WILMINGTON, Mass. — The state of Massachusetts is being well represented at the 2014 Boston Bruins development camp.
Five players from the Bay State are taking part in the sessions — one more than the number of Canadian players participating.
Ryan Donato, the son of former Bruin and current Harvard men’s hockey coach Ted Donato, is the most notable Massachusetts native on the camp roster. He was selected in the second round of the 2014 NHL draft and will return to the Dexter School (Brookline, Mass.) or play in the USHL next season. He’s expected to play at Harvard during the 2015-16 campaign.
The other four Massachusetts-born players at camp are Ryan Fitzgerald (North Reading), Billy Sweezey, Matt Grzelyck (Charlestown) and Michael Doherty (Reading).
“It’s fun to watch these kids grow up in your backyard that you’ve seen them play and continue to develop,” Bruins assistant general manager Don Sweeney said Wednesday. “It’s a testament to the area and the quality of competition that Massachusetts and the area is producing these players. And it’s fun, they have a real — you know, you watch Ryan’s (Fitzgerald) family realize how exciting it is, both Ryans for that matter, and Grizz’s (Matt Grzelyck) family is a great story.
“They weren’t drafted because of the story, but the best part about it is they get to add another chapter. And if they do go on to fulfill their dream, then it becomes that much better, that much more rewarding for everybody involved because the Bruins are part of the fabric of this community.”
Here are some other notes from Day 2 of camp:
– David Pastrnak, the Bruins’ 2014 first-round pick, is working hard to improve his two-way game.
“I was a one-way forward before I went to Sweden,” Pastrnak said. “I was playing just forward … then I came to Sweden and my mentality changed, and my work ethic changed. … I got to Sweden and I started practicing defense. … I know it’s important to be a two-way forward if you want to make not just the NHL, but every big league.”
Pastrnak also said he lost his passport on the way to the United States.
– Grzelcyk was absent from Thursday’s session because he is taking summer classes at Boston University.
“If a player is a full-time student at an NCAA institution, they cannot be excused from their classes, to miss classes, to attend a pro development camp,” Sweeney said Wednesday.
– Malcolm Subban made a number of tremendous saves in shooting drills. His athleticism was on display in the 2-on-1 drill. He’ll be an exciting player to watch in Providence this season.
– Bruins head coach Claude Julien was in attendance, joined by general manager Peter Chiarelli and team president Cam Neely.
– Belarusian defenseman Oleg Yevenko is the largest player in camp at 6-foot-7 and 249 pounds. As expected, his skating needs work, but he’s tough to beat in one-on-one battles and uses his size well in front of the net and in the corners.
– The Bruins haven’t filled the assistant coach vacancy created when Geoff Ward left to coach in Germany. Providence head coach Bruce Cassidy was asked about his interest in the position Thursday, and told reporters “I want to be in the NHL every year.” With that said, he’s preparing to be the P-Bruins’ bench boss unless he’s told otherwise.