Alex Chiasson is betting on himself again as he prepares to attend the 2023-24 Boston Bruins training camp on a professional tryout.
With a crowded roster heading into camp, the NHL betting odds are against Chiasson, but this isn’t his first rodeo when it comes to going the PTO route. This will be the fifth time the 32-year-old, 6-foot-4, 208-pound winger and former Boston University forward is trying to make an NHL roster on a professional tryout. Following his first skate with his potential new teammates on Friday at Captain’s practice, Chiasson didn’t mince words when describing what it’s like for an NHL player in his situation.
“It sucks,” Chiasson replied.“It’s tough. I won a (Stanley) Cup in 2018, and I had to go to Edmonton on a PTO. I left with my backpack and a suitcase, and you don’t really know where you’re going to end up. I ended up having my best year of my career that year, I had 22 goals.
I think I have a good support system at home — my wife’s been great. It doesn’t get any easier. I think as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that — and I’ve always said this: It’s a privilege to play in the NHL. You can’t take this for granted, and I know one day when I stop playing, whenever that is, that I really put it all out there. I could have taken the easy way out, but whatever opportunity that came my way, I fought for what I believe in, and that’s to play in the NHL.”
Alex Chiasson‘s career has been an NHL betting underdog story. He had six goals and three assists in 20 games for the Detroit Red Wings last season. The 32-year-old, 6-foot-4, 208-pound winger also had nine goals and 11 assists in 29 games with the Red Wings’ AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins.
The Dallas Stars selected Alex Chiasson in the second round (38th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. After scoring 36 goals and amassing 63 assists in three seasons with Boston University, the Montreal, Quebec native signed a three-year, $2.7 million ($866,667 AAV) entry-level contract with the Dallas Stars. He played nine games with the team’s AHL affiliate, the Texas Stars, down the stretch run of the 2011-12 season and then made his NHL debut the following season, scoring six goals and one assist in seven games. Chiasson had 13 goals and 22 assists in 79 games of his first full season in the NHL in 2013-14.
After two seasons with the Stars, Alex Chiasson would go on to play for the Ottawa Senators (2014-2016), the Calgary Flames (2016-17), the Washington Capitals (2017-18), the Edmonton Oilers (2018-2021), the Vancouver Canucks (2021-22), and then the Detroit Red Wings last season. His best season came in 2018-19 when he scored 22 goals and had 16 assists in 73 games for the Oilers.
As he mentioned, Chiasson was also a member of the Washington Capitals when they won the Stanley Cup in the 2017-18 season. He had nine goals and nine assists in 61 regular season games that season and one goal and one assist in 16 playoff games.
Now Chiasson believes he has a chance to be on another Stanley Cup contender in the Boston Bruins.
“This game has given me so much. [I] try to keep it going, try to squeeze a little bit more out of it, and [I’m] excited for this opportunity,” Chiasson said on Friday. “I think where I’m at in my career, the two things I was really looking forward to on a team I was looking at was: A). Was there an opportunity for me to come in and earn a spot? There’s obviously a lot of teams that have tons of forwards, and teams are in different phases, winning or whatnot. I think that kind of brings me to my second point: I wanted to be on a team that was competitive.”
Chiasson will be one of a plethora of forwards competing for a job in the bottom six forward group for the Boston Bruins. The Bruins also signed forwards Morgan Geekie, Milan Lucic, Jesper Boqvist, Patrick Brown, John Farinacci, and James van Riemsdyk. to contracts this offseason.