In Boston, it’s hard to find a bigger compliment to pay a hockey player than to say he shares traits with Patrice Bergeron. That’s some seriously heavy praise, and it’s what Kirk Luedeke of the Red Line Report and New England Hockey Journal heaped on Torey Krug.
“I say this in all honesty,” Luedeke said on The Adam Jones Show. “I got to know Patrice Bergeron in the weekend of his draft, and I remember what struck me about him, as I spent a couple of hours with him on a Sunday afternoon in Nashville, was his maturity. I didn’t know at the time what Patrice Bergeron would be, but I knew he’d be something because of the character. And having spent some time off the ice with Torey Krug as well, I had the same kind of vibe as Patrice Bergeron.
“So for what it’s worth, good players that have that character, have those intangibles tend to elevate their game at the right time.”
Luedeke said that even though he thought very highly of Krug, it would have been impossible to predict his four goals in five playoff games.
“I’ve been a big fan of Torey Krug since seeing him a bit at Michigan State, but in all honesty if you had asked me whether he would be doing what he’s doing – at least what he did in the five games against the Rangers – I definitely did not see that coming,” Luedeke said.
He said it is “perplexing” why teams elected not to draft him, despite his small stature.
“He’s a winner. The guy just finds ways to make things happen,” Luedeke said of Krug. “He was a very productive, successful player in the USHL. He was a captain as a sophomore at Michigan State. That’s pretty significant. Most guys are lucky to have an ‘A’ on their jersey as a sophomore, but to have the ‘C’ … and it isn’t like he was skating for Podunk University. The Spartans are a storied college hockey program. So that kind of lets you in on the kind of player he was.”
While Krug did go undrafted, Luedeke said the Bruins did show an interest in 2011 and tried to acquire an extra pick in order to select him. They were unable to do that, but showing that interest may have helped the Bruins when Krug eventually hit the market as a free agent.
“They had expressed enough interest and stayed in touch with him that when it was time to try to make their pitch for him, I think that familiarity and the fact that he knew that they were interested in him at the draft in Minneapolis kind of helped close the deal a little bit,” Luedeke said.