This past summer when the Bruins signed Matt Beleskey to a five-year $19 million contract, he was relatively unknown in Boston. Spending his previous seven seasons in Anaheim with the Ducks, Beleskey sat behind the likes of Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan, seemingly going unnoticed to much of the league.
Coming off a career year that saw Beleskey notch 22 goals, the 27-year-old hit the free agent market for the first time where was handsomely rewarded by the Bruins. With Milan Lucic shipped out west to Los Angeles just before Beleskey’s signing in Boston, it was expected Beleskey would fill the void left by Lucic on the B’s top line.
He hasn’t quite done that yet.
Starting the season on a line with David Krejci and David Pastrnak, Beleskey scored just once and added a lone assist. Thanks to the lack of production from the Windsor, Ontario, Canada native, head coach Claude Julien then moved Beleskey to the left of Ryan Spooner and Jimmy Hayes prior to the Bruins 6-0 win over the Arizona Coyotes on October 27.
After six games on the Bruins third line that saw Beleskey register a goal and two assists, the former Duck once again found himself with new linemates. Skating on a line with Patrice Bergeron and Brett Connolly, Beleskey had himself a pretty good game in Brooklyn on Sunday against the Islanders despite not finding his name on the score sheet.
With two goals and three assists through 12 games, Beleskey is off to a slow start, one he hopes turns around thanks to time with his new line.
“Yeah, I think they’re both hard workers, and he [Beleskey] has certainly shown us that he competes really hard,” Julien said of both Beleskey and Bergeron after Tuesday’s practice in Wilmington. “I thought that was probably a good situation for him [Beleskey] to go in there.”
Beleskey plays a heavy game. Despite missing two games with an upper body injury, he leads the Bruins in hits with 51.
Entering his 12th season in Boston, Bergeron has seen many different wingers to his left and right, but the Bruins assistant captain likes what he sees from Beleskey.
“Yeah, I think he’s got the same kind of style that I like to play which is kind of north, south and go out on the forecheck, creating some turnovers,” Bergeron said of Beleskey’s style of play.
“He’s got a great shot, so I am going to try and find him for that, also. You know he’s relentless he works hard. Definitely something that I like to bring as well, so far I think I like the way we saw each other on the ice.”
Beleskey’s shot is something that he and the Bruins would like to see more of. With just 15 shots on goal in 12 games played, his quick and accurate wrist shot has been held quiet so far.