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Kampfer Ready for 'Whatever is Asked' of Him

Veteran blue liner reacts to two-year contract extension

by Eric Russo @NHLBruins / BostonBruins.com

BOSTON - When Steven Kampfer first arrived here out of the University of Michigan nine years ago, he admits that he had some maturing to do - both on and off the ice.

"At 22 years old, I was a cocky kid and thought I was the best," said Kampfer, who helped the Wolverines to NCAA tournament appearances in all four of his seasons and twice advanced to the Frozen Four.

Acquired from the Anaheim Ducks in early 2010, Kampfer - a fourth-round selection in the 2007 NHL Draft - believed he was destined for greatness. But during his brief first tenure with the Bruins from 2010-12, Boston's blue line was tough to crack as the Black & Gold aimed for its first Stanley Cup in 39 years.

As such, the Bruins' roster was not the greatest fit for a young defenseman trying to find his way in the National Hockey League.

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12 Bruins Games to Circle on Your Calendar in 2019-20

Season opener in Dallas, traditional Black Friday matinee, showdowns with Blues among the highlights

by Eric Russo @NHLBruins / BostonBruins.com

BOSTON - While the Bruins' magical run to the 2019 Stanley Cup Final is still fresh in everyone's minds, it's time to start looking forward to next season.

On Tuesday afternoon, the National Hockey League announced the full 2019-20 regular-season schedule. And there are plenty of notable matchups on the docket, including showdowns against all four postseason foes from this past spring, the traditional Black Friday matinee, and many more.

Here are some of the best games to circle on your calendar:

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Bruins Breakdown: 2019 Free Agency

Johansson, Acciari, Kampfer set to hit the market on July 1

by Eric Russo @NHLBruins / BostonBruins.com

BOSTON - With the Bruins' run to the Stanley Cup Final firmly in the rearview mirror, it's time for the organization to shift its focus to the future. That process began over the weekend in Vancouver as Don Sweeney and his scouting staff selected five players during the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.

It is unlikely that any of those new prospects will make an immediate impact on the roster in 2019-20, so Sweeney will have to fortify his lineup with players from within the system and free agency, which begins a week from Monday.

The Bruins have three unrestricted free agents (Noel Acciari, Marcus Johansson, and Steven Kampfer) from the big club, with another four that played mostly in Providence this season (Zane McIntyre, Mark McNeill, Lee Stempniak, and Jordan Szwarz).

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2019 NHL Draft Recap: Pick-By-Pick Breakdown

Bruins make five selections, adding four forwards and one defenseman

by Eric Russo and Riley Nelson @NHLBruins / BostonBruins.com

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - The Bruins left here on Saturday afternoon with five shiny new prospects in their toolbox after selecting four forwards and a defenseman during the 2019 NHL Entry Draft at Rogers Arena.

The crop's headliner was first-round pick John Beecher, a centerman out of the United States National Team Development Program that boasts an impressive blend of size (6-foot-3, 209 pounds) and elite skating.

Rounding out the Black & Gold's 2019 Draft class on Day 2 were forwards Quinn Olson, Matias Mantykivi, and Jake Schmaltz, as well as Russian blue liner Roman Bychkov.

"I think we got some depth," Bruins assistant general manager Scott Bradley said following the Draft's conclusion on Saturday afternoon. "You know, we spread it out pretty good. We got a couple good forwards, got the D-man from Russia, so we're excited…we hit on a lot of guys on our list."

Here's a closer look at Boston's five newest prospects:

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Center of Attention

Beecher selection part of Bruins' plan to continue building up the middle

by Eric Russo @NHLBruins / BostonBruins.com

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - For over a decade, the Bruins have set the standard for building around centermen in the National Hockey League.

With Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci leading the way, Boston has not had much to worry about when it comes to its play down the middle. And with Charlie Coyle and Sean Kuraly - two of the Bruins' best postseason performers this spring - also in tow, there may not be a better quartet of pivots anywhere in the NHL.

But one of the most crucial parts of Don Sweeney's job is looking to the future. And with Bergeron and Krejci approaching their mid-30s and Coyle under contract for just one more season, Boston's general manager knows he must find the right successors to fortify what's been a position of strength through each of the Bruins' three runs to the Stanley Cup Final this decade.

