Prospect duo showcase potential with Marchand and Pastrnak
While Patrice Bergeron continues his recovery process this preseason, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Jack Studnicka, two of the bright Bruins prospects and roster hopefuls, are making the most of their opportunities of centering the Boston’s top line.
With Bergeron’s lingering ankle injury and back spasms forcing him to sit out the China trip, Forsbacka Karlsson and Studnicka split time playing alongside Boston’s dynamic duo in David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand — something the talented wingers found refreshing.
During their two-game stent overseas, Forsbacka Karlsson and Studnicka combined for three points and most importantly walked away with two victories.
“It’s different in camp because you are changing guys a lot. A lot of times you have a new player on your line each game. Sometimes it is nice to be able to have a fresh start with guys and work on chemistry. Gives you an opportunity to get to know a guy a lot better with communication,” Marchand stated about his preseason centermen. “We are just trying to make them feel comfortable. It can be nerve-racking at times filling in Bergeron’s position. It’s a big role to play so it’s just more of trying to make them feel comfortable.”
“It’s hard to jump between us,” Pastrnak added. “I remember when I was in this position, jumping between Bergy and Marchand didn’t feel comfortable at all. That’s normal and natural and I felt the same way.”
This trend continued during the Bruins’ lone training camp session at TD Garden on Tuesday, as the two young guns shared reps between Pastrnak and Marchand in small-sided scrimmages. With only a week left of training camp and only two games left on the schedule, every shift is that much more essential as the Bruins move towards finalizing their roster.
Forsbacka Karlsson and Studnicka have both had their sights set on the open center position on the third line all offseason, and Boston’s final two preseason games could very well determine who gets the nod to dawn the Black and Gold come opening night.
The Bruins made several cuts and AHL assignments this week. They haven’t given any indication on what their plans are for Studnicka and Forsbacka Karlsson, however, Marchand and Pastrnak did share some of their thoughts on the matter when the group returned from China last week.
“[Jack] is a really good player, I really like him,” Marchand said about Studnicka. “He’s going to play for this team eventually and he’s going to be a really good player. He sees the ice very well and is very talented. He’s not scared to go to any area of the ice and he’s very fast.”
“He’s a very skilled player and he showed that at the rookie camp. Smart guy that works really hard,” Pastrnak added. “It’s nice to get a couple games with him and he’s going to be a good player.”
Whether they start the season in Boston or Providence, both Studnicka and Forsbacka Karlsson hope to get more than a couple games with the big club.