– It‟s been nearly five years since defenseman Tommy Cross
was selected by the Boston Bruins (35th overall, 2007) and the Boston College captain has had some time to sharpen his game while playing for an elite NCAA program.
“I‟m a completely different player right now,” Cross said. “I‟m much more mature, bigger and stronger and my skating is a little better. I‟ve been more consistent and that comes with growing.
"I‟ve had time to develop and grow at BC, and it‟s been a great place for my development.”
Last Saturday, Cross played in the Frozen Fenway game against Beanpot and cross town rival Northeastern University and helped his team pick up a 2-1 win.
It was his second outdoor game at Fenway, after his Eagles fell to Boston University 3-2 in 2010.
“It‟s so much fun, everyone who gets the experience talks about what a good experience it is and it‟s something to remember,” Cross said after the game. “To get a win, I‟ll definitely put this one in front of the one two years ago.”
After attending the last five Bruins developmental camps, BC Head Coach Jerry York said Cross is developing the skills suited for an NHL defenseman.
“He‟s got size and strength, and he brings a great understanding of the game,” York said. “He‟s a combination of an offensive and defensive guy – he can play on the power play and he can defend.
"There‟s a real upside to Tommy‟s play.”
Cross‟ leadership is part of that upside and over the summer, at Boston Bruins Development Camp, B‟s Head Coach Claude Julien was excited about Cross pairing up with defenseman Dougie Hamilton
, the Bruins first selection in the 2011 draft.
“He‟s got kind of a calming influence for Dougie,” Julien said. “He‟s been patient about staying in school, and he‟s a captain, which obviously speaks volumes.”
“Boston College runs a [heck] of a program so that, that‟s a credit to Tommy in a leadership capacity.”
The Providence Bruins organization features some local college talent with former BU players Colby Cohen
and David Warsofsky
, and Cross said he is looking forward to the opportunity to play alongside his Development Camp teammates and former Hockey East opponents.
“It‟s great to know some of the guys in the system,” he said. “You get familiar with them at development camp and it‟s a good thing.”
Cross said he is eager to return to the Bruins fold after his senior year, but right now his sights are set on helping BC win its fifth national title.
“It‟s fun to look forward [joining the Bruins] and once it gets here, I‟ll be thrilled,” Cross said, who helped BC win a title in 2010. “But my goal is to be the fifth captain of Boston College to win a National Championship.” ---Anthony Gulizia