BRIGHTON, MA – Here are some final thoughts and observations from Boston Bruins development camp after the five days of practice sessions at Warrior Ice Arena with Boston’s best and brightest young hockey prospects.
- Boston Bruins Player Development Coordinator Jamie Langenbrunner singled out BC-bound Oskar Jellvik, second round pick Matthew Poitras, big defenseman Ryan Mast and former first round pick Johnny Beecher as the four standouts from this week. “I think it varied. Some guys we see all the time, so you don’t see the big gains as much as others. A guy like Oskar Jellvik, he popped a little bit. That’s not a guy that we see a lot. His skill level and his creativity [were noticeable]. The second round pick this year, Matthew Poitras, stood out for me with his [hockey] sense and his willingness to play on the inside. Ryan Mast, his body has changed and he’s moving so much smoother now and has confidence with the puck. That was a big move from last season. Those are three guys on the prospect’s side. We’ve seen Johnny Beecher and the way he carries himself around here now is completely different. He’s got a leader mentality and he looks like a pro. There are different levels of what you’re watching and what you’re hoping for from guys.”
- A team of seven prospects won the “Lipper Cup” for the 3-on-3 tournament with Riley Duran, Quinn Olson, Matthew Poitras, Marc McLaughlin, Michael Callahan, Dans Locmelis, Mason Langenbrunner and goalie Philip Svedeback taking it home at the end when McLaughlin buried a rocket shot in overtime.
The winning 3-on-3 Boston Bruins development camp squad won it with a Marc McLaughlin rocket in OT. Matthew Poitras, Dans Locmelis, Riley Duran, Mason Langenbrunner, Marc McLaughlin, Quinn Olson, Michael Callahan and Phillip Svedeback 🏆 pic.twitter.com/c2tpQyfGzZ
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) July 15, 2022
Truly, though, this team won because it featured a number of the best performers over the course of the week. Olson got better as the week went along and had an excellent Friday session where he was in the middle of a great offensively, including this quick feed to Poitras for a goal during the small area games.
Quinn Olson & Matthew Poitras teaming up for a Poitras snipe during 3-on-3 play. Strong final days for both players. Langenbrunner on Poitras: “His (hockey) sense & his willingness to play inside really stood out to me” pic.twitter.com/GhVyhV0hmT
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) July 15, 2022
Poitras was good all week with creativity and great on-ice vision that translated into some really slick passing and playmaking along with finding his offense on plenty of occasions. McLaughlin was one of the best players in the camp as he should be given his NHL time last season and continues to show that he can make things happen with his excellent shot. Locmelis was another player that was good all week showing excellent hands and offensive skills. Poitras and Locmelis give a lot of optimism to the group of players that Boston selected in the draft last weekend in Montreal. Riley Duran got noticeably better as the week went along coming off a long stretch where he hadn’t been hockey since the Providence College season ended, and by midweek was playing the power game that Boston envisions for him as a 6-foot-2 forward with strength, skill and physicality. Svedeback was the camp’s best goalie in this humble hockey writer’s eyes. None of the Boston Bruins goalie prospects looked like they’re going to be a Jeremy Swayman-level ace, but Svedeback showed notable battle levels in all practice situations and made some excellent saves.
- Some of Boston’s other prospects were up and down. Brett Harrison had a quiet week, but then showed up in a big way at the full-ice scrimmage at the end of the week with a goal after crashing the net and another play where he set up another goal. Reid Dyck definitely looks like a project at the goaltender position despite the athleticism and some nice saves that he made during the week. Frederic Brunet seemed to improve as the week went along, but he looked like he wasn’t quite ready for the level of competition when things got going. The one lasting image for me will be fellow D-man prospect Jackson Edward throwing him over the boards onto the benches during a 3-on-3 battle drill midweek. He looks like he needs more development time at the QMJHL for sure. Jake Schmaltz, Matias Mantykivi and Cole Spicer all had their moments as well, but didn’t really stand out among a pretty strong group of forwards.
- Trevor Kuntar had a good week. He’s strong on his skates, very physical and was in the middle of the action most of the time he was out on the ice. Andre Gasseau played fast for his 6-foot-4 size and was noticeable most of the week as well. Georgii Merkulov showed skill and some really dynamic creativity with the puck, but you can also see that he’s got some work to do at the defensive end of the ice. Jackson Edward was consistently physical all week and was another of this summer’s draft picks that looks like he’s got some potential. Ty Gallagher showed his skill level and clearly has a lot of talent, but there also feels like there’s a lot of high risk to his game as a defenseman right now. On the undrafted camp invites, Riese Gaber was the clear standout as a 5-foot-8 University of North Dakota forward and is somebody the Boston Bruins will have a keen interest in potentially signing after his college hockey season is over. “He’s a really good hockey player. He’s got what I believe you need if you’re going to be able to play at that size. He’s got a lot of courage. He’s got a lot of willingness to get underneath guys and his motor is non-stop. With [Jake Schmaltz at North Dakota] we saw him a lot this year and we’ve really liked for a couple of years now. When he’s ready [to jump to the NHL] I’m sure we’ll be there with an opportunity for him.”
- Of the other undrafted free agents, Providence’s Jamie Engelbert had some really good moments around the net using his 6-foot-4 size and strength to finish off plays and acquitted himself well.