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A New Day for Knight, Spooner

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins — As the P-Bruins embark on their 2012-13 campaign, prospects Jared Knight and Ryan Spooner look to continue their transition from the junior hockey ranks to the pros with a heavy dose of AHL action.

Knight, for one, is happy that he's now on the same team as Spooner, who often lined up opposite Jared during their respective CHL careers.

"I’m always playing against Spooner," said Knight with a laugh. "You know, we have such a good chemistry off the ice it’s good to finally play on the same ice with him and play on the same team."

And the relative familiarity of the faces in Providence — many of whom the pair has encountered at previous Bruins camps — is a source of comfort.

"My first [Development Camp] I didn’t really know anyone, so I came here, I was really nervous, didn’t really know what to expect," said Spooner. "But over the last three years, it’s been kind of the same people and you get comfortable with them.

"I think that definitely helps."

In that sense, the ideas of the Black & Gold brass continue to come to fruition. It's that kind of comfort, which the Boston Bruins hoped to foster when they began their development camps in 2007.

"I was talking to [Assistant GM Don Sweeney] about [Development Camp] and he said the reason why they do that is because you get to know everyone," said Spooner. "You get familiar with all the people there, all your teammates, your coaches, all that kind of stuff, so yeah, it’s great."

Now, both Knight and Spooner said they've been able to come to camp ready to put their best foot forward in front of the Providence coaches and Bruins staff.

"Everything," Knight said when asked about his post-Dev Camp summertime to-do list. "I was in the basement shooting pucks, you know, after the skates I was shooting pucks. I was pulling the slide on the ice and working on my speed.

"So you know there was a lot that I was working on, but I think it was a really successful summer."

Having now completed three Development Camps, Knight added that he's hoping to build on a strong offseason regimen by paying attention to the more veteran players in the P-Bruins locker room.

"I mean it’s a little bit different," he explained. "You go to OHL camp and guys are having [fast food] after practice and here they’re having [nutritional] shakes.

"It’s awesome to watch the older guys like [Trent Whitfield] and some of those guys, you know how they prepare and how they treat their body."

As such, during this year’s Development Camp, and also his third, Spooner took an almost academic approach to his summertime.

The generally tight-lipped, but talented skater was showed his maturity as he participated in everything that the B's summer sojourn had to offer, from a nutrition class to social media mentoring.

"I think when you come here we do all those little things—eat healthy, get to bed early—do all those things its really makes a huge difference here," said Spooner. "In junior hockey you don’t notice it as much because everyone’s so young.

"But once you get here, every advantage you can get is a huge one, so I guess you’ve got to take it where you can get it."

But also like Knight, Spooner put special emphasis on his on-ice work.

"It’s my first year here," he said. "I think I have a lot to prove and I worked hard in the summertime.

"I did well in the fitness testing…so hopefully I can kind of translate all the hard work that I did in the summertime, and hopefully it can make me put up some results."

Like his teammate, Spooner also acknowledged the many good examples to follow in Providence throughout the upcoming season.

"I think one thing that they do great is just all the little things, away from the puck, near the puck, and if I can implement that into my game I think it’s going to go a long way," he said.

"So, I think for me, I need to sit back, watch some of the guys who have played a lot of games in the American League, a lot of games in the NHL, and just pick apart little things they do to make themselves successful.

"If I can do that I’ll be good," said Spooner.

"Same thing, just work hard, play hard, and try to score," explained Knight of his agenda. "I do everything I’m capable of doing.

"If I do that, I’ll be fine."
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