Boston Bruins center Mathew Poitras is emerging as a legit candidate to break camp with the Bruins’ 2023-24 roster.
With the Boston Bruins expected to have a wide-open battle for the bottom-six center slots, Poitras’ play thus far has increased the chance that the 19-year-old could jump from junior hockey to the NHL this fall. Due to his age, Poitras cannot be assigned to the team’s AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins, and must be reassigned to his junior club, the Guelph Storm, in the OHL. Once Poitras or any player on a slide-eligible contract plays ten games, he will have burned a year on his contract.
Boston Bruins Head Coach Jim Montgomery has loved what he has seen from Poitras but has remained realistic about the chances that he, his coaching staff, and team management will find themselves in the aforementioned dilemma of sending Poitras back to the OHL or keeping him on the Bruins’ NHL roster.
“It’s a big challenge because it’s a man’s league out there,” Montgomery pointed out recently. “He didn’t see the NHL [Sunday]. So, it’s a really good start, but that’s what he needs to do, right? He played a really good game. Is he going to get another game? As he keeps playing, he’ll get rewarded; continue to get rewarded. It would be a pleasant surprise if he was able to do it.”
The 2022 second-round (54th overall) draft pick made it clear to the media that he is soaking in all the knowledge the coaching staff is pushing him to bring his game at the pro level.
“For me, it’s just they’ve told me my d-zone stuff. To play at the next level, you’ve got to be reliable and be able to be trusted on the ice and taking draws in your own end,” Matthew Poitras said after notching a goal and an assist in his first preseason game with the Bruins. “So, for me, it’s just trying to be hard on pucks. Get body positioning. Be in the right area for the D (defensemen) if they need me coming up the middle. So, I think just keep supporting the D, being strong down low, and being a bit physical in our own end.”