Not everything went off exactly as expected on the first day of the 2014 edition of Bruins development camp. Sitting in the crowd, one could sense that the fans were just a little unhappy about the more than one hour late kickoff to this year’s party. But once the campers hit the ice all appeared to be forgiven. Then snag number 2…Malcolm was nowhere to be found. With only two goaltenders in camp this year, it was a little more noticeable than it might have been in years’ past. Again the situation was rectified as Mr. Subban made his fashionably late appearance. By the way, he looks bigger too.
The 2014 edition brings 23 campers to Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington, Mass. Twelve of these young gentlemen have been bere before, with goaltender Zane Gothberg present for his fourth development camp. He is having a solid, if not somewhat spectacular college career at North Dakota, and the Boston Bruins staff appear more than excited to be patient when it comes to this young man. Working with Bob (Essensa, goaltending coach), Zane can be seen asking questions and performing the tasks set to him. During one drill, Zane’s ability to go post to post showed just how quick he is to cover that blue real estate in front of the net.
The aforementioned Malcolm Subban, the first pick for the Bruins two years ago, made his third appearance at Boston’s annual camp. Standing tall, he appeared bigger than years prior, however, after researching it, Malcolm is as tall as he was on draft day, potentially an inch larger. One thing that was noticeable was that he was playing much further out of his crease than in the past, something that he has been knocked for, as he appeared to play a lot deeper in his net, a much riskier way of doing things.
A couple other quick notes before heading off to day two…
The only draft pick not present was 4th rounder Danton Heinen.
There are seven invitees to camp this year, the youngest, Billy Sweezey is still in high school. The oldest, Oleg Yevenko, is 23 and plays at UMass Amherst.
Speaking of Mr. Yevenko, he is a big man. 6’7″ and 230 pounds (as listed by the Bruins), his body appears to be NHL ready, but that is as far as it goes at the moment. He would definitely be a project, but as he has been draft eligible since 2009, there may be more work here than any team may want to invest. Skating and footwork appeared to be issues. Yevenko struggled in the corner while trying to gain possession of the the puck during one of the drills.
Matthew Grzelcyk came out of the locker room wearing a red, closer to maroon, jersey. Unsure as to whether he was “no contact” or just forgot his jersey at home. He did seem to be in shape this year, as last year he appeared a little on the heavy side. More to come on Matthew.
Matt Benning…what can I say. He appears to be improving year to year. When he first arrived at camp he looked undersized and, dare I say, a little overwhelmed. Harvard is doing him good and his skating and footwork have vastly improved.
Michael Doherty is a nice invite to camp. He has good acceleration and good hands. He plays at Yale with Rob O’Gara, so we will surely see more of him.
Speaking of O’G, he is filling out his frame nicely. He has become a solid blueliner at Yale and I personally can’t wait to see him in a Bruins uniform. His awareness is improving and he tracks the action well. He is tough to get around in drills and is hockey sense seems to be improving as well.
Colton Hargrove…He has been one of my favorites since the day the Bruins drafted him. He followed up a good freshman year with a solid sophomore effort. Would not be surprised if Andy Murray hangs a letter on his jersey this year! Colton has improved year to year at camp. He doesn’t shy away from contact, sees the ice well and has a scoring touch. Good footwork and hands round out the package. More to come on Colton as well.
Ok, off to day two…More later today…