard time playing in the middle in the NHL. There’s not a lot of them, but we’re going to look at him [in Providence] at center and on the wing. He’s one of those guys that gives us some versatility.”

One of things that stands out about Steen beyond his scoring ability is the hard-nosed way he plays the game, as attested by his 49 penalty minutes logged in 46 games last season. The 5-foot-11, 181-pounder was nearly suspended for the Gold Medal game in the 2018 World Junior tournament when he slashed Kailer Yamomoto of Team USA at the very end of a win for Team Sweden, and clearly plays with an edge that little guys tend to need at the pro hockey level.

Steen is another interesting young forward who's going to be added to the Bruins mix come September, and could be a name heard from at the NHL level not long after that given his skill set and the B’s needs up front headed into this coming season.

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Bruins legend Bobby Orr has kind words for Mass General employees battling COVID-19

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File Photo

Bruins legend Bobby Orr has kind words for Mass General employees battling COVID-19

Count Bobby Orr among the athletes that are offering their thanks to those battling the coronavirus.

Orr wrote a letter to Massachusetts General Hospital thanking the people involved in the battle against COVID-19. Here's a look at some of what the legendary Boston Bruins defenseman had to say in his letter, per Mass General's official website.

Undoubtedly, the days and weeks ahead will test us all in many ways. But none will be tested more than those of you who continue to manage, treat and research the virus day after day after day. Given your efforts and expertise, I have great confidence in the eventual outcome of this pandemic, in no small measure because of the excellence I have personally witnessed at Mass General.

To all of you, please ... keep on fighting the good fight, and thank you so much for all you do.

That is certainly a kind gesture by Orr and one that echoes how thankful a lot of people are for the dedication of these hospital staffers during these incredibly difficult times.

Bruce Cassidy 'thinks it all comes back quickly' for Bruins if NHL returns

Bruce Cassidy 'thinks it all comes back quickly' for Bruins if NHL returns

The Boston Bruins last played competitive hockey on Tuesday, March 10, a 2-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Shortly after that, the NHL suspended operations amid the global coronavirus pandemic. And at this point in time, it's unclear when -- or if -- the league will resume the 2020 season.

But Bruce Cassidy isn't letting that bother him too much. The Bruins head coach knows that the decision is out of his control, but the team's potential is what's keeping him motivated as the suspension drags on.

"We’re not done. We have a lot left in us. A good team, a good chance to win a Stanley Cup and that’s what motivates me," Cassidy said, per The Athletic's Joe McDonald. "The powers that be will decide that down the road and hopefully we get our opportunity."

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And if the Bruins do get that chance, Cassidy doesn't expect it to take long for the team to get back in the swing of things.

"Once we get together I think it all comes back quickly," Cassidy said. "We’ve all been through this for a long time, so for us getting back into work mode will be an easy transition."

The B's are a veteran-laden team, so the time off may benefit them more as they get fully healthy and recover from a long NHL season. Still, it's worth wondering how long it may take for them to get their legs underneath them if the season does start up again.

But given their torrid start to the season, in which they scored points in 13 of 14 games after playing into the summer in the battle for a Stanley Cup, they should have a good chance to come out well-rested and ready to go as Cassidy expects.

That said, there's no timetable on a potential return for the NHL. And until then, the B's will have to wait and mentally prepare for what will hopefully another long summer of hockey.