This year was the first year I attended a Bruins development camp and it definitely was a fun experience. The Prospects only spent about an hour on the ice but there were a few standouts in my eyes.
David Pastrnak, the Bruins 2014 first round pick was very exciting to watch and brought some hope to the team’s prospect wing depth. The young Czech forward showed a lot of offensive creativity that should have the Bruins brass buzzing. Pastrnak may not be ready to make the jump to the NHL yet but he has great hands and on ice vision. He has a lot of flash while playing with a fearless side and the big positive I see about Pastrnak is he likes to shoot the puck. Anytime the Bruins draft a guy who likes to shoot the puck that might be able to finish it’s a good day.
The big Slovakian forward Peter Cehlarik came to camp last year and is a guy who continues to impress. He has good hands and I like the way he skates, not always explosive at times but he has nifty moves. He’s got a great release and could also have good finisher potential. The big thing that stood out to me at camp yesterday was that he was always going to the net. The big body forward is always pushing his way forward but doesn’t necessarily have to stick north to south and has great mobility. For a guy that is considered years away from making it Cehlarik is sure fun to watch while thinking about the impact he could end up making for the Bruins down the line.
Ryan Donato may also be a few years away but for a kid who just finished High school he sure looked good. Watching him don the Spoked B for the first time definitely brought back memories of watching his father Ted Donato play. He looks like he plays with the same grind style his father did with a knack for going to the net. He could stand to bulk up a little more he has good offensive potential. With Harvard looking less and less like a possibility next year it will be interesting to see where he continues his development. Donato is a player I hope to eventually see in a B’s Sweater.
Undersized forward Ryan Fitzgerald was drafted in the 4th round of the 2013 draft and spent last year playing for Boston College. He is pegged by future prospects.com to spend his full four years playing in the NCAA. The one thing I can say about yesterday is man can this kid shoot. There was a few times where he displayed his wicked release. If Fitzgerald continues to develop that shot he should be able to find his way on to an NHL roster where it is for the Bruins or somewhere else.
The defensemen that really opened my eyes was Oleg Yevenko more from his size than anything else. The 6-foot-7 defenseman hails from Belarus and was an absolute force on the ice. Yevenko absolutely destroyed Simon Norberg by just finishing his check. If he is able to improve his skating he could be very fun to watch wear the black and gold. Prospects like Yevenko show the Big Bad Bruins culture is never completely dead.