Chris Kelly, Pavel Shen, Jack Studnicka and more
The dog days of the hockey off season are hitting hard.
I really would appreciate if Don Sweeney was able to sign either one of his two restricted free agents in Charlie McAVoy and Brandon Carlo so we have something fun and interesting to talk about.
With that being said, here are some random thoughts and some recent happenings involving the Bruins.
Bruins add Chris Kelly to staff
Earlier this week, the Bruins announced that they have hired former Bruin Chris Kelly as their new Player Development Coordinator. Kelly spent last season with the Ottawa Senators as a member of their player development staff.
Kelly appeared in 845 career NHL games over the course of 14 seasons. As you may remember, Kelly was a member of the Bruins 2011 Stanley Cup winning team.
With a Bruins core that has now appeared in three Stanley Cup Finals, the Bruins are starting to inject more youth into their line, and having Kelly leading their development will be beneficial to the club.
Bruins sign Pavel Shen to a three-year contract
The Bruins have added another young prospect to the mix.
On Tuesday, the Bruins announced the signing of the 19-year old Shen who will likely be starting the year in Providence.
Shen spent last season moving around between the KHL, MHL and VHL. The Russian native was drafted by the Bruins in 7th round of 2018 NHL Entry Draft.
Bruins fans were introduced to Shen at last summer’s development camp, one where he was impressive in his first go at it on North American ice.
Shen recently represented Russia in the 2019 World Junior Championship where he scored three times and added one assist in seven games. Shen and Russia won bronze at the tournament.
Bruins release prospects challenge schedule
The Bruins prospects are once again heading to Buffalo. For the 5th consecutive season, the Bruins will participate in the prospects challenge, joining the Penguins, Sabres and Devils. The Bruins will play each team once, starting Friday September 6 and playing three times in four nights.
The roster has yet to be announced, but expect a healthy dose of Bruins prospects who will be in contention for a spot on the Bruins opening night roster.
Former Bruin joins St. Louis Blues staff
On Wednesday, the Blues announced that they added former Bruin Marc Savard to their coaching staff. Savard will serve as an assistant coach to Craig Berube.
Savard spent 13 seasons in the league before a pair of concussions ended his talented career. In his five years with the Bruins, Savard dazzled with his playmaking skills, finishing with 305 points in 304 games with the Bruins.
High hopes for Jack Studnicka
Albeit small, last offseason there was a chance that Jack Studnicka could have made the Bruins opening night roster. Fast forward one offseason later, and that chance has grown.
A natural-born-center, Studnicka knows that the Bruins have the benefit of a dynamic one-two punch down the middle in Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci. Studnicka also knows that the Bruins will have a few openings on the wings when camp begins in September.
If that’s his ticket to the show, then so be it.
“Anything to help the team, in my eyes. I’ll play any position. Obviously, my goal is to play with the big club, whether that’s right wing or center, I’m just going to work as hard as I can and compete,” Studnicka said last month.
Because of how long his season in juniors went, Studnicka did not hit the ice for the Bruins in development camp late last month, but the Bruins already know what they have in Studnicka. It’s now a matter of can the 20-year old make that next jump and push for a roster spot.
Although Studnicka played the wing for Team Canada this past December at the 2019 World Junior Championship, Sweeney and the coaching staff prefers to keep Studnicka at the center position.
"I think we're going to leave him in the middle of the ice. In talking with our coaches, he has a skill set that we would like to see develop offensively,” Sweeney said. “We've talked about players, Krejci and such, Jack has a lot of similarities -- being able to slow the game down, play with pace and protect the puck and get pucks to people in offensive situations.”
Studnicka has gotten a taste of professional hockey, however, it’s come at the AHL level. In nine games with the Providence Bruins over the course of the last two seasons, and counting both regular season and playoffs, the 20-year old has two goals and five assists.
After finishing his junior career last season with 83 points in 60 games between the Oshawa Generals and the Niagara Ice Dogs, Studnicka has one goal in mind.
And that’s being in the lineup when the Bruins begin the 2019-20 season against the Stars in Dallas on October 3.
“That’s my goal. I think going into any camp, you’re in the wrong place if you’re goal isn’t to make the team,” Studnicka added.
“That’s my goal going into this year, that was my goal last year and the year before. It should be everybody’s goal to come here and try and compete and play at a high level.”