Early offseason moves, including results of the NHL Entry Draft, were covered in July’s 31-in-31 series. If you missed it, please follow this link: https://dobberprospects.com/31-in-31-boston-bruins/
The Bruins have not been very active since July’s article, with Don Sweeney often referencing “internal competition” as the method in which the Bruins will fill their roster holes this season.
The roster holes discussed are limited, however, which should make the team’s upcoming training camp quite fierce. The organization features many players that should be considered “on the cusp” of breaking through the NHL barrier. This includes players with high offensive upside, those with strong defensive games, or simply those with nothing left to prove at other levels of hockey. The team’s few UFA signings this offseason, coupled with their abundance of borderline prospects, should ensure that Sweeney gets the internal competition that he so desires.
The most significant news to come since July’s article is the official loss of UFA Marcus Johansson, who elected to sign a two-year deal with Buffalo rather than return to the Bruins. While Johansson was a very effective player for the Bruins during his short tenure with the team, he was simply a luxury winger that the team could not afford. His loss is also less significant than it is being made out to be, as he joined an already impressive roster at the trade deadline and his playing style and position offers many potential suitors to replace him in 2019-2020.
The only other news, or uck thereof, to come from this offseason is the team’s remaining high-profile RFAs in Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo. Both have yet to re-sign, however, there should be little fear that they will each be in the opening night lineup as the team has the means to lock both up long-term.
D – Matt Grzelcyk (AHL – NHL) – After proving himself a capable NHL defenseman over the last two seasons, Grzelcyk officially graduates from the prospect ranks. He likely won’t see much time in a prime offensive role with the Bruins but remains a sound puck-moving defenseman who can fill in on the power play if needed. His fantasy outlook will remain limited to deeper leagues, but he could gain additional relevance if a long-term injury to a core player bumps him into a better role.
C – Jack Studnicka (OHL – NHL/AHL) – The young stud has nothing left to prove in the OHL, and while he is technically eligible for overage status, he would benefit most from graduating to pro