"I think we’re in a healthy position," he said. "I think we are going to see some guys, younger guys, start to challenge here.
"And that’s their job, to get here and start pushing other players out. As an older player when you go through things you constantly think, 'Okay who’s coming next?'
"The draft doesn’t stop."
Neither do transactions.
"We attacked our depth on the defensive side of things through...the acquisition of [Matt] Bartkowski and [Steve] Kampfer," explained Sweeney."We didn’t know how the draft would play out, as it’s always a moving target. You can work all year long for a guy that you covet and he goes [gets drafted] in front of you. So that stuff sometimes is unpredictable.
"This way we went out and identified players that we did like and added to our mix. So I think that that is a healthy position for us to be in as well.
"It’s kind of a neat time for us. We do have a lot of players kind of emerging at once. It will make for healthy competition," he said.
But out of that competition camaraderie has emerged as well.
For example, Joe Colborne (Boston's first round selection in 2008, 16th overall) called some of the first year campers to give them a run down of what to expect from their first experience in Boston's system.
"That’s music to all of our ears to be honest with you," said Sweeney. "Joe actually asked me for a couple of guys numbers and I was quick to shoot them out to him because I love initiative on all of our players.
"He’s a great kid and each and every one of these kids should understand that we hope that more will emerge. We’re doing an off-ice program today that will hopefully enable that even more. We tried to pair roommates with guys that have been here just to be able to pass on that knowledge and put kids at ease and make them feel comfortable.
"Walking through that door is a nervous thing, there’s a lot of anxiety there when you walk through the first time. Some of these guys are going to come back for training camp and try to make our hockey club and we want them put at ease," continued Sweeney. "We want them to be able to put their best effort forward. And put their skills on display rather than worry about the anxieties that some along with that."
And those efforts are being rewarded.
"I just had a nice conversation with Matt Dalton," said Sweeney. "His roommate last night was kind of nervous going in, he was just drafted and showing up here and not knowing any names or faces and such.
"Matt said how much more comfortable he felt leaving here and going into training camp.
"That’s really what the object is, for these guys to have a clear indication of where they’re at, the work they have to do between now and training camp...[and] we’ve had, obviously, players that have arrived here at development camp and have made our hockey club, so each and every one of them should understand that."