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Development Camp Wrap-Up

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
John Bishop is the beat writer for He covers the Black & Gold hoping to offer a positive look at the team, not only from the stands and the press box, but also from inside the locker room. A graduate of Boston U. and Northeastern, 'Bish' grew up in Connecticut and moved to the Hub of Hockey in 1993. Since then he has made all four rinks at the Beanpot schools, as well as both Gardens, his icebound homes away from home. Prior to joining the TD Banknorth Garden staff in 2005, Bishop had written for several publications, with his primary focus being college hockey. He coauthored the book Bygone Boston in 2003 and hopes someday to pen a bio of Hobey Baker.
This piece appeared on July 19, 2007 and ran as the B's wrapped up the first Boston Bruins Development Camp. Covering the camp was one of the true joys I have had in hockey and I can't wait to cover the 2008 version. It begins on Tuesday. JB

As the summer speeds toward the new NHL season, I wanted to put a period at the end of the Bruins Developmental Camp before time gets away from us.

I come away from last week really enthusiastic about the players that are, or will be, part of the Bruins system for some time to come and fully intend to make trips to see the Lewiston MAINEiacs, Boston College, the University of New Hampshire, Westminster School and, of course, our Providence Bruins.

First off, the boys from last year's Providence playoff squad -- Krejci, Karsums, Lashoff and Trevelyan -- all gave notice in Wilmington that they will be a factor at the big camp come September. Hannu Toivonen made a cameo and should be applauded for his own on-and-off ice efforts.

Krejci, in particular, wowed with his stamina and offensive skills, while Lashoff provided a needed measure of on-and-off ice leadership.

Wacey Rabbit and Milan Lucic both brought a winning air with them from British Columbia where they recently celebrated a Memorial Cup victory as members of the Vancouver Giants. Lucic, as you know, was the MVP of the tournament and Wacey was outstanding, as well.

But what was most exciting for Bruins Nation was the play of five of the six B's selections from the 2007 Entry Draft. These players -- Zach Hamill, Denis Reul, Radim Ostrcil, Alain Goulet, Jordan Knackstedt -- showed exactly why Boston had drafted them.

You can also throw Adam McQuaid, a recent B's pickup, into that mix as well.

And the other draft pick, Tommy Cross, though injured worked his tail off all week in an effort to speed up his rehabilitation and continued to show a knack for projecting a terrific attitude, especially during his work on the stationary bike and while cheering on his future teammates.

Also notable was the effort put forward by Matt Hunwick and Brad Marchand, both of whom seemed not to have any low gear and were consistently in the mix during every drill.

I must say, however, it was Hamill who truly ignited the imagination.

It seemed that every time the puck was near the net, he was there. Every time the puck was carried over the blue line, he was there. All comparisons to present NHLers aside, there is no doubt that this kid is talented and his hockey and leadership skills have, thus far, been underrated by many people outside of the Bruins offices.

Perhaps he will make an even bigger impression at the NHL camp in September.

Final 4x4 Game…
Media intern Hannah Goldman watched the final White vs. Gold scrimmage and had this report:

Gold Downs White in Final 4-on-4 Scrimmage
Trevelyan Scores Two For Gold Team

Zach Hamill
Wilmington, MA --
The boys of the Boston Bruins Development Camp went out on the ice for the last time to display their talent and work off whatever energy was left in their tank after six solid days of camp.

However, fatigue did not seem to be an issue as the young men, divided into two teams, took to the ice for their favorite part of camp -- the four-on-four scrimmages, which on Saturday, featured fast skating and the hardest hitting during the week.

The Gold team, backed by University of New Hampshire goaltender, Kevin Regan, came out strong and took an early lead off of an unassisted Vladimir Sobotka goal.

The White team tied it up with their lone goal of the first period off of a wrister from Brad Marchand. But the tie would not last long, as the Gold team followed up with three more unanswered goals in the first period.

Boston Bruins 2007 draft pick Jordan Knackstedt made it 2-1 for the Gold team off of a drop pass from Sobatka, who tallied his second point early in the contest.

