It’s that time of year to start thinking about the future of this franchise.
We have free agency getting rid of players. We have the possibility of no playoffs. Everything can happen at any time during the offseason.
One of the bright things about having players leave the Bruins is that we can see new prospects with the big club, and see if what we expected is a reality.
Before I start discussing Prospects all willy-nilly, I want to explain what my qualifications of a prospect is, yours may be different.
- They didn’t play a significant amount of time in the NHL and went back to the AHL. In this case, players like Frank Vatrano and Colin Miller are not considered prospects in my mind. They have had a great deal of time in the NHL to show their worth to the organization and the fans. Vatrano and Miller have both showed that they belong in the NHL. If they played more NHL games than AHL, they are not prospects.
- They must be under the age of 26 (not including Goalies). If a player can be placed in the North America World Cup team, I consider them prospects. Players like Matt Irwin and Joonas Kemppainen are not considered prospects.
- They must be AT LEAST 3 years out of Junior/NCAA. Linus Arnesson and Noel Accari are both at least 3 years out of Juniors, and follow this qualification perfectly, and are considered prospects.
With that out of the way, lets all take a peek into our Top 5 of the big names in the Bruins’ prospect pool:
Matt Grzelcyk (Defense, Boston University-NCAA): After being in multiple Development camps with the Bruins, Grzelcyk finally signed a 2 year Entry Level Contract earlier this month. Labeled as a offensive defenseman, Grzelcyk had 26 goals and 69 assists (95 points) in his 125 game career with Boston University. Grzelcyk could prove to be a great player to have on the PP, but could be at a disadvantage in physical situations, due to his small size. His skills on the ice and with the puck have allowed him to succeed at the NCAA level, and he just needs to grow to become a permanent fixture in the NHL.
Zachary Senyshyn (Forward, Sault St Marie Greyhounds-OHL): After probably shocking a lot of people at the draft last year, Senyshyn proved that he is improving and ready for a chance to play hockey at the professional level. As an Assistant Captain for his team, he scored 45 goals and 20 assists (65 points) in 66 games this season. This was an increase in his 45 points in the previous season. Senyshyn is becoming a more intelligent player by the minute, and is also a very fluid skater whose presence helps his team at the end of the day.
Jesse Gabrielle (Forward, Prince George Cougars-WHL): I never thought that I would be talking about a late round pick from the previous year so early. In 72 games in the WHL, Gabrielle has 40 goals and 35 assists (75 points), along with 101 penalty minutes on the season. Gabrielle reminds me of Milan Lucic, because they are both phyisical forwards who can produce. He’s gritty, yet skilled, and could be difficult to play against.
Jakub Zboril (Defense, Saint John Sea Dogs-QMJHL): Zboril is an CHL defenseman who is ready for the jump to play hockey at a professional level. Selected by the Bruins 13th overall in last year’s draft, Zboril is showing to the the low risk type of player, but also the one with high rewards later in the future. He plays a great defensive game, and isn’t afraid to use his size to play a physical game.
Seth Griffith (Forward, Providence Bruins-AHL): I wanted to limit myself to one player on the P-Bruins, and I picked Griffith. Even though he made his NHL debut last season, he has yet to become a common player in the NHL. Top five in AHL scoring, AHL First Team Honors, and career highs have allowed fans to see how Griffith has grown since last year. The only problem is finding room for him on the Boston roster. Once we have space after the off season, there should be a spot for him in the lineup. In 51 games in Providence, he had 22 goals and 45 assists, totaling 67 points. He doubled his production in the AHL.
Did I forget someone?
Remember, Jimmy Vesey hasn’t officially signed with us yet, so he doesn’t count.
Let me know of any prospects you guys like to see down in the comments below. Who will see NHL time next season?
fear the bear