BOSTON (CBS) — With Bruce Cassidy expected to once again pair David Krejci with David Pastrnak for the 2017-18 season, the left wing spot on their line remains open for the taking in training camp. It could be 20-year-old rookie Jake DeBrusk who ends up seizing the role.
DeBrusk had a solid showing in his preseason debut while playing with Krejci and Pastrnak in the Bruins’ 4-2 preseason win over the Red Wings on Tuesday, registering three shots on goal in 19:09 of ice time. A sure-handed finisher from the left wing, DeBrusk also isn’t afraid to park himself in front of the net and fish pucks out of the dirtier areas of the ice. He knows that his style could make him a great complementary winger for a playmaker like Krejci or a sniper like Pastrnak.
“My style of game can help their style of game,” DeBrusk said after the game on his linemates, via the Boston Sports Journal. “It complements it in certain ways because I can [get them the puck]. I go to the hard areas. I’ll work my bag off just to get them the puck all the time.”
The 2015 first-round pick, whom the Bruins took with their own selection at 14th overall, has turned heads so far in Bruins training camp for both his skill and his competitiveness. He’s been spotted reacting angrily when he makes mistakes, but it’s only because he’s constantly pushing himself to be better.
“I expect a lot out of myself,” DeBrusk said. “When you get opportunities like this you want to be hot off the start, everyone wants to be scoring all the goals, but it’s the first game and you want to get better as it goes along, so when you go into the regular season hopefully we’re still together and hopefully we’re coming in flying high.”
DeBrusk still has plenty of work to do in order to secure that coveted left wing spot alongside Krejci and Pastrnak, but he’s played his way to the top of the list. His continued emergence would only improve the long-term outlook for the Bruins’ budding youth movement.