The Boston Bruins have a game tonight against the New Jersey Devils in New Jersey. While this game is a huge deal in the race for the playoffs, the Bruins’ management may be looking towards the future on some high-level prospects.
(All sources come from well-known TSN analyst, Bob McKenzie).
Prospect #1: D Matt Grzelcyk from Boston University
Matt Grzelcyk is a 22 year-old Boston native that who is currently a senior for the Boston University. Grzelcyk was drafted by the Bruins 85th overall in round 3 back in 2012. For the past three seasons, Matt has been in BU as a defenceman. In 27 games this season, he has 10-13-23 totals with an impressive +17 rating. Last season, Grzelcyk scored 10 goals and added 28 assists for 38 points in 41 games played, with a +32 rating. Matt has 95 total points in 125 NCAA games. Matt can choose to sign with the Bruins right now, or he can wait until August 15th to become a UFA. Grzelcyk had off-season knee surgery, meaning he missed Boston’s development camp.
A review on Matt Grzelcyk via hockeysfuture.com:
“Grzelcyk is a small, but highly mobile defenseman with excellent offensive instincts. He is a strong puckhandler who can rush the puck and drive the offense. Grzelcyk is a power play weapon thanks to his sharp distribution skills and his ability to find soft spots in defensive zone coverage. Defensively, Grzelcyk brings a good compete level and is a determined player but his positioning is still a work in progress and he is sometimes at a disadvantage against bigger, stronger forwards due to his lack of bulk.”
Prospect #2: D Rob O’Gara from Yale University
Rob O’Gara is a 22 year-old from New York. O’Gara is currently playing with the Yale Bulldogs in the ECAC hockey conference. Rob is the complete opposite from Grzelcyk. A 6’4″ 207 pounds defenceman compared to the 5’10” 175 pound frame of Grzelcyk. O’Gara was drafted in 2011, #151 overall in round 5. This season, he has 4-8-12 totals in 30 games with the Bulldogs. He also owns a +5 rating. Last season though, O’Gara had 6-15-21 totals in 33 games. Then, he had a +15 rating.
Bob McKenzie says that O’Gara is on the verge of signing a 2-year entry level deal with the Bruins. McKenzie also thinks that O’Gara will join the Providence Bruins on a ATO (Amateur Try-Out) and his contract will begin next season.
A read-up on Rob O’Gara can be found below courtesy of hockeysfuture.com:
“O’Gara has continued to develop during college career — adding size and strength to go with his skating and technical skills. He has logged big minutes for Yale since his freshman season and can play in all situations. The step from college hockey to pro hockey is a significant one but O’Gara’s two-way game should translate well. His biggest challenge will be his mobility and ability to make decisions quickly.”
No one knows if these two guys will actually make the Bruins roster anytime soon, but, they look like two valuable defenceman on a roster that could use some back-end players.
Boston sits at 88 points right now, a mere one point ahead of the Detroit Red Wings who sit out of a wild card spot. Boston is 5 points behind Tampa Bay and Florida for first place in the Atlantic division.