Just when it appeared the Boston Bruins were nearing full health, the injury bug bit again Tuesday night.
Nick Foligno is expected back Thursday, and the other injured forward, Anton Blidh, also is making progress. But during Tuesday’s narrow win over the Ottawa Senators, the Bruins lost fourth-liner Trent Frederic to an upper-body injury after he took a huge hit from Josh Brown.
There was no update on Frederic as of Tuesday night, but it is suspected there will be one Wednesday. It could leave the Bruins in a spot where they need to get help from Providence in the AHL, and there are a few likely candidates.
The most obvious option would be Oskar Steen. He had a great camp, already has a call-up under his belt this season and could fit just fine in a fourth-line role. It only helps that since he got sent back down, Steen has carved up the AHL to the tune of 10 points (five goals, five assists) in his last five games. At 23, he could be knocking on the door to full-time NHL depth duty.
While Steen seems like the best choice, the Bruins could go off the map a little bit. The Bruins could go with veteran players like Chris Wagner or Steven Fogarty, where you know what you’re getting but the ceiling isn’t that high. Jesper Froden, who also looked fantastic in camp, has seven points (2-5-7) in nine games.
Then there are the youngsters. Cameron Hughes was knocked out of Providence’s most recent game with an injury, but if healthy, he could represent a suitable replacement. Zach Senyshyn, a 2015 first-round pick, has looked decent in NHL callups but has had bad injury luck. A final option would be Jakub Lauko, who also has had injury troubles but has displayed really tantalizing skill.
Boston head coach Bruce Cassidy did not seem overly impressed with Jack Studnicka’s play against the Senators, so sending him down, coupled with the injury to Frederic, could necessitate a call-up, depending on where things are at with Foligno and Blidh (Karson Kuhlman also is up with the NHL team). Clearly, there are a variety of directions the Bruins can go.