By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Just days away from Opening Night in Dallas, the Bruins made their final cuts to their roster on Monday, as forwards Anders Bjork, Trent Frederic, Cameron Hughes, and Jack Studnicka were all assigned to the AHL's Providence Bruins.
Frederic's return to Providence comes after a postseason that featured four shots on goal, six hits, and wins in 26 of his 53 battles at the dot (49 percent). The 21-year-old Frederic, who appeared in 15 games (but failed to record a point) with the Big B's last year, is coming off a rookie year in Providence that included 14 goals and 25 points in 55 appearances.
Studnicka, meanwhile, will report to Providence after scoring two goals (one of which went off his face and into the back of the net), as the organization's No. 1 prospect at center. There's a lot to like about Studnicka's game and compete, but it's clear that the physical part of it all is lacking in the now, and some top-six minutes in the AHL will be infinitely better for his long-term development than 10-12-minute nights somewhere in Boston's bottom six.
Hughes, on the other hand, hung around camp until the bitter end despite only appearing in one game in the preseason.
The most surprising name on this list of names on their way to Providence is, without question, Bjork.
The 23-year-old Bjork was one of Boston's better players throughout camp, and finished the preseason with two assists and seven shots on goal in four games. Bjork was an on-puck menace no matter his linemates, too, frequently forcing opposing defensemen into bad decisions or extended offensive-zone time for the B's.
But the writing was on the wall based on Cassidy's comments after Saturday's preseason finale against the Blackhawks.
"He was drafted as a scoring winger, and he hasn’t been able to do that consistently at the professional level, so we have to determine, is he going to be able to do it here? Or is he better serving in Providence, finding that part of his game?" Cassidy offered. "What’s going to be better for us in the long run? And do we need him here in the short term? That’s what we balance. We proved last year we had a good lineup, we subtracted a couple of wingers — sorry, added a center and a winger.
"He had a good training camp, good preseason, he’s healthy, bigger, stronger."
One name that's still kicking around Boston, however, is defenseman Jakub Zboril. Barring an injury on the backend between now and the team's departure for Dallas, the Bruins do expect to send Zboril, a first-round pick of the team back in 2015 (drafted No. 13 overall), back to Providence before the official start of the regular season.
The team also announced that Max Lagace, who was waived on Sunday, cleared waivers and will report to the P-Bruins.