By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
The first sign of hockey season is upon the Boston Bruins: Development camp.
This year’s group will be headlined by 2019 first-round pick John Beecher, but will certainly have an eye for this year’s Big B’s squad, with both Jack Studnicka and Jakub Lauko skating in another big summer on Brighton Ice.
Let’s take a look at who will be busting out their skates for a three-day run at Warrior Ice Arena…
Samuel Asselin: A 5-foot-10 left-shot, Asselin scored a QMJHL-best 48 goals in 68 games for the Halifax Mooseheads last season, and put up a postseason run of nine goals and 17 points in 22 games. Asselin signed an entry-level deal with the Bruins earlier this month, and it’s believed the Quebec-born forward turned the Canadiens down to do exactly that.
Jack Becker: Drafted in the seventh round (195th overall) in 2015, the 6-foot-4 Becker returns to Boston after a sophomore season featuring six goals and 15 points in 36 games for the University of Michigan.
John Beecher: Boston’s first-round pick last week, John Beecher will get his first true taste of the Bruins organization with this week’s festivities at Warrior Ice Arena. The New York native put up 20 points in 26 games for the USNDT last season, and will skate for the Michigan Wolverines next winter.
Matt Brown (camp invite): One of 10 forwards welcomed to camp on an invite, Matt Brown will skate with the Bruins after posting 30 goals and 57 points in 57 games for the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL last season. The 5-foot-9 winger will skate with the U-Mass Lowell Riverhawks next season.
Nathan Burke (camp invite): The first Arizona native to suit up for the Gophers Hockey program, Burke scored six goals and 15 points in a 26-game freshman year for the University of Minnesota last season.
Casey Dornbach (camp invite): The 21-year-old Dornbach posted seven goals and 29 points in 33 games for Harvard last season, making him the team’s third-highest scorer, and top forward. He’s also from Edina, Minn., which is an undeniable hockey hotbed, with Casey Mittelstadt, Kieffer Bellows, Anders Lee, and Jamie McBain among those also from Edina.
Curtis Hall: Drafted in the fourth round in 2018, Hall scored five goals and 11 points in 26 games with Yale last year.
Mike Hardman (camp invite): The Hanover, Mass. native scored 39 goals and 72 points in 58 games for the West Kelowna Warriors a year ago. A left-shot right wing, Hardman stands at 6-foot-3. He’ll join Boston College for the 2019-20 season.
Jakub Lauko: An electric personality and potential dark horse candidate to make the Bruins out of training camp should they truly go young up front, Lauko will look to build off a 21-goal, 41-point rookie season in the QMJHL. Lauko put up six goals and 13 points en route to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies’ 19-game run to the 2019 Memorial Cup.
Matias Mantykivi: The Bruins drafted Mantykivi with the No. 185 pick last weekend.
Drew O’Connor (camp invite): The Jersey native led Dartmouth with 17 goals in 34 games last year.
Quinn Olson: Boston’s second selection of the 2019 NHL Draft, selected with the No. 92 overall pick, Olson has scored 34 goals and 119 points in 113 games for the AJHL’s Okotoks Oilers over the last two seasons. He’s a 5-foot-11 left-shot, left wing.
Justin Richards (camp invite): A Columbus, Ohio native, Richards was a teammate of Bruins winger Karson Kuhlman on the University of Minnesota-Duluth club that won the National Title in 2018, and scored 12 goals (third-most) and 32 points (second-most) in 42 games for the Bulldogs last season.
Linus Sandin (camp invite): The 23-year-old has totaled 19 goals and 30 goals over his last two years in Sweden.
Jake Schmaltz: The No. 192 overall pick in this year’s draft, Schmaltz scored five goals and 18 points in 60 games for the USHL’s Chicago Steel last season. The cousin of NHLers Jordan and Nick Schmaltz, Jake is committed to UND.
Pavel Shen: Shen, a seventh-round selection in 2018, had just one assist in 20 KHL games last year, but won a Bronze with Team Russia at the 2019 World Junior Championship.
Oskar Steen: I’m convinced Steen will be a name to watch this summer. With 17 goals and 37 points in 46 games for the SHL’s Farjestads BK Karlstad this past season, Steen has potential to a versatile, all-situation threat for the Bruins.
