Wilmington, MA – Bruins management took a close look at their prospects throughout Development Camp, with Ryan Spooner stirring up much of the discussion.
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli was quick to point out he’s not lacking in the talent department.
“You’ve seen him play – very skilled through the neutral zone, very highly skilled kid,” Chiarelli said of Spooner’s game.
Providence Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy ran the practices and was able to see Spooner’s skill at ice level.
“Very creative,” Cassidy said. “He made some no look passes that some of the other players in our club just don’t have the ability to make. And it’s one of his best gifts.”
Spooner had back to back goals in a scrimmage, displaying an element that can break games wide open.
“You can never be too fast,” Spooner said.
As if military drills and power skating at Development Camp weren’t enough, Spooner’s been hard at work in his downtime.
“I’ve been working once a week back home with Pat Malloy [Peak Hockey Program Coordinator] just doing some footwork stuff doing a lot of things like that,” Spooner said. “Back home we’ve been doing a lot of like sprinting stuff and all that kinda work too so that should help.”
His speed made an impact in one of the team’s scrimmages when he burst up ice in transition and finished beautifully with a goal.
Chiarelli was also pleased with the off-ice aspect of Spooner’s development.
“You can see he’s maturing as a young man, so physically just by looking at him and his tests have shown that also…it’s about being mentally prepared for every game, every practice,” Chiarelli said. “So he has developed and progressed a lot in those - sort of the mental side of it and the physical side of it.”
Cassidy emphasized the importance of Spooner’s hockey IQ maturing.
“The difference I noticed from last spring to the previous one was his attention to detail - away from the puck, he’s starting to become more of a student of the game,” Cassidy said.
Assistant General Manager Don Sweeney is also optimistic about Spooner’s trajectory.
“His time in Providence [Bruins] has certainly helped in that regard,” Sweeney said. “There’s a pro mentality that’s starting to seep in there.”
Spooner welcomed the opportunity to continue to improve his game down in Providence.
“If I don’t end up making the team I’m gonna go play for Providence hopefully and that’ll be a great experience too, I mean that’s a great league and I’m looking forward to that,” he said.
Whether it’s Boston or Providence, Sweeney is happy in the direction Spooner is going.
“I think we’re really happy about where he is today, and where he’s headed - most importantly, where he’s headed,” Sweeney said.
That said, Spooner made it no secret he's targeting TD Garden ice.
Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli grew that carrot when at the end of camp he said he believed Spooner, fellow forward Jared Knight and defenseman Dougie Hamilton would all challenge for roster spots in September.
Certainly that's additional motivation for Spooner, who simply said, "Obviously I want to make Boston."