(SOURCE: Causeway Crowd): The Boston Bruins rookie team finished out their mini-tournament last night. The Bruins went 1-0-1 in this inaugural tourney with the New Jersey Devils and the Buffalo Sabres. The B’s rookie unit took both games to OT. This time around, the young Bruins lost in overtime, falling 3-2 to the Buffalo Sabres.
So the Boston Bruins rookies finished off a nice weekend in Buffalo without any major injuries, disappointments, or setbacks. They even got a chance to participate in two overtime games that featured the new 3-on-3 format. Both overtimes were settled without having to go to a shootout. Overall, it was a great weekend for the Bruins brass to evaluate the young talent, and a BostonPucks.com contributor, Mr. Jeffro, was on hand to take in some of the action.
The 3 Stars of the weekend, per Jeffro, were 1) Zane McIntyre, 2) Frank Vatrano, and 3) Jakub Zboril. Zane McIntyre had a 35 save performance against a deep rookie core for the Buffalo Sabres on Monday night. He was sharp from start to finish, with a few highlight worthy stops, and really set himself up nicely to compete for the backup job heading into main camp. Vatrano was a standout, not just for the 3 goals he put up in two games, but his overall strength, quickness, and confidence he showed in all situations. He appeared to be a touch ahead of a good chunk of the other rookies. And of course 2015 1st round pick Jakub Zboril put on a good showing. Despite starting off the weekend on a down note by failing his conditioning test he was very solid. He was physical and stood out like a first rounder should. The Bruins NCAA bred prospects in Noel Acciari and Austin Czarnik also stood out well for the Bruins.
The most valuable part of the weekend, by having the rookies play amongst their peers, was it allowed the Bruins development staff to get a good picture of who’s on the rise, who’s the surprise, and who needs the most work. Happily, there were some really nice positives to take away from the weekend in Buffalo. Now it’s on to big boy NHL training camp that opens on Thursday the 17th. Most of the rookies will be in attendance. The intensity will rise and the young guns will get a taste of where their game will need to be over the next few years in order to be a Boston Bruins camp regular for years to come.
23 days until opening night…