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They Said It: A Development Camp Scouting Report

Here's what the Bruins' staff had to say about the organization's prospects

by Eric Russo @NHLBruins /

BOSTON - The 13th annual Boston Bruins Development Camp wrapped on Friday after three days of on-ice testing, off-ice conditioning, and team-bonding activities, all of which gave the Bruins' staff the opportunity to evaluate 19 of the organization's prospects, as well as 15 camp invites.

"I think [Player Development Coordinator] Jamie [Langenbrunner] put it together exactly as he had wanted it to, where it had a nice progression in terms of the three or four days on the ice, off the ice," said Bruins general manager Don Sweeney. "For me, it was more of a get-to-know, as opposed to that competitive stuff. We talk about kids all the time that this isn't where you come to make a team. This is a time to come make an impression, both with us and in some of the cases the college free agents and European guys that we brought in.

"Another good opportunity for them to get to know us as we get to know them…we [had] a few more invites than we normally have in the past, by design. We've got some kids come over from Europe that will have some decisions to make. We've always been with an eye towards college free agents. I like the group."

Video: Langenbrunner recaps Bruins Dev Camp

Here's a rundown of what the B's brass had to say about some of the players in camp:

Axel Andersson, Defenseman (2018 Second Round)

Langenbrunner: "He is continuing. He is still young; he still looks like a young kid. He played over there in their second division in Sweden, had a little bit of a rough start offensively, I would say, not to make a mistake. He is playing as a pro as an 18-year-old, you will be a little bit cautious and he was. His game we saw a little bit in the preseason, he made great plays and his instincts are very good. He will be over here in North America this year, whether that is in Providence or playing in Junior that's to be determined, I guess.

"But he's a heady player with great instincts and we just got to give him time. He has a young body and hopefully he will continue to put in more work this summer and we will see even more of a transformation in the next two months."

Providence coach Jay Leach: "He's not far off. We want to make sure Axel is able to grow his entire game. This past year, think he saw limited time in an offensive role. I think it's important for us to make sure he's granted that opportunity. Can he play for us in Providence this year? I would say yes. We also want to make sure he's given that opportunity to grow his game."

Video: Andersson speaks at Day 1 of Development Camp

Samuel Asselin, Forward (Undrafted free agent)

Leach: "He's got pace, he's a heady player. He looks like he really wants the puck, which is a huge advantage for someone like that. Obviously, a bit undersized, but doesn't seem to be knocked off the puck too much. From what I understand, he plays the game hard, he's a gamer. He's shown the last two days nothing that tells me he won't be successful at our level, that's for sure. He's been actually quite impressive. We're looking forward to seeing him in camp and see what he can bring."

Jack Becker, Forward (2015 Seventh Round)

Leach: "I've been impressed with his hands around the net. I know he's put the time in. Jamie told me a year or two ago that this kid really works at his game. Obviously a big body, a natural skater. You can tell he's really tried to build strength in his legs. I think he's really worked on his hands. He's looked good in tight."

Video: Becker speaks at fifth Bruins Development Camp

John Beecher, Forward (2019 First Round)

Langenbrunner: "First impressions, speed…he played with a lot of speed and played with a lot of poise. Real calm for an 18-year-old out there. Doesn't get rattled, stays with himself and super athletic. He's picking up pucks from bad passes no problems. So, he has some skill level that's underrated, I think. You play behind Jack Hughes and Trevor Zegras and [Alex] Turcotte [at the USNTDP], I think those guys may have gotten the first kicks, but I think he has more skill than people think.

"All indications are he will be in the top 6 [at Michigan]…there will be similar of what [Trent Frederic] went through, the program when he went to at Wisconsin, thrown into one of those roles and to a big man situation in the same way. Obviously, the school has done a well job of developing players.

"He's a big boy, but he is still definitely not developed which is exciting for us. He is still a little bit skinny and 6-4, 210ish, so there is still a lot of growth left for that player and going to a good spot to get it."

