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A Wolverine in Wilmington

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins -- Steve Kampfer, a 21-year-old native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, was just one of the many Boston Bruins prospects that attended Development Camp 2010. Although he might have been one of the most experienced players in Wilmington -- as far as knowing what to expect from a professional camp -- the former University of Michigan defenseman was a Bruins Dev Camp rookie.

"I got everything out of [camp] that I expected,” said Kampfer. “I came in here with good hockey players and we had a good camp.

"Everyone worked really hard. We had a lot of fun at it and I think everyone came out of this week a little better and knowing how to make themselves better for the upcoming season.”

Kampfer’s rights were acquired by Boston this past March from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a conditional fourth round draft pick.

He was originally selected by the Ducks in the fourth round (93rd overall) in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

Asked about his favorite part of development camp, the defenseman spoke of "The Program” -- an athletic and leadership course designed to form a strong work ethic, physical and mental toughness, and positive teamwork within the athletes.

All of the B’s prospects participated in various team-building activities in Bedford and Lowell over a two-day period.

"I had fun the whole week,” said Kampfer. “I liked The Program because it challenged you, and you got to see how far you could actually push yourself.

"I was proud of every guy in here because everyone got through it. We all made strides physically and mentally.

“When we were all exhausted, we got back on the ice and pushed through it," he said.

During his senior season, Kampfer helped the Wolverines win their ninth CCHA playoff title and reach the quarterfinal round of the NCAA tournament.

This past season he also set career highs for goals (3), assists (23), points (26) and multi-point games (7). He also led all University of Michigan defensemen in assists, points, plus/minus (+18), power play scoring (2-13-15) and blocked shots (49).

Kampfer also played six games with the Providence Bruins and totaled a 1-2-3 line.

"I thought I got better as the week went on,” said the 5-foot-11, 197-pound defenseman. “I was just trying to work on the little things out there and start getting my game ready for main camp."

While Kampfer was trying to make a good impression on the coaching staff, they also left an impression on him.

"They were top notch,” said Kampfer, who studied under legendary Wolverine's head coach "Red" Berenson at Michigan, of the Bruins’ coaching staff. “They were always giving you positive and negative feedback, telling you to work on things and telling you what you were doing well.

“They were just trying to give you little pointers to make you a better hockey player."

From the stands and sidelines, Development Camp 2010 seemed like all work and no play, but Kampfer said that the prospects did get a chance to hang out and get know each other off of the ice.

The new B’s all came from different backgrounds: some from minor league teams, some from college teams and even one straight from high school.

But at camp they all had at least one thing in common - wanting to earn a Black & Gold Bruins sweater.

Those desires made the campers come together as a “team.”

"You made a couple of bonds with the guys… you hung out with,” said Kampfer. “Every guy in the locker room is a good guy.

“Someday you hope to be teammates with all of them. It starts at these things where you start to build those connections and start that bond to hopefully win the Stanley Cup someday."

---Samantha Curtin
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