The Bruins needed to create cap space for the big club this week with Marc Savard ready to be activated from long-term injured reserve, which led to the trade of defenseman Matt Hunwick to Colorado on Monday.
But Boston’s loss could be Providence’s gain, as the Bruins added a new name to know in their prospect pool in the process, acquiring defenseman Colby Cohen in the deal.
A former Boston University standout in his first pro season, Cohen has played three games in the NHL with the Avalanche, but was immediately assigned to Providence. He joins a deep blue-line corps in Providence and will have to battle with the likes of Steve Kampfer, Matt Bartkowski and Yury Alexandrov to crack out Top 10 Prospect Rankings, let alone earn a call-up to Boston, but he does bring some size (6-foot-2, 200 pounds) and an assortment of skills to the table.
“Good range, good stick, plus shot, his feet have to get a little better, but they’re improving,” said Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli. “[He] had a real good year last year, he kind of came into his own a little bit. Good passer. Range and size and shot; that’s probably his biggest assets.”
But Chiarelli wasn’t willing to state where he felt Cohen would rank on the organization’s depth chart.
“This happens when you don’t have that player in the organization,” said Chiarelli. “It’s not like we’ve had Kampfer or Bartkowski in our organization [for long], but we’ve seen them. … So it’d be unfair of me to both that group of players and to Colby to probably put him in the depth chart, but you know, he’s got to work his way into our depth chart.”
So if Chiarelli isn’t willing to rank him yet, we’ll also make Cohen earn his way into the Top 10. But the rest of the club’s prospects are on notice that there’s a new contender in town. And just who are the Top 10 guys this week who might soon have to be looking over their shoulders for Cohen?
1 Last week: No. 1 Ryan Spooner, C
Spooner continues to shine with his new club, as he now has 5-5-10 totals in eight games with Kingston, including a two-goal night last Friday against Brampton. Overall, he’s at 15-14-29 in 22 games as the slick center maintains his spot atop the rankings for another week.
2 Last week: No. 2 Joe Colborne, C
Colborne managed an assist in two games this week, and though he was a minus-2, that’ actually not too bad consider the P-Bruins lost back-to-back home games to Worcester and Portland by 4-1 and 5-1 scores, respectively. Colborne has 6-7-13 totals and is a minus-3 in 20 games in his first full season in Providence.
3 Last week: No. 3 Jared Knight, C/RW
It was a busy week for Knight and the rest of the Knights, as London played four games in six nights. Knight chipped in two goals and two assists and was a plus-2 as London won two of those four games. For the season, Knight now has 11-16-27 totals and is a plus-4 in 26 games.
4 Last week: No. 6 Jamie Arniel, C
Arniel made his NHL debut as he was called up to Boston and played in Atlanta on Sunday while David Krejci and Jordan Caron were sidelined with the flu. Arniel made a good impression with a solid outing in his cameo, but maintains his prospect status as he was returned to Providence on Monday. He did have an assist and four shots in Friday’s Providence game, maintaining his team lead with 9-7-16 totals and 65 shots in 19 games.
5 Last week: No. 4 Steve Kampfer, D
Kampfer sat out Providence’s two losses this week with a knee injury, but it is not believed to be serious and he is expected to return to the lineup this weekend. Kampfer has 3-11-14 totals and is a plus-9 in 17 games in his first pro season.
6 Last week: No. 5 Yury Alexandrov, D
Alexandrov had no points and was a minus-3 with five shots in Providence’s two losses this week. He remains at 4-5-9 totals and is a minus-1 in 20 games in his first season in North America.
7 Last week: No. 7 Max Sauve, C/LW
Sauve appears close to finally returning, perhaps as early as this weekend, after missing 16 games with an injury to his left wrist. Sauve had 3-1-4 totals and was a plus-1 in four games before the injury.
8 Last week: No. 8 Matt Bartkowski, D
Bartkowski didn’t have a point and was a minus-1 in two games this week, but did put eight shots on goal. He has 2-5-7 totals and is a minus-2 in 18 games in his first pro season out of Ohio State.
9 Last week: No. 9 Ryan Button, D
Button’s long-suffering Raiders finally posted a pair of wins in three games this week, and Button helped contribute to the cause with a pair of assists. He has 1-13-14 totals with 23 PIMs and a minus-6 rating through 29 games.
10 Last week: No. 10 Craig Cunningham, C
Cunningham had a goal in three games, but slipped to third in the WHL scoring race. He has 9-33-42 totals through 27 games, but has been passed by Kamloops’ Brendan Ranford, nephew of former Bruin goalie Bill, who has 24-20-44 totals, and Medicine Hat’s Linden Vey, who has 18-30-48 totals. Cunningham did have the only goal for Vancouver in a shootout loss to Red Deer, which won the shootout 2-1 for a 3-2 victory on Saturday.