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Getting to Know: John Beecher

18-year-old centerman is committed to the University of Michigan

by Riley Nelson @NHLBruins / BostonBruins.com

BostonBruins.com - The Boston Bruins selected forward John Beecher with the 30th overall pick (on Friday evening at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft in Vancouver.

"I've always watched the Bruins and admired them," said Beecher. "They've had a lot of success for a reason. They're world class. I mean, they do things the right way, so it's an honor and privilege to be a part of it."

The 18-year-old centerman explained his style of play.

"I'm a big power forward," he said. "I use my size and my speed to my advantage, and I think my game really translates well to Boston."

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Draft is First Step in Turning the Page

Sweeney says organization is looking forward to the future

by Eric Russo @NHLBruins / BostonBruins.com

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Fresh off being crowned the National Hockey League's general manager of the Year in Las Vegas, Don Sweeney arrived here on Thursday morning for the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. The Bruins currently have five selections, including the 30th overall pick on Friday night, as the organization looks move on from what was a highly successful 2018-19 campaign that ended with a heartbreaking loss in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final.

"The page is turned. Definitively, [the 2018-19 season] is over with," Sweeney said during a break from the team's scouting meetings on Thursday afternoon. "We have nothing to do but look forward. We're proud of what happened, but it is about moving forward from here on out. All of our discussions have nothing to do with that, other than what we can learn from. We're not living there, we've got to move forward."

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B's Brass Recaps Cup Run, Looks Ahead to Future

Jacobs, Neely talk 2018-19 season, summer plans, Garden renovations

by Eric Russo @NHLBruins / BostonBruins.com

BOSTON - Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, CEO Charlie Jacobs, and president Cam Neely met with the media on Tuesday afternoon at TD Garden to reflect on the 2018-19 season, a campaign that they believe is one to be proud of, despite it ending on a sour note with the team's loss to the St. Louis Blues in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final.

"I think it way exceeded my original expectations," said Jeremy Jacobs. "I thought we were more evolving…I thought we showed more maturity, more development than I thought we had gotten to…it was an outstanding season. I think it says a lot about our management and a lot about our coaching. There isn't a person in the league that didn't say to me, 'You know, we really admire the way this team was built.' I'm very proud of it."

"We can certainly try and enjoy the year even though it's difficult when you don't win that last game, especially Game 7 to win it all," added Neely. "It's heartbreaking, really. You feel for the guys, everything they [went] through the whole season, playing hurt - not only how hard it is to get in, but how hard it is to get to the Finals. But we have to move on from that and look at our club and see where we can make improvements."

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Wagner Pushed Through to the End

Winger was cleared for Game 7 of Cup Final after arm fracture

by Eric Russo @NHLBruins / BostonBruins.com

BOSTON - Chris Wagner revealed on Monday morning that the injury he suffered while blocking a shot in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final was a displaced ulna that required surgery.

The winger dropped in front of a Justin Faulk slap shot on May 14 in Carolina and did not play again during the postseason. But he was closer to a return than even he could have imagined.

Wagner needed surgery to insert some hardware and repair the fracture around his right wrist, but a strong rehab in the four weeks following the injury had him back on the ice skating the day before Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.

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Sweeney, Cassidy Put Wrap on 2018-19 Season

Also look ahead to summer, free agency, and beyond

by Eric Russo @NHLBruins / BostonBruins.com

BOSTON - Bruins general manager Don Sweeney and coach Bruce Cassidy met with the media on Monday morning at TD Garden for the first time since the team's Game 7 loss in the Stanley Cup Final to recap the 2018-19 season and also look ahead to the summer, free agency, and beyond.

"These guys are competitive guys. They want to win," said Sweeney. "They put everything on the line to try and have an opportunity to win, and they should be proud of themselves for that. I think in a short period of time our younger players have absorbed a lot of that - and they certainly brought it with them, as well."

"We were one win away," added Cassidy. "These experiences now, Charlie [McAvoy's] had two of them, [Matt Grzelcyk] has had two of them, [Jake] DeBrusk, [David Pastrnak] I'll put in that category. Hopefully, it makes them better next year if we're fortunate enough to be in the same position, hardens them a little bit, educates them a little bit [to] what it takes."

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