With the release of the roster and schedule of the Boston Bruins’ rookie camp that will be taking place this coming week, a number of Providence Bruins players were seen on the roster. This article will focus on the forwards.
Of the thirteen forwards currently listed on the roster, six are on the Providence Bruins roster all ready and include: Alex Fallstrom, Justin Florek, Jared Knight, Matthew Lindblad and Ryan Spooner.
Of those six forwards, four of them were drafted by the Boston Bruins : Florek (2010, round 5, #135 overall), Khokhlachev (2011- round 2, #40 overall), Knight (2010 – round 2, #32 overall), and Spooner (2010 – round 2, #45 overall). Fallstrom was drafted in 2009 in the fourth round, #116 overall by the Minnesota Wild, but was part of the trade package that the Bruins got for Chuck Kobasew, October 18, 2009. Lindblad went undrafted.
In looking at the statistics of those who have played for the Providence club already, Spooner has obviously stood out in his performance. He played 59 games in this past season for the P-Bruins, scoring 17 goals, with 40 assists for a total of 57 points and ended the regular season with a plus/minus rating of +14. During the 12-game playoffs, he had 2 goals, 3 assists for a total of 5 points. His first professional hat trick, including the game-winning goal, came in a hard fought game against the Norfolk Admirals that eliminated the Admirals from playoff contention that took place in April.
Florek played on the line with Bobby Robins (#21) and Christian Hanson (#26). Known at the end of the past season as the “Factory Line,” Florek helped contribute to the success of this line which finished the season with a total from all three players of 27 goals, 40 assists and a total of 67 points. Florek’s contributions to these numbers were 11 goals, 16 assists and 27 points, placing him 9th in total points on the team. And apparently, serving on the same line with Robins proved useful to Florek when he had to drop the gloves in his first professional hockey fight against John Kurtz of the Norfolk Admirals, April 14, 2013.
Fallstrom didn’t see much playing time this past season with Providence; however, the time he did have was productive. In 10 games he had 4 goals and 1 assist for 5 points. Signed to his entry level contract with the Bruins on March 16, 2013, during his senior year with Harvard University (ECAC), Fallstrom finished his college career with 113 games in which he compiled 70 points coming from 33 goals and 37 assists. He finished his senior year leading the team with 9 goals, 12 assists for 21 points. In his last 11 games, he managed to score 10 points (which included an 8-game point streak).
Though undrafted, Lindblad’s performance at Dartmouth shows that he can be a point-per-game player. During his 89 games with Dartmouth (ECAC), he managed 29 goals and 51 assists. He is also a veteran of the United States Hockey League (USHL) where he played for the Sioux Falls Stampede. In the 59 games he appeared in during the 2009-10 season with the Stampede, he registered 24 goals and 46 assists for a total of 70 points and ended the season with a +11 rating. He was signed to an entry-level contract with the Bruins April 5, 2013. Lindblad showed that he could continue to keep up his point production when playing at the professional level. In the four games he played with the Providence Bruins, he made 1 goal and 4 assists for 5 points.
Unfortunately, fans didn’t get to see much of Knight’s play this past season in large part due to a hamstring injury that limited him to a total of 12 regular season games. The 21-year-old played two games with the South Carolina Stingrays (ECHL affiliate for the Bruins) and then played in 10 regular season games in Providence, where he managed to score 1 goal and get 2 assists for a total of 3 points. He also was seen in 6 playoff games where he went 1-1-2. His last season with the London Knights, his major junior club, saw him earn 26 goals, and 26 points for 52 points in the 52 regular season games he played. He finished the season with a +23 rating. He continued this strong play during their run for the Memorial Cup, playing 15 games where he got 4 goals and 4 assists for 8 points. This year should prove a better benchmark for Knight in regard to his abilities in the professional levels.
It would appear that Khokhlachev needs the most seasoning of the players mentioned here, but he is also the youngest of these six. And while not the shortest in stature, he clearly needs to bulk up his body a bit. He has the talent; he just needs to work on acclimating to the professional level demands of the sport. During the last season, Khokhlachev spent time in three different leagues. He began the year with Moscow Spartak of the KHL, where in his 26 games he managed 2 goals and 5 assists for 7 points. He then returned to the Windsor Spitfires (of the OHL) where he saw much better production. In the 29 games he made 22 goals and 26 assists for 48 points. Unfortunately during the 11 games he played for Providence, he once again struggled to make his mark in the professional arena, managing only 2 goals and 1 assist.