BOSTON (CBS) — The draft is the lifeblood of an organization.
That mantra has been uttered numerous times over the past decade by many members of the Bruins’ front office, not limited to — but mostly by — general manager Peter Chiarelli.
So far in Chiarelli’s tenure, however, that motto has proven hard to live by.
This is the time of year when we get a short glance into the Bruins’ potential future, as some of the organization’s top prospects and most recent draft picks will assemble at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington for the club’s annual development camp. The camp starts Wednesday and runs through Sunday.
Aside from 2012 first-round pick Malcolm Subban, who just spent his first season in the American Hockey League sharing the Providence Bruins’ goaltending duties with Niklas Svedberg, most of the players that will report to development camp will be two or more years away from being a factor in the NHL. Many, including several undrafted invitees, will never be heard from again in Boston.
Here are a few of the players attending Boston’s development camp that I’m most interested in watching this week:
David Pastrnak, F
Everyone wants to get a glimpse at the newest, freshest flavor. And this year that player is Pastrnak, the Bruins’ first-round pick from the draft last month. The Czech forward claims Bruins center David Krejci is his idol. So now we’ll get to see how much of a young Krejci there is in the 18-year-old’s game. We’ll also get to see how comfortable Pastrnak is in the spotlight that comes with being a first-round pick for Boston.
Malcolm Subban, G
The younger brother of you know who, Subban was impressive with a 2.31 goals-against average in 33 games during his first professional season with the P-Bruins. He even earned six postseason appearances. With the Bruins’ ascension plan nearly written in ink, with Svedberg moving up to the NHL to back up Tuukka Rask, Subban will be expected to be the No. 1 for Providence. In his first official/unofficial act in that role for the 2014-15 we’ll get to see not only how his game has improved but also his leadership, because he’s going into his third development camp and has to be a player the younger kids look up to.
Rob O’Gara, D
After the Bruins took O’Gara in the fifth round in 2011, they invited him to development camp. He was still enrolled at Milton Academy and his youthful face and gangly body made him look like a reality-show contestant that was invited to camp. Even then, though, you could see the skills that just needed a mature, developed body to thrive. Development camp No. 4 for the Yale blueliner will be a great chance for O’Gara to show off how far he’s come in terms of maturity and strength.
Oleg Yevenko, D
I wanted to pick one of the invitees, and this kid from UMass stands out – in more ways than one. He’s 6-foot-7. That’s right, two inches shorter than Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. Yevenko is also 23, from Belarus and coming off a 32-game college season that featured one assist and 67 penalty minutes. Did I mention he’s 6-foot-7? Maybe down the road this guy could be a project for the Bruins to develop into a third-pair blueliner. For now, he’s just a guy I want to see throw around players at a camp populated by teenagers.
Matt Kalman covers the Bruins for CBSBoston.com and also contributes to NHL.com and several other media outlets. Follow him on Twitter @TheBruinsBlog.
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