Sweeney: "I mean, his skating just stands out. You get into situational stuff, 3 on 3 or 4 on 3 that the game requires now for guys, and that comes easy to him at times. So, when you think about putting some details into his game moving forward, get him even stronger and some of the nuances that he is going to have to learn in a smaller-area game, he's pretty effective."

Video: Bruins 2019 1st round pick Beecher talks dev camp

Victor Berglund, Defenseman (2017 Seventh Round)

Langenbrunner: "He is going in the right direction. Two years ago, when I went over and watched him it was a battle for him. It was a battle for him to be an effective player. Last year when you saw him play, he took control. He made plays, he defends well, he sees the ice well, he is competitive. We were fortunate to have him come over at the end of the year in Providence and had a hand full of games. He scored goals and he was very active.

"He is one of the ones who gets the message. His off-ice this summer is going to be huge. He is continuing to work on it, he knows it and he's trying to dial it in to an NHL challenging level. What they don't know you teach them and then if they don't have initiative then they won't follow. He is going in the right direction."

Cameron Clarke, Defenseman (2016 Fifth Round)

Langenbrunner: "He has been more of a two-way guy at Ferris [State]. Cooper Zech, who was there last year, had a lot of the offensive situations and had a lot of the power play there. Cooper was more of a first PK guy; [Clarke] is more of a shutdown guy and a two-way defenseman. He checked in at some points, but more of a secondary role. I thought he played pretty well [at Camp]. His decisions were good. He is going to have to continue to improve his feet a little bit."

Curtis Hall, Forward (2018 Fourth Round)

Langenbrunner: "He is a big boy. He always looked better in a game for me than practice. He is just one of those guys that it's his effort and his competing. It is not necessarily the prettiest thing ever, but he is an effective hockey player and we saw it again today. Excellent motor, big body, had a pretty solid year as a true freshman which is hard in college hockey for some of those guys, he did a good job."

Jakub Lauko, Forward (2018 Third Round)

Langenbrunner: "We will see in the fall. I think he came in last year and had a good training camp, he did a real good job of coming over to North America and adjusting a little bit. It was a little bit of a challenge early on. Tough going into Northern Quebec learning English and French at the same time to a degree. So, it was tough living-wise for him early on, but his game continued to grow. He plays his best hockey at the end of the year and that's what we are hoping for. We will see when September and October come with him. I don't think we are 100% certain what the best spot is for him yet, those are discussions [we need to have]."

Video: Lauko speaks following Day 2 of Development Camp

Matias Mantykivi, Forward (2019 Sixth Round)

Assistant GM Scott Bradley: "Mantykivi got a championship in the Finnish first division. Very smart player…his hockey sense stood out."

Video: New draft pick Mantykivi meets with media at Dev Camp

Quinn Olson, Forward (2019 Third Round)

Langenbrunner: "Quinn showed me he has got some talent…he got into guys, showed some competitiveness. He is a young little guy, so he didn't show as much physically, he hasn't filled out at all yet. He showed some attitude that way he plays, going to a school that does a hell of a job developing hockey players playing the right way. So, we are excited to see where it goes."

Video: Olson goes 1-on-1 to discuss being drafted by Bruins

Jake Schmaltz, Forward (2019 Seventh Round)

Bradley: "He anchored [the Chicago Steel's] third line this year. He went deep into the finals, and we thought he was a big part of their team…he killed penalties...he's a developing kid - he's 6-1, he's 180 right now, and we project him to be close to 200 pounds, maybe 6-2. Two-way player…skating and will pick up with some strength, so I think he's got a lot of positives.

"He's got a lot of upside, committed to North Dakota. He's got a two-way element to his game as well that we can see is kind of a trend in the last couple of years."

Video: Jake Schmaltz goes 1-on-1

Pavel Shen, Forward (2018 Seventh Round)

Sweeney: "Shen is definitely considering coming over [to North America] and playing [beginning this fall]."

