Which Prospect Could Make the Starting lineup?

Which Prospect Could Make the Starting lineup?

by July 19, 2019 0 comments

The Boston Bruins are going into the 2019-2020 season with 12 forwards and seven defensemen signed. They have yet to re-sign defensemen Brandon Carlo and Charlie McAvoy, both of whom are restricted free agents.

However, a roster spot is not guaranteed for those who are returning, as some players could see time with the Bruins’ minor league team down in Providence.

Six Bruins prospects have a chance of making the starting lineup for their first game against the Dallas Stars on Oct 3 – Anders Bjork, Jeremy Lauzon, Zach Senyshyn, Jack Studnicka, Urho Vaakanainen, and Jakub Zboril.

But who is more likely to make it than the others?

Forwards:

  • Anders Bjork – Imagine a healthy Anders Bjork. The 22-year-old has only played 50 games in two seasons with the Bruins due to injuries. However, in the 50 games Bjork has played, he has proven to be a playmaker with a drive for the net which earned him top-line minutes for some games. If he can manage to stay healthy, do not be surprised if you see him logging more top-six minutes to even out the top-heavy lineup the Bruins saw for a majority of last season.
  • Zach Senyshyn –  This offseason the Bruins lost Marcus Johansson, a strong puck possession forward. Johansson was arguably the Bruins’ best forward during their Stanley Cup Final run against the St. Louis Blues, so this loss is big. That being said, the Bruins are looking for a replacement, and a player like Senyshyn could be that guy. The 22-year-old has one NHL goal with the Bruins, recording an empty netter with just over two minutes to go in the game against the Minnesota Wild on April 4. In his two games with the Black and Gold, Senyshyn has proven to be a menace on the forecheck while his speed impressed head coach Bruce Cassidy.
  • Jack Studnicka – In his final season with his junior teams, Studnicka recorded 36 goals and 83 points for Oshawa and Niagra in the 60 games he played for them before turning pro. The 6-foot-2 center had a goal and two points for the Providence Bruins in their playoff run before returning to Boston as a part of their Black Aces during the Stanley Cup playoffs. During the Bruins development camp, Studnicka commented that he is open to playing wherever the Bruins would need him just as long as he has a chance to reach his goal of playing with the big club. If he does manage to grab the third-line center spot, then the Bruins could be looking into using forward Charlie Coyle as a top-six forward. Studnicka is fast and is determined to do whatever it takes to crack the lineup.

Defensemen:

  • Jeremy Lauzon – Hypothetically, there is one spot open for the blue line with the recent signing of Connor Clifton – along with Zdeno Chara, Torey Krug, Kevan Miller, and Brand Carlo and Charlie McAvoy if both are resigned. Clifton will more than likely rotated in and out of the lineup which means one prospect could be on the other end of this rotation. According to Jeremy Lauzon’s scouting report down in Providence with the Providence Bruins, Lauzon brings a “hard-hitting ability and big body” on the blue line. Just what the Bruins need with Chara and Miller on the older side. Down in Providence, he was a shutdown defenseman and the team relied on him on a nightly basis when he was not injured.
  • Urho Vaakanainen – Another prospect that could very well be in the rotation this upcoming season for defensemen is Urho Vaakanainen. His decision-making and fast skating are what gives him the upper-end of the other prospects.
  • Jakub Zboril – If there is one player out of all the Bruins’ defensive prospects that has a very good chance of making the lineup, it is more than likely Jakub Zboril. The first of three consecutive picks in the 2015 NHL Entry Level Draft, Zboril already has a year of professional play under his belt with the Providence Bruins. He has been compared to Keith Yandle in numerous scouting reports but with a little more snark to his play. While he is known to not show up on the scoreboard, he is known as a mobile defenseman with a great shot.

This free-agent offseason has not been great for the Bruins, but general manager Don Sweeney has not had a bad offseason so far. While there is still more to get done, the future is bright as the Bruins prospect pool has proven to be full of young, talented, driven players.

 

 

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