Yup, I borrowed a cliche from the other fall/winter sport for the title. Of course here we are talking about the men between the pipes, manning the little blue area in front of the net, stopping galvanized rubber being shot at them at upwards of 100 miles an hour. Six young men showed up at Development Camp this year for the Bruins, all of them talented and hoping to some day sport the spoked “B” on their chests. So here they are…
Zane Gothberg – Not his first time here at camp, Zane showed that he has some skills and was working them good. Zane appeared to struggle with pucks over his glove hand, but that issue does not belong to Zane alone. Zane didn’t appear to wander that much from the front of the net, but watching him shoot passes across the ice to fellow net-minder Niklas Svedberg, he can handle the puck fairly well.
Parker Milner – Well, I’ve been accused of playing favorites from time to time (see Milan Lucic and Ryan Spooner), and Parker is the latest in the line. In this case, it’s true. I’ve seen Parker stand on his head in the Beanpot finals against Boston University and in the Hockey East quarters against UMass. So when I saw his name on the list of campers this year I was ecstatic. Watching him close up he has the skills to get the job done. The biggest thing I can say against him is that he needs to close up the “5” hole. Most of the pucks that got by him were in that location. His GAA in his junior year in 34 games was a minuscule 1.66. He moves well around the net but doesn’t handle the puck more than necessary and he doesn’t seem to wander far from the crease. This is one talent to keep an eye on as a senior at Boston College.
Adam Morrison – Adam was a nice invite to camp this year. He showed flashes between the pipes but has some work to do. He knows what he needs to work on and he appears to have a good base to build the skills from. He made some nice stops during the scrimmages and stopped the pucks down low and showed a very active glove hand.
Malcolm Subban – Two words…As Advertised. Malcolm gets down to his knees and back up as quick as anyone I’ve seen. He is very athletic and quick, gets post to post with ease. Malcolm is very competitive but knows how to have fun! He and Koko were having a good old time for themselves during practices where Koko was unable to participate due to his recovering from a lacerated kidney. The two of them were trying to one-up each other in a shoot out style competition. The one area he may need to work on is getting to the high stick side, where he seemed to let most of the pucks get past him, but with another couple years before he will be seen in Boston on a permanent basis, he’s got the time to fix that.
Niklas Svedberg – Yes, Niklas may be compared to Ron Hextall, but that isn’t entirely a bad thing. Ron was a very good goaltender but couldn’t seem to maintain it during the playoffs. The main reason for the comparison, however, is the behavior on the ice. Niklas has had a few fighting majors during his career, but didn’t show that kind of aggression at camp. He is competitive, and that did come out. He is good post to post and covered the short side well, but like others in camp, he appears to need to concentrate on the high glove area (an area of need for most European goalies, it would appear). Niklas carried himself well and it would seem that he can move the puck well. Svedberg didn’t wander from the crease much, making it difficult to determine how mobile he truly is.
Lars Volden – Another camper who was present last year. Lars appeared to level off this camp. That’s not to say that he has nothing to show. Lars can still get down to his pads and up again and has good post to post coverage. Struggled with the high glove side (sensing a pattern yet), but very good tracking the puck. He didn’t appear to come as far out of the crease during this camp as last year but there also weren’t as many opportunities to do so during the scrimmage. During shoot outs he did show that he is always aware of the net area while backing in. Would like to see more of Lars as he progresses.
So there you have it. I know it took longer than it should have, but I wanted to give every one of the campers equal time. Overall the camp was successful in that it showed us that the Bruins scouting department is doing their due diligence on the young gentlemen hoping to make an impact in the NHL someday. None of the campers present has been promised a job, but there were a few that could crack the lineup at some point during the season. And if the whisperings are to be believed, the Bruins may have a new big man patrolling the blue line out of training camp this year.