Shortly thereafter, Providence Bruin T.J. Trevelyan stuffed in a shot off of a rebound from the MVP of the Memorial Cup, Milan Lucic.

 Milan’s Vancouver Giants’ teammate, Wacey Rabbit, rounded out the first period scoring when he netted a goal on a nifty pass from Trevelyan.

The Gold team went into a physical second period with a 4-1 advantage -- the same score would be on the board at the end of the stanza, as well, as neither team scored during the frame, but not for the lack of chances.

Finnish sensation, goalie Tuukka Rask, and Hockey East standout Regan made numerous saves to keep their opposition at bay.

Tuukka Rask
Rask, in particular, made big saves throughout the period and stopped Sobotka at the doorstep. He then came up big again when he stymied B’s 2007 1st round draft pick, Zach Hamill, and Providence’s Matt Lashoff.

German native Denis Reul had a crushing check on Levi Nelson which also interrupted a White team three-on-one rush towards Regan. The period ended with high glove saves from Rask on a Krejci shot and from Regan on a Marchand bid.

The third period picked up where the first ended.

Lucic and the Gold team scored number five after a beautiful set up from University of Michigan graduate, Matt Hunwick.

The guys in Gold attempted to get their sixth of the game when a hard hit from Andrew Bodnarchuk on Radim Ostrcil ended their threat. However, they did get their goal only a few minutes later when Providence’s David Krejci intercepted a pass and, on a breakaway, sent it to Bradford, who put it top-shelf.

Martins Karsums got the White team back on the board with their second goal, when he took a pass from Marchand and sent it past Regan. But the four-goal deficit would not last long, as Trevelyan, stuffed in his second goal (3rd point) of the day to close out the scoring with the Gold team winning 7-2.

Regan, who had 31 saves, made a spectacular stop on a Chris Collins’ wrister to close out the game.

Just for fun, the new-B's closed out the 2007 Development Camp with a shootout, which was highlighted by two impressive skate saves by Rask.

The campers headed into the locker room tired and ready to head home for a few days of rest before they start of up the rest of their summer workouts.

Gold Team:
Forwards: Brock Bradford, Milan Lucic, T.J. Trevelyan, Byron Bitz, Jordan Knackstedt, Vladimir Sobotka, David Krejci. Defense: Radim Ostrcil, Matt Hunwick, Denis Reul. Goalie: Kevin Regan
White Team:
Forwards: Brad Marchand, Martins Karsums, Zach Hamill, Levi Nelson, Jared Walker, Chris Collins, Mikko Lehtonen. Defense: Matt Lashoff, Andrew Bodnarchuk, Adam McQuaid, Alain Goulet. Goalie: Tuukka Rask

Development Camp
Final 4-on-4 Scrimmage
Gold 7 vs. White 2

G    P  Team   Goal Scorer    Assist    Assist
1    1    Gold    Sobotka       
2    1    Gold    Knackstedt    Sobotka     
3    1    Gold    Trevelyan       Lucic   
4    1    Gold    Rabbit            Trevelyan   
5    1    White  Marchand       
6    3    Gold    Lucic              Hunwick    Bradford
7    3    Gold    Bradford        Krejci   
8    3    White   Karsums      Marchand   
9    3    Gold    Trevelyan       

      G   W                                 G   W
1    4    1                           1    7     9
2    0    0                           2    14  10
3    3    1                           3    8    14
T    7    3                           T    29  33

Goalies (Goals - Shots by Period)
TEAM     Goalie     1       2          3          T
Gold       Regan    1-9    0-10    1-14    2-33
White     Rask       4-7    0- 14   3-8      7-29

Heard in the rink…July 14, 2007
Peter Chiarelli
General Manager Peter Chiarelli

On the importance of this development camp:
You can see how the guys compete throughout the week. You are looking at their test scores and now they have reference point going forward this summer for conditioning. I think it is a real important tool that we are going to keep on doing.

