BostonBruins.com - The Bruins development camp is composed of more than just recent Bruins draft picks. The roster also consists of invites seeking to make an impression on the Bruins coaches and seeking to become better players overall. Two of those invitees include forward Daniel Brodin and defenseman Derek Docken.
Docken, who finished his sophomore year this past year at the University of Alaska-Anchorage in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) where he had 3 goals and 3 assists for 6 points in 36 games, described how he grew to love hockey saying, “I grew up in Minnesota so it’s kind of what everyone does there and my older brother played so I played. Just played for my hometown all the way up and I played a couple years in the North American Hockey League and my last year in Dubuque in the USHL we won a Clark Cup and then off to Anchorage.”
“So I’m going to be a junior next year and I’m looking forward to it.”
Meanwhile, Daniel Brodin was one of the many European players to come to the camp. He spent the past year playing for Assat Pori of the Finnish Elite League where he had 10 goals and 8 assists for 18 points in 60 games. He also had 73 penalty minutes. In addition, he played in 16 playoff games where he stepped up his play scoring 6 goals and adding 2 assists for 8 points.
Brodin’s overall impression of camp so far was positive. He summed up how development camp was going on the third day simply saying, “It’s been tough and fun.”
Both of these players come from different backgrounds and desired to develop in different ways, but like all camp invitees they felt honored just to be a part of the week and have the opportunity to show what they can bring both on the ice and off.
Docken spoke about how he felt when the Bruins invited him to the camp saying, “It’s an honor to come to this camp, especially just because the success that they’ve had in recent years and stuff like that especially being a free agent and stuff. It’s definitely an honor just going out there and trying my best and giving 100 percent and making the most of the opportunity.”
“I want to play in the NHL so of course I was happy when they asked me to come here,” added Brodin. “It was fun.”
Both players know that they have room to improve as development camp ends and the fall begins.
“I think I’m just a good skating defenseman,” said Docken on his game. “I make a good first pass. I can break up plays on the defensive side. Pretty good skater so I use that to my advantage for the most part, but there’s still a lot of areas in my game I need to work on. Coming to this camp kind of shows that even more what I need to work on because a lot of great players at this camp.”
“What I need to work on is obviously conditioning and stuff like that,” added Docken. “Keep getting faster in my shot, my offensive game. There’s a lot that I need to work on, but that’s why I went to school, college to get four years to do that so yeah that’s what I plan on doing, just keep working hard.”
“I think I have to be a little bit stronger especially in front of the net like be stronger and also give myself more time in front of the net finding open spaces and that kind of stuff,” said Brodin on how he needs to improve. “Also be like my weapon is like I’m fast. So I want to be faster also.”
Both players try to model their games after some notable NHL players.
“I was a big Brian Rafalski guy. I know he’s retired now, but he’s a good skater,” said Docken reflecting on who he admired growing up. “He was kind of an older guy when he came into the league and stuff. It kind of took him awhile. He was a little bit of a late bloomer.
“That’s why I kind of consider myself a little bit of an older guy coming in here. I really like Brian Rafalski and kind of what he did. He had a long career. I’m not saying that’s what’s going to happen to me, but just try to model myself after him and it worked out for him.”
“I always liked Ovechkin’s style of play,” said Brodin. “So I guess I would have to say him.”
As development camp concludes, both players have plans to continue playing and developing in the fall. For Brodin, he is heading back to his native country Sweden to play, while Docken enters his third year at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
Docken outlined his goals for the upcoming season saying, “I’m ready to get back up there and finish out the summer strong, finish out this camp strong, and get back up there and keep getting better.”