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Local Boy in Black & Gold

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins

PITTSBURGH -- Given the circumstances surrounding the B's first round selection of Malcolm Subban, I left the CONSOL Energy Center confident in the fact that I had some stories in the bank for some time to come.


Today's selection doubled that bank account as the B's used the 85th overall pick in the 3rd round to select Charlestown-native Matthew Grzelcyk.

The defenseman, who will play for the Boston University Terriers in the fall, is also the son of longtime (45 years!) TD Garden "Bullgang" member, John Grzelcyk.

"It’s a great day - I mean it’s a tremendous day," said Mr. Grzelcyk. "I’ve been a Bruins fan my whole life.

"I was 5-6 years old following the Bruins. They didn’t make the playoffs for about eight straight years, then they drafted somebody – and I forget his name [laughs] Bobby Orr, and he was pretty decent, helped turn the franchise around.

"And not only just ‘cause I work there but it’s one of the best organizations in all of hockey – great ownership, great coaches, great everything. And it’s just a great place to work and he’s gonna find out too it’s a great place to work," he said.

Matt Grzelcyk will have some work to do pretty quickly. Bruins Development Camp is next week, but for now, the local hero is basking in the sudden spotlight.

"I really can’t put it into words," said the younger Grzelcyk. "It’s pretty unexpected, so I’m just over the top right now."

Some of that emotion is certainly fueled by Matt's being selected in the third round.

"You know, I wasn’t ranked that high," said the defenseman, who said he was ready for the pressure of playing in front of friends and family at BU and with the Bruins.

"Yeah, definitely," said Grzelcyk. "I mean, there’s obviously going to be a lot of people like my family and stuff, but I’ve always had this dream to play for the Bruins and hopefully that comes true one day."

But Grzelcyk's family isn't too worried about any extra pressure on Matt as he embarks on his hockey career.

"If I was the next NHL player, I’d probably worry about it," said John Grzelcyk. "But being an ex-Zamboni driver, I don’t think there’s much pressure on him.

"If it was like – say – Raymond Bourque's sons…they have a lot more pressure on them than my son probably has because Raymond’s a great player."

However, young Grzelcyk wants to bring that Zamboni-driving, blue collar bullgang mentality, as well as a little bit of finesse, to the ice on both Commonwealth Avenue and Causeway Street.

"Yeah I think I try to play my best when I’m more aggressive, jump into the plays," said the defenseman. "They’ve kind of built themselves on toughness, so maybe they might need someone to be able to break the puck out."

For now, however, Grzelcyk is pinching himself.

"It’s awesome," he said. "I mean it’s a dream come true.

"You kind of always think about it and now you’re not really sure it’s going to happen. But having this feeling right now is just unbelievable."

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