Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - OCTOBER 24: Matthew Poitras #51 of the Boston Bruins fist bumps teammates after scoring a goal against the Chicago Blackhawks during the third period at the United Center on October 24, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Checkout time at the hotel that Matt Poitras has called home for the last month is indeed coming for the 19-year-old.

But it’s not because a reassignment to OHL Guelph is coming. But rather because Tuesday saw the Bruins finally make their decision on the fate of the upstart prospect, and with Poitras delivered confirmation that he will be staying with the Bruins beyond his current nine-game trial run with the club.

Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery was the first to reveal the news, and actually did so before Bruins general manager Don Sweeney’s meeting with Poitras following an optional practice at Warrior Ice Arena. (Poitras was still on the ice when Montgomery met with the media and when Sweeney first swung through the second level of the B’s practice facility.)

  • “He’s sticking around,” Montgomery said. “I think his play…he earned it. I think we’re comfortable with him. There’s no guarantees here for the rest of the year, but we feel that the way he’s progressed for the time being, he’s going to be a Bruin. And he’s helping us win hockey games and that’s the most important thing, right?”

  • Oct 30, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins center Matthew Poitras (51) skates with the puck against the Florida Panthers during the first period at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

    Oct 30, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins center Matthew Poitras (51) skates with the puck against the Florida Panthers during the first period at the TD Garden. (Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports)

  • In action for all nine games to date, the 5-foot-11 Poitras has potted three goals and totaled five points for the Bruins, and landed 16 shots on goal. He’s also been a bit grittier than many may have expected, with nine blocked shots and a dogged pursuit of the puck in all three zones.

    “I think the number one reason why he’s going to play a 10th game is because of that,” Montgomery admitted. “You know, we see the hockey IQ, we see the skill, we see the vision. But if you don’t compete, don’t have natural second or third effort, especially a young age, it’s hard to stay in this league. And that quality, that has been his best quality and why we think he’s earned this.”

  • BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - OCTOBER 11: Matthew Poitras #51 of the Boston Bruins skates against the Chicago Blackhawks in his first NHL game during the third period of the Bruins home opener at TD Garden on October 11, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Bruins defeat the Blackhawks 3-1. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – OCTOBER 11: Matthew Poitras #51 of the Boston Bruins skates against the Chicago Blackhawks in his first NHL game at TD Garden on October 11, 2023. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

  • The Bruins have also moved Poitras all around their lineup and have not seen a massive drop-off in his game despite that tinkering and shuffling.

    Poitras has, for the most part, skated with Morgan Geekie to his right, but Monday night against the Panthers actually saw Poitras’ best promotion to date, with the right-shot center slotted between Pavel Zacha and David Pastrnak for the second period on in what finished as a comeback win for the Black and Gold.

    Speaking on Tuesday morning, Montgomery did not commit to the Zacha-Poitras-Pastrnak combo sticking together for Thursday’s head-to-head with the Maple Leafs.

    But one thing is for certain: Poitras is here to stay, and the Bruins are thrilled about that.

    “He’s played faster [and] he’s continued to get better on both ends of the ice,” Montgomery said. “But what I think is appealing to us is every time we start to think, ‘Well, this might be too much’ — whether it was exhibition season and nine games — he just always finds a way to be like he belongs. He just belongs.”

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