Jack Studnicka: A high-skill, 6-foot-2 center, Studnicka is finally graduating to professional hockey after a 2018-19 season that saw him destroy goaltenders at will in the OHL, with 36 goals and 83 points in 60 games between Niagara and Oshawa. Studnicka has appeared in nine AHL games since 2018, with two goals and seven points over that stretch. He’s a potential option for the Big B’s this year should they move Charlie Coyle to the right side of their top six forward group.
Nate Sucese (camp invite): Sucese established career-highs in goals (19) and points (37) in 39 games for Penn State in 2019.
Nolan Walker (camp invite): Walker had 27 points in 36 games for St. Cloud State last year. He’s from Alaska. Fun!
Marek Zachar (camp invite): Did you know Ladislav Smid still plays pro hockey? He was a teammate of Marek Zachar last year.
Axel Andersson: Boston’s second-round selection in 2018 (No. 57 overall), Andersson had five assists and a plus-5 rating in 41 games for Sodertalje SK last season. He’s probably the most interesting name to watch among this group.
Victor Berglund: The 19-year-old seventh-round pick (No. 195 overall) in 2017, Berglund got his feet wet with North American pro hockey late in 2018-19, with one goal and two points in four games with the P-Bruins. Berglund put up five goals and 21 points in 99 games for MODO over a three-year run in Sweden.
Cameron Clarke: Played in 34 of Ferris State’s 38 games in the 2018-19 season, tallying eight assists.
Brandon Estes (camp invite): A right-shot defenseman, the 6-foot-1 Estes led Union in blocked shots (50), finished second amongst all teammates in assists (16), and had the fifth-best plus/minus on the team, at plus-9.
Josh Maniscalco (camp invite): The Pennsylvania-born Maniscalco, a right-shot defender standing at 6-foot-2, had four goals and 20 points in 35 games for Arizona State University last season.
Dustyn McFaul: A sixth-round pick of the Bruins in 2018, McFaul is committed to Clarkson University for 2019-20.
Nick Wolff (camp invite): Another University of Minnesota-Duluth talent, this will be the 6-foot-4 Wolff’s second straight development camp run with the Bruins. He had five goals and 18 points in 42 NCAA games last season.
Cooper Zech: It’s fair to wonder if the Bruins have something cooking with Cooper Zech. A 5-foot-9 left-shot defender, Zech seems like the offensive defenseman the Bruins would love to mold into a potential Krug or Grzelcyk replacement down the line, and with end-to-end offensive ability, along with a 2-4-6 start in 16 games with the P-Bruins last season, this seems to be the beginning of the Black and Gold trying to turn Zech into something more.
James Corcoran (camp invite): If Chris Wagner is the Mayor of Walpole, goaltender James Corcoran is basically the Kid Mayor. A 21-year-old goaltender from Wagnerland, and committed to playing his college hockey at Merrimack College next season, this will be Corcoran’s second development camp run with the Bruins. He’s also the nephew of two former Bruins (Terry O’Reilly and Tommy Songin). Just don’t pull a Ben Wyatt and try to build an Ice Town, Kid Mayor.
Taylor Gauthier (camp invite): Gauthier had an .899 save percentage in 55 games for the Prince George Cougars last year.
Kyle Keyser: Finished the regular season with the second-highest save percentage (.915) and fourth-best goals against average (2.75) among OHL goaltenders last season, and led the Oshawa Generals to the OHL semifinals.
Jeremy Swayman: Boston’s fourth-round selection (No. 111 overall) in 2017, Swayman posted a 14-17-4 record and .919 save percentage in 35 appearances for Maine last season. He’s also from Alaska. Fun!
Dan Vladar: The 6-foot-5 Vladar has a 19-15-6 record and .905 save percentage in 43 appearances for the P-Bruins over the last three seasons. He stopped 25-of-27 in a one-game playoff appearance (a loss) for Providence last spring.
Wednesday, June 26 (Warrior Ice Arena, Brighton, MA)
-On-ice session (Group A), 11 a.m.
-On-ice session (Group B), 12 p.m.
-On-ice session (Group C), 1 p.m.
Thursday, June 27 (Warrior Ice Arena, Brighton, MA)
-On-ice session (Group A), 10:30 a.m.
-On-ice session (Group A & B), 11:15 a.m.
-On-ice session (Group B), 12:15 p.m.
Friday, June 28 (Warrior Ice Arena, Brighton, MA)
-On-ice session, 10:15 a.m.
All on-ice sessions will be held at Warrior Ice Arena and are open to the public.