Bruins ready to see the future at development camp

Bruins ready to see the future at development camp

As the Bruins have turned their focus in recent years to draft-and-development as an NHL organization, the annual Bruins Development Camp has taken on more importance and a higher profile among yearly events.

Some years have been more memorable than others, of course. Who could forget the 2010 camp when Tyler Seguin made his first appearance in Bruins gear, or in 2014 when an 18-year-old David Pastrnak showed off the jaw-dropping skill that’s turned him into one of the best young players in the NHL?


But every summer the best and brightest of Boston’s prospects, draft picks and young players they’d like to get a better look at will convene at the Bruins practice rink, and give fans, media and management types alike a much closer look at their developing games.

This time around the Bruins will invite 29 players to the development camp that begins on Tuesday at Warrior Ice Arena including the five players draft last weekend in Dallas, and interestingly enough also including 28-year-old Martin Bakos after he was signed out of the Czech Republic a few weeks ago. The prospects expected to draw the most interest will be B’s top forward prospect Jack Studnicka, 2017 first round pick Urho Vaakanainen and a couple of European players in Oskar Steen and Joona Koppanen that really impressed with their play for Team Sweden and Team Finland respectively in last winter’s World Junior tournament.

While there will be plenty of curiosity about the progress of Vaakanainen’s game as he plans on playing most likely in Providence this season, most of the eyeballs will be on the new youngsters getting introduced to the Bruins way after hearing their names called at the draft last weekend.


“We’ll get those kids into development camp,” said Don Sweeney, of the five young players selected last weekend on the second day of the draft. “It’s a quick turnaround this year and we get a chance to evaluate some of them and welcome them aboard.”

There’s no word on which members of the Bruins management group will even be in Boston for development camps opening day on Tuesday as the B’s will be sending a contingent to the West Coast to sit down and pitch John Tavares on the finer points of being a Bruin.

Here’s the roster for the development camp that’s open to the public and begins at 11 a.m. on Tuesday morning at Warrior Arena:

BOSTON BRUINS 2018 DEVELOPMENT CAMP ROSTER:

(Players are listed in alphabetical order by last name, * denotes a camp invite)

Forwards: Martin Bakos, Stephen Baylis*, Jack Becker, Henry Bowlby*, Mitchell Fossier*, Curtis Hall, Joona Koppanen, Karson Kuhlman, Philip Lagunov*, Jakub Lauko, Tom Marchin*, Cedric Pare, Pavel Shen, Oskar Steen, Jack Studnicka, Colin Theisen*

Defensemen: Nick Albano*, Axel Andersson, Philip Beaulieu*, Victor Berglund, Daniel Bukac, Lucas Ekestahl-Jonsson*, Teemu Kivihalme*, Dustyn McFaul, Urho Vaakanainen, Nick Wolff*

Goaltenders: Kyle Keyser, Jeremy Swayman, Dan Vladar

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Bruins announce camp dates, preseason schedule

Bruins announce camp dates, preseason schedule

The Bruins announced camp dates and their eight-game preseason schedule, which, as previously announced, begins on Sept. 15 and 19 with games in China against the Calgary Flames. 

The Development Camp will be June 26-29 at Warrior Ice Arena in Brighton, Mass.; rookie camp opens Sept. 6 at Warrior (with the Prospects Challenge rookie games in Buffalo vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sept. 7, the Buffalo Sabres on Sept. 8, and New Jersey Devils on Sept. 10).

The main training camp opens on Sept. 10 at Warrior. 

In addition to the two exhibition games in China, the Bruins will have a squad play the Washington Capitals in a preseason game at TD Garden on Sept. 16 and then have a squad travel to Washington for a game Sept. 18. Other exhibition games are Sept. 22 in Detroit vs. the Red Wings; Sept. 24 in Philadelphia vs. the Flyers; Sept. 26 vs. the Red Wings at TD Garden; and Sept. 29 vs. the Flyers at TD Garden.

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Haggerty: Could Vatrano be in danger of not making Bruins roster?

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Haggerty: Could Vatrano be in danger of not making Bruins roster?

BRIGHTON, Mass – With it getting down to crunch time for the Bruins opening night roster and the final version due into the league offices by Tuesday afternoon, Frank Vatrano might just be in jeopardy of not making the cut. 

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Vatrano, 23, entered training camp at an important early crossroads in his career coming off two NHL seasons where he showed flashes of scoring, but never really put it all together for an extended stretch.

"I think my overall game needs to be better. I need to be a complete, 200-foot player and I think I just need to bring consistency night in and night out," said Vatrano in the first few days of camp. "Obviously your 'A' game needs to be there more consistently, but you also need to bring your 'B' game if the 'A' isn't there. This is my third year, so I feel a lot more comfortable being here having relationships with the guys and with the coaching staff."

It remains to be seen if that comfort level is a good thing or a bad thing for Vatrano, who still has quite a bit to prove in the NHL. 

Last season, Vatrano finished with 10 goals and 18 points in 44 games, along with a minus-3 rating, and played all six playoff games against the Ottawa Senators. This fall, however, both Anders Bjork and Jake DeBrusk have made strong pushes for NHL roster spots and by all accounts, Vatrano has been pretty average in the competition for a third-line spot.

Unfortunately for him, he’s competing with Matt Beleskey, Tim Schaller, Noel Acciari, Teddy Purcell, Danton Heinen and Sean Kuraly for the three final forward spots and that means somebody expected to be on the big club is probably going to fall short. Kenny Agostino was placed on waivers on Friday afternoon, so it would appear that he won’t be on the NHL roster to start things off after an injury-plagued camp.

It would be easier for it to be Vatrano because he doesn’t have to pass through waivers at this point in his young NHL career and because the Bruins are expected to put an emphasis on penalty-kill candidates given the mass number of face-off/slashing penalties in the preseason.

That all spells possible trouble for Vatrano as a sometimes power-play performer, but definitely not a guy who's been used extensively on the PK unit in his pro career. Instead, it might give bigger, grittier players Schaller and Kuraly a better chance of securing those final few roster spots and leave Vatrano excluded from a Bruins roster where he was thought to be a lock entering camp.

Clearly, Bruce Cassidy wasn’t happy with the middling effort after a 5-1 exhibition loss to the Flyers on Thursday night in Philadelphia and signaled a warning shot to camp participants currently on the bubble.  

“We weren’t competitive enough. The first period, we put ourselves in a tough spot, we took four penalties. A couple, I wasn’t sure what they were, but they’re tough to kill. We were playing against a good team,” said Cassidy. “We were on the road and then you get a couple of disallowed goals, it just seems like we were chasing the game the whole night. If that’s going to happen, you need your guys here pushing for jobs to give you energy to get you back in it. That didn’t happen either, at least not enough.

“I don’t know if there was a lot of [positive developments], to be perfectly honest. I’ll watch it again to see the things we did well. They were better than us. Like I said, the start didn’t help. These types of games during exhibition when you’re traveling the same day, you want to get off to a decent start to stay energized. We didn’t do enough to do that and we put ourselves in a bad spot.”

It remains to be seen if it’s too late for bubble guys like Vatrano to secure jobs with big performances in the preseason finale Saturday night against the Blackhawks, but the fact the Massachusetts native is in that position at all is a bad sign for the way his preseason has rolled out.