Brad Marchand has been speaking, and Boston Bruins prospects are listening.
This week, the Bruins are holding their development camp at Warrior Ice Arena. Most of their draft picks, as well as a handful of camp invitees, all flocked to Boston for a week of instruction on how to be a pro both on and off the ice.
Marchand, the Bruins’ star left winger, was waiting for the youngsters at 7 a.m. Monday morning at the rink. While there, just for the heck of it, he decided to take part in the grueling bike test the players get put through. Later on, he gave a speech to the prospects.
His words resonanted.
“We had a bike test, and we all see Marchand walk in the room, hop on the bike and do the test with us,” 2018 fourth-round pick Curtis Hall said Tuesday over Zoom. “That was just a testament to how hard he works, it really is an inspiration to all of us in the program, the prospects. In the meeting yesterday he was talking about big keys to being a Bruin, being a good teammate, having courage and being there and supporting each other, pushing each other and being competitive. Even just to have him in the room with us was unbelievable.
“I remember a couple years ago — I think it might’ve been my second year — (Patrice) Bergeron came and talked to us,” Hall added. “So, whenever we get a chance to see those guys, it’s really something special for us. Those are the guys we really look up to.”
Development camp brings guys in at all stages of their hockey journeys.
Some are recent draftees, like Brett Harrison, while others have been around for a while. Goalie prospect Kyle Keyser falls under the latter umbrella, serving as the elder statesman of sorts at this camp.
Having been with the Bruins for a few preseasons now, he’s had a chance to play in tune-up games and get a little more familiar with guys like Marchand.
Still, he was all ears for what Marchand had to say.
“For him to just jump into the bike test — which is not an easy test by any stretch — just because he was here and wanted to show the guys what it takes, I think that’s pretty impressive,” Keyser said. “It speaks for itself why he’s one of the best players in the NHL. Any time we can have a guy with that kind of experience and knowledge around the rink, especially as us young guys learn and are trying to emulate those guys I think it’s huge for us to see what kind of work ethic and what he brings to the rink every single day as a profession.
“His speech was awesome, just talking about the compete level and what it takes to be a champion at this level. He’s won a Stanley Cup here in Boston, he knows what it takes and how to push it to the end. I think it’s important for us, especially me, to hear from his experiences on what worked and what didn’t.
“Him talking about not waiting for opportunities and going out and getting them, all of those things touch home for us guys and it’s important to listen and have your ears open when guys with that much knowledge and experience are talking. Anytime we can have a guy like Brad or Bergy or any of those guys who have been around this organization for a while come and speak to us, we’re very thankful for it.”
Development camp will continue on for the rest of the week. Adam McQuaid is helping out, while Jamie Langenbrunner and Chris Kelly both are members of the Bruins’ development staff. Between those guys and Marchand, it’s clear the next wave of Bruins are getting plenty of exposure to seasoned NHL players.