BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Bruins will open their 2021-22 season Saturday night against the Dallas Stars. On Monday, B’s general manager Don Sweeney announced the team’s initial roster for the upcoming campaign.
It was pretty standard, though there were a few notable absences from the 24-man roster. Tuukka Rask obviously is not part of the initial group, as he recovers from offseason hip surgery. He is a free agent, though both sides have expressed that the goaltender will be back when he’s healthy and ready to get between the pipes again.
The biggest surprise is the absence of Jack Studnicka, who will begin the year in Providence. The 2017 second-round pick had a strong training camp and preseason filling in for Charlie Coyle as Boston’s second-line center, but now that Coyle is back, Studnicka will start his season in the AHL.
With a pretty loaded depth chart at center, Studnicka would have been buried as a fourth-line forward had he stuck around in the NHL. The Boston brass instead sent him down to give him more work at his natural center position, where his future will be in Boston.
The other notable absence is Chris Wagner, who has been a mainstay on Boston’s fourth line for the last three years. He was placed on waivers last week, but was not claimed by another team.
Here is Boston’s roster to start the 2021-22 season:
Forwards: Patrice Bergeron, Anton Blidh, Charlie Coyle, Jake DeBrusk, Nick Foligno, Trent Frederic, Taylor Hall, Erik Haula, Karson Kuhlman, Curtis Lazar*, Brad Marchand, Tomas Nosek, David Pastrnak and Craig Smith.
Defenseman: Brandon Carlo, Connor Clifton, Derek Forbort, Matt Grzelcyk, Charlie McAvoy, John Moore, Mike Reilly and Jakub Zboril
Goaltenders: Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman
The puck will drop on the 2021-22 Bruins season Saturday night at TD Garden against the Stars, and then the B’s will hit the road for away games in Philadelphia (Oct. 20) and Buffalo (Oct. 22) before returning to Boston for a Sunday afternoon matinee against the San Jose Sharks on Oct. 24.