Bruins announce next round of camp cuts, getting close to final group

bruins_training_camp_2019.jpg
File photo

Bruins announce next round of camp cuts, getting close to final group

The Bruins have made a bulk of their training camp cuts with one final preseason game left on the schedule this weekend ahead of next week’s start to the NHL regular season.

Young players Ryan Fitzgerald, Kyle Keyser, Joona Koppanen, Jeremy Lauzon, Zach Senyshyn, Pavel Shen, Oskar Steen, Urho Vaakanainen and Robert Lantosi have all been cut from training camp and assigned to Providence. Paul Carey, Brendan Gaunce and Alex Petrovic have also been waived as of noontime on Thursday with the intent that all three players will report to P-Bruins camp as well. Petrovic was signed to a one-year, two-way deal for $700,000 after coming to Boston training camp on a professional tryout and will obviously start the year in Providence with the Bruins well-stocked on the back end.

The 27-year-old Petrovic has played in 263 NHL games for the Florida Panthers and Edmonton Oilers over the course of his career, and had his best season in 2015-16 when he posted two goals and 17 points in 66 games.

The 6-foot-4, 216-pounder plays a rugged, physical style of defense and certainly will provide some depth insurance while he’s in the AHL. But the Bruins are currently running seven D-men deep on the NHL roster and still also have Kevan Miller and John Moore recuperating from injuries to start the season.

So a great many bad things would probably need to happen for Petrovic to get a sniff of the NHL level anytime soon.  

The cuts leave the Bruins with bubble players Anders Bjork, Jack Studnicka, Trent Frederic, Peter Cehlarik and Jakub Zboril still competing for roster spots, and veterans David Backes and Steve Kampfer looking secure in protecting their spots on Boston’s roster. Bjork probably has the strongest chance of cracking the NHL roster to start the season given current injuries to David Krejci and Joakim Nordstrom, but their presence indicates just how strong each of those young players has performed at this fall’s B’s training camp.

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Bruins make first training camp cuts at 'difficult camp' for young hopefuls

Bruins make first training camp cuts at 'difficult camp' for young hopefuls

BRIGHTON, Mass. — The Bruins made their first cuts of NHL training camp over the weekend with their preseason schedule halfway over, and Providence Bruins camp for their AHL farm club set to begin on Monday. Young D-men Axel Andersson and Wiley Sherman were sent down to Providence this weekend, and Samuel Asselin, Chris Breen, Alexey Solovyev, Brendan Woods and Cooper Zech were all assigned to the P-Bruins as well.

The moves still leave the Bruins with a few young faces in NHL training camp as more veterans will be inserted into the lineup for the three home preseason games beginning tonight at TD Garden against the Philadelphia Flyers. But Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy has been quick to point out that there aren’t many open spots for young hopefuls this time around for the Black and Gold coming off last year’s Stanley Cup Final run, and taking into account all of the different players with NHL contracts in this season’s camp.

“This year is a more difficult camp to find a spot in the lineup. We just have more returning players. It doesn’t mean you can’t beat a guy out, but it’s more difficult than maybe last year where we created some competition at different spots hoping that a young guy would take over. This year [there are fewer openings] just because of the trade for Coyle and the growth of [Karson] Kuhlman. There’s competition for that right wing spot with [David] Krejci, but we like what Kuhlman did.

“It makes it tougher for those young guys trying to crack the lineup. So what you’re trying to do is identify yourself as a depth player that can be the first call-up in certain situations. That’s about the best you can do with the hand you’re dealt.”

Take for example, young center Jack Studnicka, considered by most to be Boston’s top young prospect entering his first season as a pro. Studnicka has been solid in camp and did his best to bulk up a bit in his first real shot at an NHL job, but it’s also pretty apparent the 21-year-old is going to be best served by some development time in the AHL where he can keep getting bigger and stronger.

“It’s going to be tough in the middle for Jack. We’d have to move pieces around, which we said we would do [if he was ready]. But I don’t think he’s there yet and that’s fine. With Jack there is great hockey instincts and great will, but I just think he hasn’t grown into his body yet strength-wise. It is what it is,” said Cassidy. “But we like how he’s playing. Is he ready to unseat anybody? I wouldn’t say so yet.”

With the numbers beginning to get pared down, here’s the expected lineup for tonight’s first preseason game at TD Garden this fall. Conspicuously absent from Monday night’s starter-filled Bruins lineup is Patrice Bergeron, who should make his only preseason appearance in Saturday’s finale at TD Garden vs. the Blackhawks just a few days before the start of the regular season:

Marchand-Coyle-Pastrnak
DeBrusk-Krejci-Ritchie
Heinen-Frederic-Wagner
Lauko-Kuraly-Backes

Chara-Clifton
Vaakanainen-Petrovic
Zboril-Didier

Rask Vladar

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Bruins' Jake DeBrusk happy to be rocking the 'full-grown mullet' in camp

Bruins' Jake DeBrusk happy to be rocking the 'full-grown mullet' in camp

BRIGHTON, Mass – It was obvious that something was different with Jake DeBrusk from the very first moment he was spotted at Bruins captain’s practice last week.

DeBrusk, 22, was sporting a magnificent mane flowing out from underneath his helmet when he was first spotted at Warrior Ice Arena, and he made sure it was primped and featured when the Bruins players sat down for training camp photo and video shoots this week. 

DeBrusk’s mullet screams out hockey player, of course, even if it also screams out “hockey player from another era” when you get right down to it.

But that’s the point, apparently.  

DeBrusk finally talked about his hockey hair following the first day of on-ice sessions Friday at training camp and admitted that the mullet is actually an homage to the look that his dad Louie rocked as an NHL player back in the 1990s.

“It's looking like a full-grown mullet. My dad had it one year when he played. I remember there was a hockey card I always used to see when he played where he was buzzing around with a mullet in warmups,” said DeBrusk “I thought I might as well give it a try. I’m getting mixed reviews on it, though, so we'll see how long I keep it. That’s about it. Straightaway it doesn’t look the best, so I will definitely be cutting it at some point this year.

“There was one hockey card and a couple of fights on YouTube if you want to see it where [Louie Debrusk] had the full-grown. It was worse than mine. I don’t know if I could ever catch that. It looks like I have a receding hairline a bit, so I’ve got to figure that one out.”

It seems fair that his dad got the full hockey helmet of hair capable of the beautiful mullet, and the son got the goal-scoring ability with 27 goals for the Bruins last season as a second-year left winger. All hair jokes aside, continuing to be an offense producer will be the focus for DeBrusk this coming season  – along with keeping his teammates entertained with his throwback hockey hair choice to start this season.  

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