Once again it was a good week for quite a few Bruins top prospects. Most of them continued to produce at a high level regardless of where they are at in their development and where they play. However Jesse Gabrielle had the best week of all, and it wasn’t just because of his production (2 goals and 2 assists in 3 games). The Bruins also signe the WHL sniper to a three-year entry level contract. Now he can also say he is the first two-time BostonPucks.com “Prospect of the Week” honoree. His certificate is in the mail.
The three-year ELC Gabrielle signed does not go into effect until he officially turns pro, which will be next year. Gabrielle will most likely play in Providence once this junior season is complete just like he did last season (he played 3 games). That will not count towards the three years of his new contract because he will sign a separate tryout contract with the Providence Bruins.
Jesse Gabrielle, who plays for the Prince George Cougars in the WHL, now has 19 goals and 12 assists for 31 points in 26 games. He is listed at 6’0″ and 205 lbs and the left wing is a gritty player that could give Brad Marchand some competition in the agitator department. Gabrielle has a nose for the net and is not afraid to go to the dirty areas. He also grew up cheering for the Bruins and seems like he is a “Bruins Type” of player. Gabrielle scored 40 goals last season in the WHL and is on the same pace, if not better, this season. It makes you wonder why he was not invited to Team Canada’s Camp for the World Junior Championship team.
- With the Boston University Terriers visiting the Vermont Catamounts at Gutterson Field House I was able to take in Saturday night’s game. The 12th ranked Catamounts beat BU Friday night 4-2. BU defenseman, and Bruins 1st round pick, Charlie McAvoy recorded an assist in the loss. Saturday night BU got revenge and shutout UVM, 4-0. McAvoy was very noticeable. He definitely played with an edge that Bruins fans would appreciate, showing a little nastiness at times. It could have been because he was pissed his team lost on Friday, or that is how he normally plays, but it was impressive on how physical he was. He delivered some hard hits along the boards that made you wonder how the UVM player was going to get up. McAvoy’s top end skating comes as advertised, alongside him being so strong on his skates. He was also very smooth with the puck. The speed at the NHL level will not be an issue for him as it looks like McAvoy will be ready to turn pro sooner rather than later.
- The other BU player and Bruins prospect that was on the ice Saturday night was Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson. The smooth center looked good and made some real nice plays but he was not as noticeable as McAvoy. But maybe that says more about McAvoy’s game than JFK. UVM did a good job bottling up BU’s top two lines and limited them all weekend. 2016 1st round pick (Arizona) Clayton Keller, did score a goal for BU, but it was on the power play. Either way, JFK looked bigger than I thought and played a solid game. He is known as a Patrice Bergeron “clone” so like Bergeron a lot of the little things that make him great go unnoticed or aren’t on the scoresheet. All in all he looks to be a real solid prospect that also could be NHL ready earlier than we expected.
- Zach Senyshyn followed up his 4 goal output on December 2nd with a 4 point (3 goals, 1 assist) output against the Niagara IceDogs on Friday night. Senyshyn only played in the one game this week due to participating in Team Canada’s World Junior Camp that runs December 10th-14th. He is now over a point per game pace with 16 goals and 10 assist for 26 points in 23 games. Senyshyn is also a plus-4 on the season.
- Notre Dame forward Anders Bjork scored 2 goals against Boston College on Saturday night. Bjork has slipped to 4th overall amongst NCAA Division I scoring leaders with 13 goals, 15 assists for 28 points in 17 games. That’s some good company to be apart of as Bjork was named Hockey East “Offensive Player of the Week” this week.