Oskar Steen, Forward (2016 Sixth Round)

Langenbrunner: "I think his development has gone exactly how we've hoped. He sees the transformation. His body is from a little boy a few years ago to a man now. His game this year, he was a very good player. Great athlete, top 10 in scoring [in the Swedish Hockey League]. I think his competitiveness, his willingness to get inside of people will translate to his game here, probably even better than playing there. He will be a very effective player for us in Providence to start and we will see how good he can translate that to be get himself on the radar for the guys up here.

"I think he showed us this winter he can play center. He had been primarily a wing the whole way and this year they moved him to center, and he was very effective. I think our plan for him here is to try them both and see what's more comfortable."

Leach: "I remember him at rookie camp two years ago in Buffalo. I remember the speed…but last year here he was impressive. And this year he just seems to have matured. I was able to see a few games online in the playoffs and he was quite impressive. He's added an element of playing center…clearly you can tell he's taken a step."

Video: Steen talks following Day 1 of Development Camp

Jack Studnicka, Forward (2017 Second Round)

Langenbrunner: "I think he is very good. I think a testament to who that kid is, he gets traded to Niagara and is wearing a letter on a team he got traded to in a month. That's impressive, that means you're stepping right in and doing the things that the coaches see as leaders, but the players as well. Good season. He continues to do the little things in the game that are gonna translate to a good pro. Came to us in Providence there right at the end, had some good playoff games, stepped right into the lineup. Just continuing to grow, adding strength. He's still skinny. He's doing everything he can, it's just taking some time with him.

"We're not gonna limit him to where he can play. [Center] I think is his best position, his natural position. But he's another one that I don't think you'd be scared to put him on wing. He played there at World Juniors for Canada. He's mentioned to me in postseason meetings, 'Don't forget that I can play wing.' He's a smart hockey kid. He knows where the open spots are on the roster up here…we're just not gonna rush him into anything. He'll get here when he's supposed to."

Leach: "The No.1 thing with Jack is his competitiveness. We had him two years ago too and he came in and was right in the mix. That's first and foremost with Jack. Whether I'm playing him on the fourth line and eight minutes or this past year, when he was playing a lot in crucial situations, he's a gamer…he is someone that you know right away, he's there to compete. He's a player."

Video: Studnicka speaks during Bruins Development Camp

Jeremy Swayman, Goalie (2017 Fourth Round)

Leach: "I'm not a huge goalie guy, but he looks pretty dang good. I saw him play last year at BC, I thought he was exceptionally positioned, has a really nice demeanor in there. Very competitive. I would say his quickness looks like it's improved a bit. He's been very impressive."

Video: Swayman talks about third Development Camp trip

Dan Vladar, Goalie (2015 Third Round)

Leach: "He's a big guy, he's 6-5, he's a skinny guy, and relatively young. Goaltenders it does take some time. What we need to see from him is he needs to find his spots is what I like to call them. He's got to find his posts, he's got to find his routines, find his game at the professional level, what makes him successful. He's got to be more efficient in his movement and keep an eye on his posts, his angles, his spots so that he can use that big frame in the right way.

"A lot of that comes in practice, a lot of that comes with offseason training. Part of the reason that he's here is to get some extra reps in, some extra work in."

Cooper Zech, Defenseman (Providence free agent)

Langenbrunner: Stepped into Providence and, quite frankly, surprised us all where he was. I saw him four times maybe in college - Cameron Clarke was in Ferris, so I saw him a fair amount - and he was putting up good numbers on a team that was struggling to score. His mobility, his ability to see the ice, it all translated very quickly into the American League. I think the biggest surprise for us was how much courage that kid has.

"He's an undersized defenseman, but you wouldn't know it the way he plays. He takes hits, he drills his body. Some similarities to Torey in that, the competitiveness in him. He's obviously not as stalky as him. He's another one that we're working hard with on his off ice, trying to get him stronger.

"Smart player. He's gonna get every opportunity. He helped us a lot down there running the power play. He's a good hockey player."

*Scouting reports for goalie Kyle Keyser (undrafted free agent) and defenseman Dustyn McFaul (2018 sixth-round pick) were unavailable at the time of publishing.

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