WILMINGTON — With the sixth annual Boston Bruins Development Camp in the books, the next important event to mark on the calendar — assuming the league resumes play for the 2012-13 NHL season with or without a new CBA — will be in mid-September during training camp.
Some prospects, like Tommy Cross and Justin Florek, will most likely head to Providence for an AHL stint. Others, like Malcolm Subban, will probably return to juniors for another season. A trio of prospects, Dougie Hamilton, Jared Knight and Ryan Spooner, should compete for a spot on the Bruins’ roster this October.
All of this still remains to be seen, but once again, the camp, and the potential of these youngsters, were deemed a success according to GM Peter Chiarelli.
“You rarely come away from these camps with a negative feeling,” Chiarelli said about the five-day camp. “It’s all about potential.”
The future is still bright in Boston with a mix of youth and veterans on the current roster. Although some would have liked to have seen Chiarelli be a little more aggressive in the free agent market, many of the players from last year’s Stanley Cup championship team will return again in 2012. This isn’t to suggest that Chiarelli should improve his team after their first round loss to the Washington Capitals, but its also an indication that a strong core could be hungry to put last year’s Cup hangover behind them.
But even with a good core, the youth pipeling will be nicking at the veterans heel’s this September, including Hamilton, Spooner and Knight.
Many are expecting that Hamilton will crack the Bruins’ blueline next year skating alongside either Zdeno Chara or Dennis Seidenberg. Both Spooner and Knight will compete with Jordan Caron on the team’s third line with Rich Peverley and Chris Kelly.
After this week, its safe to say that the “usual suspects” are part of the future plans for Chiarelli and company.
“We call them the usual suspects,” Chiarelli said about Knight, Spooner and Hamilton. “I think Spooner and [Knight] are going to challenge [for a spot at training camp] and I think Dougie is going to challenge. I don’t like to add anyone out, but those are the ‘usual suspects’.”