The Bruins wrapped up day two of their development camp today at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington on Thursday, with the players in attendance getting a second crack at showing off their skills to their bosses and fellow amateur teammates.
The action saw more of the same from Wednesday's session, with the assortment of players taking part in the standard practice drills, including defensive breakouts to center ice, dump and chase drills, the assortment of player v player rushes, full-ice rushes beginning from behind the net, before finally wrapping up with 2 v the goalie rushes, which provided some of the best moments of the practice and some pretty slick shots.
Here are a few notes and observations from the session:
- After impressing in day one, 2014 first-round pick David Pastrnak continued to showcase his considerable skills on the ice, as he is clearly the most gifted offensive talent in the pool of players at camp. Sitting in your seat, everything Pastrnak does jumps out at you clear as day. His burst of speed takes him from a stand-still position to a full stride in no time. If he wasn't bolting around defenders with his speed alone, he was pulling off shoulder-dip moves to turn them inside out and get them off balance. His puck handling is so smooth and quick that on multiple occasions, he used it to slow down the pace of the rush to catch defenders watching his hands, allowing him to whip a pass right to the blade of his teammate on the other side of the ice.
- If Pastrnak isn't the best player at camp, goalie Malcolm Subban is. Subban is so quick with his every move, whether it be flashing the glove, extending his stick, pushing off side-to-side or getting down in the butterfly, it's not hard to see the amazing potential he has going forward. I was on the opposite side of where Subban was for practically the whole session, but from what I saw when looking in on the drills, he was rarely beaten for goals. On one 2 v 1 rush, Subban was able to save the initial shot from the side boards and still get across the crease in time to turn aside the rebound attempt with a stick save, with the whole move being done in one smooth motion.
- Coming in at 6-foot-7 and weighing 249 pounds, Belarusian defenseman Oleg Yevenko is a monster of a man when standing next to his fellow teammates. Yevenko's size is both an advantage and a liability, as you can see both the pros and the cons come into play when he's on the ice. He uses his considerable frame and the length of his stick to break up rushes before they even got going. But other times, the smaller, quicker skaters were able to burst by him and leave his skates tied up and left him in no-man's land. Yevenko's best moment came on a 2 v 1, when he got turned around in close to his net but was able to swing back into balance and break up a cross-ice pass just in front of the crease.
- Forwards Anders Bjork, Anton Blidh, Ryan Donato, and Mitchell Dempsey all posses wicked wrist shot ability, and it was on full display through the course of practice. Early on in the session, Bjork beat goalie Zane Gothberg with a perfect shot over the glove and right under the bar, leaving Gothberg frozen in his pose for a second afterwards. Local kid Donato also had a few pretty shots of his own, as he too beat Gothberg with a rifle of a shot on the stick side and just inside the post from a pretty difficult angle.
- Emil Johansson, a seventh-round pick in this year's draft, was having a great deal of trouble finishing out the practice session. On the final drill of the day, which required players to skate the full length of the ice on offense then come back the other way a few whistles later playing defense, Johansson was left catching his breath in the corner in between turns. He had his head down and dry-heaved once or twice and was visibly out of gas before the whistle to conclude practice mercifully blew. As is the case with practically all of the young players attending, participating in these drills is used to show where they are in their conditioning and fitness is at this point in time.
- The start of practice was a little helter skelter, as the players had some trouble lining up and skating through their rushes correctly. After a few failed attempts with players going both ways and missing their lanes, the assistant coaches had to blow their whistle to totally reset the drill and start over to shake out the nerves on the minds of the skaters.
There's three days left for development camp, with tomorrow's session starting at 10:00 A.M. again at Ristuccia. Keep it tuned to Bruins Life as we cover all the happenings from boot camp heading into the weekend.