A Look At Who Might Make The 2016-17 Boston Bruins

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The Boston Bruins played their final preseason game, an overtime win over the Philadelphia Flyers, on Saturday evening. Before the regular season begins on Thursday, October 13th, General Manager Don Sweeney and the rest of management have decisions to make regarding the prospects (and one Professional Tryout) that are not yet fully members of the team at the NHL level. What follows are some observations about some of the standout players who have the best chance of making the opening night roster.

A Look At Who Might Make The 2016-17 Boston Bruins

Forwards

Noel Acciari– After playing a bit for Boston at the end of the season, the former Providence College captain has failed to prove himself as a standout in this preseason. Verdict: Much like last year, Acciari likely will be up and down this season between Boston and the Providence Bruins.

NHL free agent frenzy

Austin Czarnik– Czarnik has “played well from day one” of training camp, according to Bruins GM Don Sweeney’s interview with NESN’s Jack Edwards. The former Miami Redhawk spent one year in Providence, where he excelled. Verdict: At the moment, it looks like Czarnik will be placed on the third line with Matt Beleskey and Jimmy Hayes, however a bad collision with the Flyers’ Radko Gudas in the final preseason game may sideline him for a few games.

Seth Griffith– A knee injury in the 2015 preseason made him miss his chance at making the Boston Bruins last season, but after some rehabilitation and a good year of development in the AHL, Verdict: Griffith may make the lineup in the absence of Frank Vatrano, who is expected to miss the first few months of the season with injury. He may, however, be sent to Providence as well.

Danton Heinen– Heinen came into training camp off a 20-goal season at the University of Denver and four games with the Providence. Verdict: Heinen, as with Czarnik, has showed promise when playing with Beleskey and Hayes. His versatility and goal-scoring ability make him a good option for the second or third line.

Defensemen

Brandon Carlo– 19-year old Carlo has shown promise, especially when paired with captain Zdeno Chara. Verdict: Carlo looks like a good candidate for a replacement defenseman. He would benefit from some development at the AHL level, but management may decide to move him around between leagues as needed.

Christian Ehrhoff– Coming off an appearance with Team Europe at the World Cup of Hockey, Ehrhoff has made a good showing in the short time he has been on a Professional Tryout with Boston, including scoring a goal in the exhibition game against the Montreal Canadiens in Quebec City. His presence has, according to Sweeney, elevated the young defensemen also vying for positions on the team. He has also been a good pairing with both Torey Krug and Rob O’Gara. Verdict: At this point, it looks like Ehrhoff will be signing with Boston for his thirteenth season in the NHL. He plays a role similar to that of Dennis Seidenberg, but will most likely fetch a lower cap hit than his fellow countryman.

Rob O’Gara– Coming off 4 years at Yale, O’Gara has managed to make a good show of his abilities. The young defenseman has laid some strong hits and shown good defensive responsibility. Verdict: It would be great to see O’Gara thrive in Boston, especially if paired with veteran defenseman Ehrhoff if he does end up signing with Boston. Like Carlo, he may be bounced back and forth between Providence and Boston.

Goalies

Malcolm Subban– After sustaining an injury last season that cost him the rest of the season in Providence, Subban came into training camp with something to look forward to. He’s looked to be a very solid young netminder. Verdict: Sadly, it looks like Subban still isn’t ready for NHL action. However, goalies tend to peak later in their careers, so he will benefit from more action in the AHL.

Previous Roster Moves

The following players were assigned to the Providence Bruins: forwards Anton Blidh, Colby Cave, Peter Cehlarik, Colton Hargrove, and Justin Hickman. Defensemen Linus Arnesson, Matt Grzelcyk, as well as goaltenders Zane McIntyre and Dan Vladar. Forwards Mark Naclerio, A.J. White, defensemen Josh Atkinson, Chris Breen, Alex Roach, and goaltender Matt Ginn were sent to Providence’s training camp for further evaluation. Forward Zac Rinaldo and defensemen Chris Casto, Tommy Cross, and Alex Grant cleared waivers and will be assigned to Providence as well.

Players returned to their junior teams include forwards Jesse Gabrielle, Zach Senyshyn, and defensemen Jeremy Lauzon and Jakub Zboril. Forward Peter Mueller has been released from his Professional Tryout Agreement.

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