“Excited.” The one word Providence Bruins head coach Jay Leach provided about highly-touted prospect Jack Studnicka.
The Tecumseh, Ontario native showcased a promising future upon his first five games in the P-Bruins lineup late in the 2017-18 campaign. Studnicka tallied a goal and four assists in that brief stretch, including a pair of helpers in his AHL debut. He followed that up the next season with a goal and an assist — both coming in a Game 2 win — during Providence’s first-round matchup with the Charlotte Checkers.
Now in his official rookie season in the AHL, Studnicka has picked up where he had left off. The 2017 second-round selection sits in a tie for first on the team in points with 13 — along with Alex Petrovic and Paul Carey — on six goals and seven assists in 18 games.
Studnicka potted a pair of power-play goals and added a shorthanded assist on Scott Conway’s first career AHL tally during Providence’s weekend split with the league-leading Hartford Wolfpack.
“Just being comfortable. I’m being used in a lot of situations that a lot of rookies in the AHL aren’t being used in,” Studnicka said about his early success. “I’m just trying to play my game and compete every night.”
Studnicka is an asset in any situation. The talented center saw time on the top line with Carey and Ryan Fitzgerald Friday night. He’s also one of the rare rookies to see playing time on both special teams units.
Studnicka isn’t afraid to take on those big roles, especially after last year’s playoffs. He has a history of performing at his best when it matters most.
During his four years in Ohsawa and Niagara of the Ontario Hockey League, Studncika nearly notched a point per game (31) in 32 career playoff tilts. He also added a goal and four assists in five games with Team Canada during last year’s World Junior Championships.
“It’s hard for a 20-year old kid to come in and play the minutes he’s been playing,” Leach said. “He’s probably playing 18-20 minutes and he’s done a great job for us. We’re excited about where Jack is going.”
His frequent appearances on the scoresheet will help his chances of promotion to Boston, especially if the injury bug continues. Yet Studnicka’s skill set goes beyond the goals and assists.
Studncika turns 21 in February, yet he never caves under pressure. He showcased his poise and maturity during Friday’s tilt with Hartford at the Dunkin Donuts Center after extending the shootout with his third-round tally. Rober Lantosi secured the 4-3 victory in the very next round of the glorified skills competition.
The first-year pro also impressed the Bruins’ brass after tallying a pair of goals in the preseason. Yet, even as he makes a case for a future call-up, Studnicka displayed his maturity regarding a trip up I-95.
“I’m not really reading into that too much,” Studnicka added. “Like I said, I’m just trying to play my game and contribute to wins on a nightly basis, so that’s not really a main focus of mine.”
Bruins Daily is a NHL credentialed media organization that is dedicated to being the leading provider of Boston Bruins news, analysis, and commentary, by focusing exclusively on the Boston organization. Bruins Daily provides written content, studio produced video, and on location video, all with a unique voice that fans can relate to. Complete coverage is provided through all of the latest NHL/AHL news, updates, scores, injuries, transactions and fan events.