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With day three of development camp having concluded on Friday and day four taking place on Saturday, the assortment of Bruin prospects, draft picks and invitees have only one more day left on the the ice at Ristuccia Arena before heading back home for the summer to await hockey season in the fall.

Dev Camp continues on for the B's (via @NHLBruins)

But for some of the most promising prospects in attendance, home isn't that far away at all. For Massachusetts natives Ryan Donato (Scituate), Ryan Fitzgerald (North Reading), Michael Doherty (Reading), Matt Grzelyck and Billy Sweezey (Charlestown) home is just an exit off I-95.

And in the case of both Donato and Fitzgerald, they are filling the skates of their fathers before them in donning an eight-spoked B on the front of their jersey.

The five Massachusetts-born players taking part in this summer's development camp outnumber the four Canadian-born players in attendance (goalie Malcolm Subban, defenseman Matt Benning, forward Mitchell Dempsey, forward Kyle Baun), something that is almost unheard of when discussing the future prospect composition of an NHL roster.

But the fact that five local skaters outnumber the Canadian-born players at a week-long development camp doesn't mean there is a shifting trend towards rejecting the talent from up North and focusing solely on home-grow potential. Instead, according to B's assitant general manager Don Sweeney, it's simply about finding the best players with the best skills, no matter where they're from:
It’s an exciting part to see these kids come in with the skill sets they have...You’re seeing a trend in the league itself away from maybe the fighting aspect as such in the National Hockey League — it’s always going to be part of it and I believe it should be — but there’s a skill component that I just don’t think you can ignore. But the bottom line is we just want the best players. We want the best players that want to play for us.
“It’s fun to watch these kids grow up in your backyard that you’ve seen them play and continue to develop,” Bruins assistant general manager Don Sweeney said Wednesday. “It’s a testament to the area and the quality of competition that Massachusetts and the area is producing these players. And it’s fun, they have a real — you know, you watch Ryan’s (Fitzgerald) family realize how exciting it is, both Ryans for that matter, and Grizz’s (Matt Grzelyck) family is a great story.

Read more at: http://nesn.com/2014/07/bruins-notes-massachusetts-well-represented-at-2014-development-camp/
“It’s fun to watch these kids grow up in your backyard that you’ve seen them play and continue to develop,” Bruins assistant general manager Don Sweeney said Wednesday. “It’s a testament to the area and the quality of competition that Massachusetts and the area is producing these players. And it’s fun, they have a real — you know, you watch Ryan’s (Fitzgerald) family realize how exciting it is, both Ryans for that matter, and Grizz’s (Matt Grzelyck) family is a great story.

Read more at: http://nesn.com/2014/07/bruins-notes-massachusetts-well-represented-at-2014-development-camp/
“It’s fun to watch these kids grow up in your backyard that you’ve seen them play and continue to develop,” Bruins assistant general manager Don Sweeney said Wednesday. “It’s a testament to the area and the quality of competition that Massachusetts and the area is producing these players. And it’s fun, they have a real — you know, you watch Ryan’s (Fitzgerald) family realize how exciting it is, both Ryans for that matter, and Grizz’s (Matt Grzelyck) family is a great story.

Read more at: http://nesn.com/2014/07/bruins-notes-massachusetts-well-represented-at-2014-development-camp/
“It’s fun to watch these kids grow up in your backyard that you’ve seen them play and continue to develop,” Bruins assistant general manager Don Sweeney said Wednesday. “It’s a testament to the area and the quality of competition that Massachusetts and the area is producing these players. And it’s fun, they have a real — you know, you watch Ryan’s (Fitzgerald) family realize how exciting it is, both Ryans for that matter, and Grizz’s (Matt Grzelyck) family is a great story.

Read more at: http://nesn.com/2014/07/bruins-notes-massachusetts-well-represented-at-2014-development-camp/

The European influence is also heavily felt at this year's camp, with the likes of 2014 first round pick David Pastrnak leading the way of a talented group of players that will have the chance to develop their game
and eventually make a real impact for the B's down the road. Joining the supremely-gifted Czech-born Pastrnak at the top include a trio of Swedish imports: defensemen Linus Arnesson
 and Emil Johansson, and forwards Anton Blidh and Simon Norberg. 

Arnesson, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound mobile and fluid D-man is participating in his second development camp, and at the moment, he stands as the player most-ready of the five to take the next step towards the NHL. He can makes the jump to the AHL in Providence in the fall if he is released from his team in the Swedish Elite League, something that will have to be maneuverd to make happen. A second round pick in 2013, Arnesson is one of Boston's more intruguing European prospects, as he's currently ranked just behind prospects Joe Morrow and David Warsofsky, as well as newly-acquired Chris Breen on Boston's defensive depth chart.

As for the other Swedes in Johansson, Blidh and Norberg, all three have held their own through the first four days at camp. Each of the three players share a distinct quality in their game, whether it is a vicious shot release, a strong skating stride or the ability to both dish and recieve contact. The camp allows the Bruins to get an up close and personal look at what they have to offer now in terms of their ability, as well as what they can grow into moving forward.

Between tagging the Massachusetts natives and identifying the European hidden gems, the Bruins have made it clear they are leaving no rocks unturned when it comes to building their youth system with the goal of finding the next great player for the Black and Gold. The players have one more day in camp to show off what they got, and when they depart Ristuccia for the last time on Sunday and shift their focus to hockey in the fall, they'll have the experiences of development camp to keep them hungry and humble moving forward. 

Mark Burke 7/12/2014 07:21:00 PM Edit

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