BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Bruins have suffered their share of injuries this season, but the play of a few of their young stars has filled the void and helped the B’s to the top of the Eastern Conference.
When you want to talk Bruins’ prospects there is just one man you need to seek out: Kirk Luedeke of The Red Line Report and The New England Hockey Journal. Luedeke joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s The Adam Jones Show on Monday night, breaking down the play of the young Bruins that have been so successful this season.
Luedeke says that 21-year-old Ryan Spooner, who has nine assists in 15 NHL games, has been the most impressive of the young bunch so far.
“When they [drafted] him he was pretty one dimensional; he didn’t really have a need to play a defensive style. The Bruins made it clear that he would have to refine his play and show some more diligence in all three zones in the ice,” said Ledeke. “When he first came up I talked to him and he said ‘the points are going to come for me, but I don’t think right now because I’ve been focused on the little things the coaches want me to do.'”
“As a result, youve seen his ice-time increase and now the offense is coming. He’s certainly opened a lot of eyes,” he added.
It’s unclear what will happen with Spooner when Chris Kelly returns from his leg injury, but Ledeke said his play gives the Bruins plenty of options.
“Spooner has given them options, and I think that is best-case scenario for him. He’s shown them that, number one, he belongs in the NHL,” he said. “He has the skill and I think on most clubs he would have already made it by now as a regular. Now in Boston, he’s not only benefiting from getting the assists but also doing so on a very accomplished team that demands responsibility and dilligence from all of its players. You cant just be a one-dimensional guy and skate regularly on a Claude Julien team, so I think this has been really good for his development.”
Ledeke also said it may just be a matter of time until Niklas Svedberg, who picked up his first NHL win last week, is Tuukka Rask’s full-time backup in Boston.
“He has the talent to do it, and I think he is ready to be a backup,” he said. “He still has things to work on; certainly rebound control and he tends to be a little overactive in the crease. But what I love about Svedberg is that, even though his goal against average and save percentage is down from a year ago, he is still racking up the wins in Providence.”
“The numbers aren’t great, but as a goalie it’s really about the wins and he’s getting that done in Providence, and I think you could certainly see him in Boston.”