On the change in the players that were also here last year:
Yes. There were three guys that we were just going over with the coaching staff – we won’t name names – but from their performance from rookie camp (last year) to their test results now is like night and day. They knew going in what to expect and they improved. That is the objective of this whole thing. The players know what to expect now, they know who their teammates are, and they will know what to expect at the main camp.

On the press release tonight:
We are going to be naming Jim Benning the new Assistant General Manager and Don Sweeney the Director of Hockey Operations and Player Development.

On what Benning’s and Sweeney’s new duties will be:
They are both going to get expanded duties. Jim’s area of expertise is player evaluation and he is going to oversee much of the operation from an assistant GM perspective. Donny is going to continue his player development portfolio. He is really outstanding in that. He will be overseeing it more now. And he will be in the day-to-day operations.

On Benning’s living situation:
He will be coming east.

On what he likes about Benning and Sweeney:
Well, both of these guys were very significant individuals in the hockey operations department. Jim has got a wealth of experience. Wherever he has gone, he has had success. He is a driven guy. And Donny is like a sponge. He is a very intelligent guy and he wants to be in this business. He has showed me so much this year. I do not want to exploit that, but I want to make use of that, and he wants to continue. Both of these individuals are outstanding.

On Sweeney helping this year with the players and prospects:
He was outstanding. He was down in Providence on a number of occasions. He knows how to connect with the guys and push their buttons; he knows what it takes. He enjoyed it. I think he likes getting away a little bit by getting on the ice. I do not blame him at times…He likes establishing the relationships and maintaining the relationships throughout the year whether it is going out to see them in person, or talking to them, or emailing them. He did an outstanding job with this camp. If you talked to these players, they would probably say the same thing.

On if Sweeney will have as much on ice time next year:
I am not sure. He is going to oversee it more. Make sure that it is done correctly. His template was very, very good this year.

On what things need to be done the remainder of the summer:
There are a couple things. We need to name an assistant coach; we are very close to that. And then there's some house keeping stuff.

On the difference for Coach Julien coming into the Bruins organization this year compared to New Jersey’s last season:
Well for him, it is another new beginning – fresh faces, different spots. I think he was impressed on what he saw here. I mentioned to him some of the players going into it, which he now saw first hand. Whenever you see young prospects that you think might be able to fill holes or at least push and get very close to them, it is exciting to see them come up through the system. And he knows, coming in as a new coach, that these players are going to want to prove themselves to him. So he is going to get a good assessment of these guys and he is in a position, along with us, and the rest of the hockey operations staff, to mold this team.

On who will be back in September for training camp:
Most of them will come back (minus the collegiate athletes). There are some guys that are not our property yet, like Walker and Corchaine.

On if there will be a rookie camp:
We will probably not have a rookie camp. We will have the (new guys) in at the same time as the main camp. Right now, that is the main plan. This camp does not take the place of it, but this is a development tool. It is a camp because you get them together, but it is for (the players) because it gives them a reference point where they are physically and mentally.

On if it was nice to get the team together in the middle of the summer:
A lot of people put in a lot of effort for this camp, starting with Donny…and a lot of guys came in and helped out. I guess, indirectly, it is a little bit of a team building thing too, not just for the players but for personnel as well.

Claude Julien
Head Coach, Claude Julien

On development camp:
When you spend 6-7 days with these guys you start to get a pretty good idea of your prospects.  It was a good week for me and certainly a good week for them as well. 

On the timing of the camp:
It was good. I got hired just before the draft and I was able to see the guys we took in the draft. And also guys that played in Providence last year that will be knocking at the door.  So I think it was really good for me to be here this week and get that opportunity.

On getting used to the staff:
Definitely.  The training staff, but I fortunately got the chance to play with both coaches from Providence, Rob Murray and Scott Gordon, so I know them well.  It was nice to get to see Bob Essensa here, and chat a little bit about the upcoming season with him, and Doug Houda as well.  The main thing is that this week will make the transition coming in later on a little easier.

