BostonBruins.com – The Boston Bruins used one of their two fifth round picks to select Cody Payne 145th overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, and less than a week later, the newest B was on his way to Wilmington for Boston's sixth annual Development Camp.
From roller hockey to the National Hockey League, the physical power forward has come a long way in his career.
Payne grew up playing roller hockey in Weston, Florida before he and his teammates decided to start an ice hockey club. From there he joined Toronto’s Mississauga Reps and was later drafted by the Ontario Hockey League’s Oshawa Generals.
Last season, he played in 10 games with the Generals and scored two goals before being traded to the Plymouth Whalers - Tyler Seguin's former OHL team - where he tallied three goals and 11 assists for a total of 14 points and 107 penalty minutes in 50 regular season games. The Whalers made it through two rounds of the Ontario Hockey League playoffs, with Payne recording an assist in nine games to add to his stat line.
Following the Draft, Bruins Director of Amateur Scouting Wayne Smith characterized the 6-foot-2, 201-pounder as a big, strong player with a lot of potential.
“[Payne] didn’t have a lot of ice time this year, but we were fortunate enough to catch him when his teammates were gone to the World Juniors,” Smith said after the Draft in Pittsburgh. “[We] saw him play in a top two-line role, and he’s as tough as they come.
“There’s no question he can fight… and he showed us that there’s potential for him to be a National Hockey League player.”
That toughness will make Payne a great fit for the B’s organization.
“When I think of the Boston Bruins I think of a hardworking club,” he said. “I’m a Boston prototypical power forward. I’m the type of guy that hits, and fights, and makes plays and stuff like that.
“So when I saw it was Boston, I was real excited and my agent told me it couldn’t be a better spot.”
Payne said he has always been a big fan of B’s forwards Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic.
“Those type of guys are the guys I like to play like,” he said. “They’ve got good hands in front of the net and skill and they’re not afraid to fight and they definitely get in on the forecheck and bang bodies.”
But Payne knows there is still work to be done if he wants to break onto the Bruins roster and compete at the NHL level.
“I’m definitely working on my skating, that’s one, that’s a big thing,” he said. “And getting faster in order to beat guys wide and stuff like that.
"And I’m really working on and developing my hands and my shot.”
With his physical play and eager attitude, Payne is sure to be a fan favorite at TD Garden in the future. Keep an eye out for him - and his toughness - along with the other 2012 draft picks at this week’s Development Camp.