BostonBruins.com - After battling with injury and illness throughout the first half of his rookie season, Curtis Hall, the Bruins third pick in the 2018 NHL Draft (fourth round, 119th overall), is finally hitting his stride.
The Yale forward was named ECAC Rookie of the Week earlier this month after registering three points (two goals, assist) in the Bulldog's weekend sweep of Colgate and Cornell. His two goals against Cornell marked his second multi-goal game this season, with the first coming against Colgate in November. The Princeton, NJ native had a plus-3 on the weekend.
"I was really, really excited," said Hall. "I think this is my third week back from being sick, and things were kind of going rough the last couple of weeks. Coach put me on the wing on another line, and it kind of just clicked…we had two big wins this weekend that we really needed, so I was obviously happy enough to have such a great weekend, and then to get Rookie of the Week was an awesome honor, and I was really excited to see that."
The 18-year-old has eight points (five goals, three assists) in 16 games, playing games as both wing and center. He played the last two seasons in the USHL with the Youngstown Phantoms, tallying 31 points (13 goals, 18 assists) in 54 games in 2017-18. Hall says the biggest difference between the two leagues is the decreased amount of games in the NCAA.
"It's been a big learning experience for me to become more versatile," said Hall. "It's definitely been a big transition especially in that we don't play as many games as in the USHL, so we have a lot more time to practice and train. We work out a lot. Twice a week now during the season, but every day in the offseason. On the ice it's a lot more physical. I feel like everybody is battling and always skating, so the physicality is a lot heavier, and everybody's more rounded out at this level."
While he is set to attend his second Bruins Development Camp this summer, right now his focus remains on the season at hand and trying to position his team for a strong playoff run.
"As a team, we've had some up and downs," said Hall, "But we're third in our division right now in the ECAC, so we're looking to stay top four and get a bye in the first round of playoffs. Obviously, keep doing what my line did this last weekend and keep producing. More importantly, as a team, make it into playoffs and hopefully have a good run and hopefully make it to the tournament later on."
Video: Hall spoke to media after Day 2 of Dev Camp
Twenty-year-old Oskar Steen has 11 points in his last eight games for Farjestad BK of the Swedish Hockey League, including a four-point (goal, three assists) effort on January 31. The forward is in his third season with the team and is third on Farjestad in scoring with 30 points (19 goals, 13 assists) in 40 games.
The Karlstad, Sweden native has a plus-15 rating which is tied for second on the team, and his 17 goals result from 74 shots on goal, leaving his shooting percentage at 18.9%. Steen was drafted by Boston 165th overall (6th round) in the 2016 NHL Draft.
Forward Jack Studnicka scored four goals last Thursday night in Niagara's 10-2 win over the Kitchener Rangers. He now has 33 points (17 goals, 16 assists) in 21 games.
The 20-year-old was traded to the IceDogs on January 30 from the Oshawa Generals, where he scored 34 points (12 goals, 22 assists) in 30 games. Since the trade, Studnicka is averaging 1.57 points per game with Niagara and was named an assistant captain.
The Windsor, Ontario native was drafted by the Bruins in the second round (53rd overall) of the 2017 NHL Draft.
Swayman Leading the Charge
University of Maine goaltender Jeremy Swayman was named Hockey East Co-Defensive Player of the Week on February 25 after stopping 67 shots over the weekend and helping his team clinch a playoff position. The sophomore played in eight games in February, ending with a 5-2-1 record. He allowed 15 goals and stopped 165 shots. Six of the eight contests featured 30-plus saves by Swayman, including 41 stops in Maine's 5-3 win over New Hampshire.
He made a career-high 53 saves on January 26 in the team's 4-3 victory over No. 2 ranked UMass.
The 20-year-old has played in 32 games this season (14-14-4) with a 2.70 goals against average and .922 save percentage. The Bruins selected the Anchorage, Alaska native 111th overall (4th) in the 2017 NHL Draft.