BRIGHTON, MA – Here are thoughts and observations from Monday’s first day of Boston Bruins development camp at Warrior Ice Arena.
- First and foremost, Johnny Beecher looked the best of anyone as he should as a former first round pick and 21-year-old with pro experience after hooking on with the Providence Bruins at the end of last season. He looked fast and big with long, powerful strides and was dangerous during the small area 2-on-2 games that really gave everybody the best look at the prospects as actual hockey players. He wasn’t wowing in the skill category, but that’s not ever going to be his game. Similar to Charlie Coyle, Beecher is going to beat people with athletic speed, strength and power and he has a bit of the mean streak that Coyle just does not as a player. Here Beecher stood out for the entire shift teamed with Providence College forward Riley Duran and ended up scoring at the end.
Bruins prospects Riley Duran and Johnny Beecher in a 2-on-2 small area drill with Beecher burying one at the end. Beecher stood out on Day 1 as he should given his resume and experience level pic.twitter.com/hb0RiTuMOn
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) July 11, 2022
- Matthew Poitras looked good upon first viewing with good hands, very good edges and good vision on the ice. I think those questioned his skating overstated things by quite a bit, and he looked every bit worth the second-round investment during last weekend’s draft in Montreal.
- On the other end of the spectrum, fellow 2022 draft pick Frederic Brunet struggled a bit with his passing, puck-handling and the other aspects of the first day with drills and 2-on-2 small area battle scrimmaging at the end. I’m going to chalk it up to nerves as the numbers he’s put up in the QMJHL denote a D-man that plays with some skill and skating prowess to his game.
- Quinn Olson, Cole Spicer, Riley Duran, Andre Gasseau and Ty Gallagher all had some pretty good moments during drills and looked the best of the drafted prospects that the Boston Bruins had out there on Monday. Georgi Merkulov comes into this kind of setting with a lot of hype about his skill and playmaking ability, but it didn’t really come out in large amounts amongst the prospects Boston has in this camp.
- One player that had a rough day? Porter Schachle, a free agent power forward invite from UVM. He didn’t do a number of drills the way the coaches wanted the players to execute them and seemed confused at points amongst a majority of players that seemed to pick them up and execute them pretty quickly.
- It was disappointing to everybody that Boston’s best forward prospect (Fabian Lysell) is missing while training in Sweden for the World Junior tourney in August, and their best defenseman prospect (Mason Lohrei) is missing while recovering from a lower body injury suffered at the end of his college hockey season. Boston Bruins Player Development Director Jamie Langenbrunner said the player himself was disappointed he couldn’t get his feet wet and get acquainted with the Bruins staff, but it couldn’t be helped given the funky schedule this summer due to COVID. “You know, [Lysell] was disappointed, quite honestly,” Langenbrunner said. “He wanted to be here. It’s an opportunity for him to meet everybody and be around. But after talking through it with him, it just makes more sense [to skip development camp]. For him to bounce back and forth, it would mess up his summer way too much. Disappointing, but we’re dealing and kind of just going with the flow with a lot of these things. It’s kind of the way it goes. We’re very happy with the way he progressed as the year went on. Definitely an adjustment the first half of the year, mostly off ice to [with] living on his own, being away from home, a new culture and all that. But he grew and grew, and then his playoff run, and you know [in] the most important time of the year, he was playing his best hockey and really put that team on his back. He’s a great kid. He’s gonna be a good player.”
- It was, quite honestly, great to see Danielle Marmer out on the ice working with the Boston Bruins player development staff while putting the B’s prospects through the motions on Monday morning. Don Sweeney and Cam Neely confirmed on Monday afternoon that the former Quinnipiac University player and director of player development/hockey ops for Quinnipiac’s women’s program has been hired in the B’s hockey ops department and will be working with the B’s prospects moving forward. “Diversity and inclusion is paramount to moving forward, and I applaud San Jose, I applaud all the teams that have added diversity to their staffs. You know, we didn’t do something reactionary, we did something because we wanted to,” said Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney. “Danielle Marmer is someone that was part of our Diversity & Inclusion scouting program and worked her way through there for an entire year working with our staff and we just felt that she was a terrific fit for where we wanted to go in the directive and the things that she had been doing at Quinnipiac, and what she could apply to our Hockey Operations, and we’ll continue to do that. We are trying to hire great people that want to work for the Boston Bruins and improve our hockey club and Danielle added to that. And anybody else that we come across in the same manner, we are going to try to continue to push the needles in those areas.”
Former Quinnipiac player and current QU director player development & operations Danielle Marmer here working as one of the coaches at Bruins Development camp pic.twitter.com/Z0SCxm7Cvt
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) July 11, 2022