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B’s strength coach once viewed Lucic as a ‘stringbean’

Detroit Red Wings v Boston Bruins - Game Five

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 26: Milan Lucic #17 of the Boston Bruins celebrates his goal against the Detroit Red Wings in the third period in Game Five of the First Round of the 2014 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on April 26, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham) (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

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If you were to compile a list of the league’s most unstoppable physical forces, Milan Lucic would be close to the top. As this fascinating Boston Globe story reveals, he didn’t exactly come to the Boston Bruins as a complete product.

It’s easy to roll your eyes when someone talks about a prospect “growing into his body” or being able to do much more once he puts on some weight, yet it sounds like Lucic is a prime example of that actually working out.

Bruins strength coach John Whitesides apparently frequently regales Lucic with the story of his less-than-glowing analysis back when the power forward was being evaluated at the combine.

“They all told me how tough Lucic was,” Whitesides said. “I was like, this kid is tough? Really?

“I say it to him all the time. He always comes in, he’s like, ‘Tell me what you said about me at the combine.’ Because I looked at him, I didn’t write anything about him, but I’m like, this kid? This kid’s tough? He was a stringbean.”

The 26-year-old must have been a quick study, though. He was drafted 50th overall in 2006 and played in 77 games during the 2007-08 season. He’s now listed at 6-foot-3, 235 lbs and, again, is easily on the short list of the NHL’s most intimidating forwards.

Read on more here for some really interesting insight into how the Bruins (and probably other NHL teams) make decisions about prospects and how much things have changed even in just the last decade.

Follow James O’Brien @cyclelikesedins