BostonBruins.com - The Boston Bruins will have five prospects attending preliminary World Juniors camps next week. Daniel Bukac and Jakob Lauko will compete for a spot with the Czech Republic, Kyle Keyser will vie for a place with Team USA, Pavel Shen will suit up for Russia, and Jack Studnicka will strive for a selection from Team Canada.
Camps start as soon as next week, with preliminary rosters needing to pare down to 23 players ahead of the tournament. The 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship starts on December 26 in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia. The championship game will be held on Saturday, January 5, 2019.
Here's a closer look at what the prospects have been up to:
Daniel Bukac, D | Niagara IceDogs
The Most, Czech Republic, native was selected in the seventh round (204th overall) of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. He is currently playing in his first season in the Ontario Hockey League with the Niagara IceDogs where he has two goals and four assists for six points in 22 games. He currently boasts a plus-13 rating, which has consistently been among the highest on his team. In October, he led the IceDogs with a plus-11 rating.
Prior to playing in the OHL, the 19-year-old played two seasons with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League, collecting 25 points (2 goals, 23 assists) in 101 games.
Bukac also has extensive international experience. Most recently, the 6-foot-6, 210-pound defenseman represented Czech Republic at the 2018 Under-18 World Junior Championship, scoring two goals in five games.
Video: Bukac spoke to media following Day 2 of Dev Camp
Jakub Lauko, F | Rouyn-Noranda Huskies
The 18-year-old Prague native was the Bruins' second draft pick in 2018, going in the third round (77th overall), and signed a three-year, entry-level contract on September 23. During Bruins training camp, he scored a goal in each of his first two preseason games before being injured. He was assigned to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League where he has 25 points (12 goals, 13 assists) in 24 games. His 1.04 points per game is the third-highest average on the Huskies.
"He's fast," Bruins Assistant General Manager Scott Bradley said at the Draft in Dallas. "Energy, plays with a lot of character, willing to sacrifice, and this player can really shoot the puck. His best asset might be his speed."
The 6-foot-1, 179-pound forward represented the Czech Republic in the 2018 Under-18 World Junior Championship, scoring three goals and recording three assists for six points in seven games.
Video: BOS@WSH: Lauko exits penalty box, finishes breakaway
Kyle Keyser, G | Oshawa Generals
The Coral Spring, Florida, native signed an entry-level contract with the Bruins on October 3, 2017 and is in his third season with the Oshawa Generals (OHL). The goaltender currently has the highest save percentage (.931) and second-lowest goals against average (2.38) in the OHL. He's logged 1,213 minutes in 21 games with a record of 14-4-1.
The 19-year-old was named to the initial U.S. roster for the 2018 World Junior Summer Showcase roster, which ran from July 28-August 4.
Fellow prospects Trent Frederic and Jeremy Swayman competed for Team USA at the World Junior Championships last year, where the team took home the bronze medal.
Video: Bruins prospect Kyle Keyser discusses hockey career
Pavel Shen, F | Salavat Yulaev Ufa
The 6-foot, 193-pound forward from Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, was drafted by the Bruins in the fith round (212 overall) in 2018. He's played for three leagues in Russia this season, logging 15 games with Salavat Yulaev Ufa (KHL) with zero points.
The 19-year-old captained Team Russia during the 2018 CBIC Canada-Russia Series in early November, leading Russia in scoring with three goals in six games.
"I think he can play both center and wing," Bradley said at the Draft. "Solid distributor of the puck. Taking a shot with a Russian. We haven't for a while, and I think it's a good swing here."
Video: Pavel Shen talks about his 2018 Dev Camp Experience
Jack Studnicka, F | Oshawa Generals
Studnicka was drafted 53rd overall (2nd) by the Bruins in 2017. The 19-year-old forward is a two-year captain of the Oshawa Generals (OHL). This season he has 32 points (11 goals, 21 assists) in 27 games, which is good for first in goals and second in points on the Generals. His 1.19 points per game average is the highest on the team.
The Tecumseh, Ontario, native signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Bruins on September 26, 2017. He played five games with the Providence Bruins last season (1-4-5) and traveled to China with the Boston Bruins during preseason in 2018, appearing in two games against the Calgary Flames and one domestic game against the Philadelphia Flyers, finishing with three assists.
Internationally, Studnicka has a long resume. The 6-foot-2, 170-pound center captained the OHL team during the 2018 CBIC Canada-Russia series in early November. He was also named to Canada's Summer Showcase roster this summer and represented Team Canada at the 2017 Under-18 World Junior Championships, scoring three goals in three games.