On the fast-approaching season:
That is great.  I’m excited about.  You sit up there and watch and you start to get a little antsy and get yourself going.  I would rather have it be sooner than latter.  At the same time though, there are still a lot of things that I need to do to prepare for the season still.  So I will keep myself busy.

On his list of things to do before camp:
Touching base with the players, and getting the opportunity to talk to them.  At the same time we are getting training camp put together and getting a schedule for travel and everything thing else that you do in the off-season.  Also I am getting ready to move in here to the Boston area.

On how the move is going:
It is going pretty good.  My wife is coming in this week and we are slowly looking around, and hopefully we will have ourselves a place here pretty soon.  We are keeping our options open, but we are looking more in the suburbs with my family situation.

On his goaltending situation coming into this camp, compared to last year in New Jersey:
I always say that when I have tough decisions to make that is a good sign.  When you have no decisions to make sometimes it might be easier - you won’t have the headaches, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right solution.  So we are in a great situation here, we have a lot of depth. We are going to have tough decisions to make, no doubt.  But that also gives everyone a chance to push each other, and I think we will get the best out of everyone.

On Manny Fernandez’s comments on playing in his system:
Jacques Lemaire and I can be similar in a lot of ways.  We both put a lot of emphasis on the little details that we feel make a difference in the game.  We are friends; we do talk in the summertime.  The one thing I mean when I say similar, is that people shouldn’t say, “This is all about defense,” because when you have the elements to be a great offensive team you certainly want to use them as well.  Jacques proved that this year in Minnesota, having a little more firepower, and being a little more productive up front.  So what Manny said about us being similar is probably right.

On switching sides in the Bruins-Canadians rivalry:
I did what I had to do at the time, which was work with the Montréal Canadians. Certainly I would love to have the Bruins have the same success we had in Montreal after that series.  Obviously to be part of an Original Six team, and all the history is important to try and get the image back.

On the identity of the team:
You want to come in and set a team identity right away in camp.  When you set a team identity, when you are a team that plays the same way every night, when you change your style of play every night it is hard to get an identity.  We are going to try to put a system together that is going to be successful and give us an identity.  In the press conference I said a team that is harder to play against. When everybody knows what everybody else on the ice is doing, it certainly makes you a harder team to play against.

Don Sweeney
Director of Hockey Operations and Player Development, Don Sweeney

On his favorite thing about this week:
That it ran relatively smoothly, and I think that we accomplished, or at least zeroed in on the goal we set out to accomplish.

On his feeling of camp:
First and foremost the kids came in ready to work, and were intent on listening to the coaches, and so they were absorbing as well.  They were told that this wasn’t going to be a real competitive atmosphere, but they were expected to work hard.  We didn’t want them to think this was about winning a job.  This was about establishing new relationships and everyone one of them gets to play together, these are future teammates.

On Denis Reul:
I don’t think I can single anyone out, but we expected Denis to compete (because) that is his nature; once you meet the young man you learn that.  We will get a chance to kind of "rehash" as to who was a surprise and what not, but have to acknowledge the group as a whole.

On if his new expanded role will take away from his on-ice role:
I hope to still be on the ice. I feel like I have a good relationship with Flash (Scott Gordon) and Rob (Murray). To me it is a big a part of it. I got to know those players from being around; there is nothing that can replace being in the locker room and on the ice. You can watch as much hockey as you want, but watching guys practicing, and being around day-to-day is a very valuable piece.  Hopefully, the fact that I played the game doesn’t change opinions from a player's perspective.

On building from within:
These camps are kind of a new flavor; other teams have done this for a number of years.  Every team is a little different.  Some teams do everything off-ice, and some do it on.  So we will rehash and see what we can do better. There is always room to improve, but it was definitely worth it for us.  I have mentioned it a number of times this week, but Brad Marchand’s comments that if he had had this camp a year ago, he would have been more prepared for regular camp (last year).  That is what we are hoping for - for the kids to walk through the door and know people, and for their expectations to be set.

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