Wednesday, July 18, 2018

31 Teams in 31 Days - Boston Bruins

Boston is up next.

1. Jack Studnicka - Oshawa Generals
Definitely a breakout season for Studnicka, who emerged as one of the OHL's best two-way centers. He led the Generals in scoring and +/-. Really felt like his skating looked improved this year. He'll never be confused for Connor McDavid, but Studnicka did clearly improve his leg strength and stride to become more powerful. This really helped him to dictate pace off the rush and quickly turn play up ice after forcing turnovers in the neutral or defensive zone. Also loved how he ratcheted up the physical intensity level, making him a very difficult player to match up against. I continue to be impressed with Studnicka's hockey sense and vision as a playmaker. He makes his linemates better with his patience and poise in the offensive end. Next year, I expect even bigger things. Hopefully his skating continues to improve. And I'd like to see him be more aggressive in attacking the net and shooting the puck, looking to create his own scoring chances, and not just for his linemates. But he's a serious candidate for the Canadian WJC team and could very well be a 90+ point player on a very solid Oshawa Generals team.  

2. Kyle Keyser - Oshawa Generals
Solid year for Keyser after the Bruins signed him to contract after he attended their training camp as an invitee. He solidified his role as Oshawa's number one and emerged as one of the better goaltenders in the OHL. Keyser moves well in the crease and really worked to shore up deficiencies technically. Saw his rebound control get better, and his positioning improve, as he over-committed much less. Next year, Oshawa should be one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference and Keyser is a candidate to be the OHL goaltender of the year IMO. I think we'll see his save percentage climb into the .915 rate with a potentially solid defense in front of him. One thing I'd really like to see him improve upon is his aggressiveness in challenging shooters and fighting through traffic to make saves. Can still get caught deep in his crease. But he's trending in the right direction to becoming a quality pro prospect.

*Axel Andersson - Kitchener Rangers
A 2nd round pick of the Bruins this year, Andersson was an import selection of the Kitchener Rangers this year. Sounds like he'll be coming over to play and he should make an immediate impact in the OHL. Kitchener needs someone to run their powerplay and I would expect that he has a good offensive season surrounded by some talent. A 40+ point season is definitely a reachable target.

** Daniel Bukac - Niagara IceDogs
Bukac has played the last two years in the WHL, but had his rights released by Brandon after an injury plagued year. The towering defender had his rights picked up by Niagara where he will suit up for a quality young team looking to add size to a smaller blueline. He'll likely be looked at to be a stay at home type who can play a safe, physical game while paired with one of Niagara's smaller offensive blueliners. He'll play out his contract year in the OHL, but I probably wouldn't expect a ton from him offensively. The 25+ point mark would be good, as long as his defense is reliable.

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