Providence blueliner, Matt Bartkowski
, 22, was the last player to cut from the NHL roster after making the trip to Europe with the Boston Bruins.
Though he has yet to play his first NHL regular season game, he got a taste of playing in the NHL during the B’s exhibition games.
“Just starting to get my feet wet in Prague, I think it was a great experience.
“Being able to go to Europe and learn the staff and the players a little better was a great experience especially for a young player like me,” said Bartkowski.
“The first games I played were rookie games and then exhibition games, so the exhibition games were a pretty big jump from Ohio State University to play my first game in Montreal, so that was a huge jump. Just skill wise, speed wise, everything.”
The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native spent the first part of the P-Bruins season skating with Boston newcomer and fellow blueliner Steven Kampfer.
“When we were down in providence together, he was playing really well and just adding a lot to the team, and from the two games I’ve watched he’s been doing really well in Boston, so he’s a good all around player and brings a lot to the table.”
“I just try to watch whatever he’s doing and try and do that myself and get called up hopefully,” he said of hoping to join Kampfer in Boston.
Still, the puck-moving defenseman made an impression on B’s coaches this summer.
“Even though it was between him and [Steven Kampfer] when we had to cut down to one [on who to bring to European preseason trip], you could have flipped a coin on that one, no if’s or but’s,” said Coach Julien on the decision to send Bartkowski to the AHL.
Bartkowski spent two seasons with the Ohio State Buckeyes before being drafted in 2008.
“By the end of the camp, I felt comfortable. Coming down the to AHL was no different, just a different game, adjust to the speed and the way the team plays”
Bartkowski hopes to make another jump again, and is on his way to having his best season yet.
So far, he has posted a 3-6=9 line in 24 games in his first season with the P-Bruins.