WILMINGTON – Ryan Lindgren was not on the ice when Bruins Development Camp kicked off on Tuesday morning. But there was a pretty good reason for his absence.
The newly drafted defenseman was at the University of Minnesota partaking in his freshman writing and student athlete summer courses. Lindgren completed his necessary commitments and flew to Boston in time for Day 2 of the camp on Wednesday, joining the rest of the group for a long day of on-ice sessions.
It is just the beginning of a careful balancing act for the 18-year-old native of Minneapolis.
Juggling his academic duties with his hockey career is something he will have to get used as he approaches his first fall as a member of the Golden Gophers.
“I think they do a great job there at the University of Minnesota of keeping us balanced between hockey and school,” said Lindgren, who was selected by the Bruins in the second round of last month’s NHL Entry Draft.
“I came there to play hockey. I’ve got to have good grades as well, though, that’s important.”
Lindgren played the last two seasons for the U.S. National Development Team Program, for which he tallied nine goals and 44 points, to go along with 145 penalty minutes, in 116 games.
As a result, the 6-foot, 203-pound blueliner feels he is more than ready to make the jump to college hockey.
“I think I’m going into a good situation,” said Lindgren. “I think I’ll be expected to play a big role there, play a lot hopefully. But I’ll for sure have to go in there and control my ice time, show the coaches and team that I can play.
“I hope to go in there and play a big role and be looked at as a leader on that team as well.”
Lindgren comes to the Bruins organization with a strong reputation for being a leader. His natural ability to step up and take the reins is what helped separate him from the rest of the pack.
“I take a lot of pride in that,” said Lindgren, who was the captain of his U.S. National team for the last two seasons. “Guys and my teammates see me as a leader, see me as a guy who doesn’t take a day off, comes to work every day. I take pride in that, I take pride in how hard I work. I hope guys see me as a leader.”
That commitment has not wavered in the three week since the Draft. Despite his academic obligations, Lindgren has still made time for training on and off the ice.
“I’ve been doing school – I’m there most of the week and go home on the weekends,” said Lindgren. “But I’m still training Monday through Friday, and skating when I can.”
His training has had a particular focus. Lindgren plays a rough-and-tumble style and would like to add more power to his lower body.
“My explosiveness is something I need to work on, just being an all-around better skater,” said Lindgren. “I might not be the biggest guy out there, so I need to be a good skater, I need to be good down low, I need to be bigger and stronger and faster.
“I’ve spent a lot of time in the weight room and just overall becoming a stronger person.”
The 2016 Boston Bruins Development Camp is presented by AT&T.