Matt Grzelcyk certainly made a good impression on the Boston Bruins after he got recalled from Providence last November.
The B’s defenseman, who paired nicely with Kevan Miller last season, averaged 16:44 ice time with 15 points in the 2017-18 season with the big club. After the team acquired left-shot defenseman Nick Holden, Grzelcyk seemed to use that as motivation to better his game.
It paid off for the Charlestown, Mass native, as he inked a two-year, $1.4 million deal in June to remain with the Bruins. However, Boston made a significant move later in the offseason when it signed unrestricted free agent John Moore to a five-year contract, making him the fourth left-shot defender on the team.
But the 24-year-old doesn’t seem too worried about the signing.
“I wasn’t really too surprised (by the Moore signing). That’s out my control. I just have to show up and work hard each and every day. I just have to go into this training camp having to earn my spot, which is fine by me. I don’t ever want to feel too complacent,” Grzelcyk said, via The Boston Herald’s Steve Conroy. “I just want to bury my head, work hard and see where it takes me. I guess it’s human nature to think about what’s going to happen, but I’m just trying not to dwell on it too much because it’s out of my control. I just want to show up to camp and perform well.”
And while he wants to make an impact for the team and be a difference-maker on the ice, Grzelcyk doesn’t want to get too far ahead of himself.
“I don’t want to go to overboard and try and make too many high-risk plays. As long as I’m trying to move the puck up to the forwards and not wasting too much time in my own zone and the neutral zone, I think that will turn (out) well for us,” Grzelcyk said. “Because that means we’re playing more in the offensive zone and maybe then I’ll get more opportunity to show the work I’ve put in this summer to improve my angles and things like that to get shots through.”
If he competes the way he did last season and continues to improve his game, head coach Bruce Cassidy may have a tough time keeping him out of the lineup.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images