”When he came to us last year, we thought that he was essentially pro-ready. He played like it and he played with a confidence, a confidence…that I really admire,” Providence Bruins Head Coach Rob Murray said.
Kampfer, who got to wear the “C’ in both of this week’s rookie games, was excited that the B’s management found him deserving.
“It was an honor…it was great wearing it,” Kampfer said.
But what did the decision-makers see in the University of Michigan grad that made him standout from the rest?
“I was wondering who I should make the captain tonight, and I think he’s kind of been the kid that’s stepped up,” Murray explained after Wednesday’s 5-2 victory against the Islanders rookies.
“Little things just in practice that I noticed he’s doing – whether he’s first in all the drills, or kind of giving the guys a kick in the butt…he’s vocal.
“He’s just one of these guys that you just know he wants to be a hockey player. He just does what he has to do to get success with it.”
All of the rookies were excited about their performance in this week’s wins. Kampfer was especially glad to be able to put on a show for the 26,000-plus fans that came during their two nights at the TD Garden.
“It shows you the support the Bruins have, especially for the rookies,” the 93rd overall pick of the 2007 entry draft said. It’s a preseason game, a rookie game, and they show up, they’re excited to see what they have for the future, and we are excited to show them what we can bring down the line.”
Kampfer has been invited to attend the Bruins full training camp, which opened on Friday, September 17 with fitness testing. Originally drafted by Anaheim, Kampfer is looking to continue to make an impression throughout the preseason and earn a full-time spot with Boston’s big-league club.
“Obviously, you want to make a push for the team, that’s why you’re here. If that’s not the case, then you go down to Providence and you have a heck of a year and you hope you get called up throughout the season.”
Kampfer took his own advice last season, making the best of his six-game stay with the Bruins’ AHL affiliate last spring.
“Going out and getting my feet wet, that was awesome. Going out to Providence and playing those six games really helped, just trying to get ready for this year and make a push out of camp.”
With the experience in Providence behind him, what’s this defenseman still most anxious about?
“I think you’re used to playing against small men in college. You’re not used to playing against 28, 29-year-old guys doing this for a living,” Kampfer explained.
“I had to go home and work on my defensive zone play, but I thought I’ve done a good job over the summer and will carry it into this camp.” ---Ashley Robbins