In what is considered a generally weak prospect pool, the Boston Bruins may have a rising star. Jack Studnicka, age 21, of Windsor, Ontario, has been lighting the lamp often for the team’s AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins. The forward leads his entire team in goals, assists, and points as we hit March. He’s continuing to impress with his consistency and maturity as he rises towards consistent time in the NHL.
Studnicka has exceeded expectations at just about every level, leading many to believe he will be a star at the NHL level. The young forward has played in just two career NHL games tallying an assist and a plus/minus of plus-two. But in those games, both his scoring ability and his maturity with the puck were visible in his little time on the ice.
Studnicka has tallied 22 goals and 25 assists, totaling 47 points on the season and doesn’t seem like he’ll slow down anytime soon. He’s added four goals in his last 10 games and has points in 10 of his last 12. His transition and development into an elite scorer just add to his responsible defensive play as a responsible two-way forward. Studnicka is the stereotypical Bruin; someone who can play in both zones with an ability to lead and control the ice when needed.
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However, his raw scoring potential is a huge reason the Bruins drafted him in the second round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, 73rd overall. His ability to drive to the net and make dazzling moves is one that has many Bruins fans excited. Especially with the Bruins “rotation of the guard” at their right-wing slot on the second line.
Studnicka has produced at just about every level, scoring 20 goals twice for the Oshawa Generals of the OHL before even reaching the minor leagues. In the years he failed to reach that mark, he tallied 18 and 12 goals with an outlier of four in his first-ever OHL season.
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His speed and leadership are also traits that have been attributed to the success of Studnicka in his young career. He can do a little bit of it all, making him an eye-popping option for the Bruins down the stretch and into next season as this aging core continues to hold steady.
With a logjam of good roster fits at the NHL level the Bruins have decided to give Studnicka time to develop, seemingly a wise decision. Studnicka has improved a lot in his time in the minor leagues this season and has learned to play in the Bruins system at the professional level, valuable experience for the young forward.
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That being said, it is a possibility we see Studnicka again in the NHL this season. Even with the trade deadline acquisitions of Ondrej Kase and Nick Ritchie, both forwards, the Bruins may look for some young speed and energy as they did with Karson Kuhlman down the stretch and into the playoffs last season.
Injuries are also an unfortunate inevitability on a playoff run and if the Bruins happen to have forwards go down, Studnicka will most likely be one of the top candidates to step in. Studnicka was part of the Bruins’ “Black Aces” last season, a group of players practicing and skating with the team in case they needed to be inserted into the lineup due to injuries throughout the playoffs. Seemingly if he does not win a roster spot by the end of the year he will be a part of this group again waiting for his shot.
From this point on that’s all he can do; wait until the Bruins are ready for him. Whenever he gets to the NHL, Studnicka will bring an exciting boost of energy to a team that could greatly benefit from it.