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Comfortable and Confident: Krejci Continues to Impress

by Tom Halkin / Boston Bruins
Forward David Krejci hadn’t skated since May 14th or the night Krejci’s Providence Bruins finally succumbed to the Manchester Monarchs in the Atlantic Division Final of the AHL’s Calder Cup Playoffs. 

Krejci was impressive in those playoffs, leading the P-Bruins with 16 points in just 13 games and he did the same in the regular season as well, recording a team best 74 points - earning him a six game promotion up to Boston.

After the P-Bruins were knocked out “Krech” took some time off to visit friends up in Ottawa, before returning to the Czech Republic to start his off-ice training.

Now, just two short (or too long for the true hockey fan) months later, Krejci was back on the ice and back to his old ways - wowing onlookers at Development Camp.

Director of Hockey Operations and Player Development, Don Sweeney, who ran the camp, was one of the onlookers impressed with his performance.

“He told me hasn’t skated,” Sweeney said after the first day of practice.  “But he is in good shape. 

“You can only imagine what he will look like in six weeks.”

Six weeks, Don? Try one day.

On the second day of camp the players separated into two teams for an afternoon 4-on-4 scrimmage.  David, paired with T.J. Trevelyan and Martins Karsums, completely stole the show as he tickled the twine four times and his play caused Sweeney to joke that he would have to break up that line.

All kidding aside, however, Sweeney mentioned that he had asked David to take a little bit of a leadership role camp, being one of two players (defenseman Matt Lashoff being the other) with NHL experience.

“I said to David that they (he and Lashoff) need to set an example everyday for the other guys, because they have the experience,” Sweeney said. “It doesn’t matter what level you’re at, you cannot trade that (experience) for anything.”

Though he is only just 21 himself, Krejci was more than happy to oblige.

He spent most of the week going out of his way to help fellow Czech’s Vladimir Sobotka and Radim Ostrcil feel comfortable on and off the ice – a task that included translating for the pair with the media, as well as additional work behind the scenes, such as helping Sobotka fill out some standard paperwork (not so standard when you’ve spent your whole life overseas).

“There are a couple of guys that do not speak English very well, so I’m just trying to help,” said Krejci.  “It is like we have known each other for a long time already. Something about it, this is a good group of guys in the room, so I’m happy to help any way I can.

“It’s fun,” he said with a big smile.

And “fun” was something that David was having a lot of during the week.

“(The camp) is so much fun,” he said.  “We toured the city on the Duck Tour boats.  We are doing some community events, which are good, and then we got the Red Sox game.

"So there is pretty much something going on everyday that’s exciting.”

Of course it is easy to enjoy yourself when you’re feeling both comfortable and confident – both of which David happens to be right now, and it shows.

“During the course of the season in Providence, I watched him emerge,” said Sweeney. “I saw him round out his game and fill in the gaps.”

“In the playoffs, he took it to another level, particularly when Hartford tried to run him pretty hard. It didn’t faze him…He didn’t change his game on bit. 

“You like to see that, especially in your skill players,” he said.

Now it is time for David to again take his game to another level if he hopes to challenge for a regular spot on Boston’s roster.

“I want to make the team; that is my goal,” Krejci said.  “I will do everything I can to make the team this season. 

"If not, I’ll be in Providence, but I’ll work as hard as I can and try to make the team down the line.”

Karsums, his friend, and his linemate in Providence, sees as no problem with David making the jump.

“He is an unbelievable player,” Karsums recently told the Boston Globe.  “He can put the puck in the net and he sees the ice incredibly (well).”

“He can play in the NHL next year for sure.”

One option for the Bruins, who are deep at center, could be for Krejci to move to winger, instead of his usual center ice position.

However, while the B’s brass knows Krejci has the skills and hockey sense to complete the move, they would prefer to just watch and see how things unfold when training camp gets underway in September, rather than rush any decisions.

“David felt very comfortable as the year went on in Providence,” said Sweeney.  “It shows the confidence in his game, and that he understands what is going on.  He has a way to go, but he has that willingness to work.”

“He had a very good year,” added GM Peter Chiarelli. “He has progressed a lot. 

“We wanted him to work on his tempo of play and combativeness and he did.”

A high tempo player with some combativeness; certainly sounds like a Boston Bruin, already!
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