Throughout Bruins training camp all of the rookie chatter has been about 19-year-old defenseman Dougie Hamilton, but it looks like there will be another freshman blueliner when the NHL season opens on Saturday.
Former Boston University standout and Marshfield native David Warsofsky survived a round of Thursday camp cuts that saw fellow P-Bruins defenseman Matt Bartkowski get sent back to the AHL club. Veteran defenseman Aaron Johnson was also shipped to the AHL for a conditioning assignment after not playing for the last four months through the lockout.
So it appears the 5-foot-9, 170-pound Warsofsky has made the Bruins roster based on his puck-moving skill and the ideal in-game conditioning that had him ready to start the season.
Theres definitely a difference between being in shape and being in game shape, and having 30 games under my belt definitely helped me out, said Warsofsky, who was in his third season playing for the Providence Bruins.
Players in Europe or at the AHL level had a distinct advantage over fellow skaters that have been gathering rust on the sidelines for the last four months, and Warsofsky impressed Bruins officials with nine points (2 goals, 7 assists) in 30 AHL games while logging heavy minutes lugging the puck for Providence.
Bruins coach Claude Julien indicated that it was a close competition between Warsofsky and Bartkowski before the latter was sent down to the P-Bruins to continue his work as a stay-at-home defenseman.
There wasnt a big difference between the guys that went down and Warsofsky. Obviously with Johnson we need him to play some games before we can make an assessment on him, said Julien. David has played well, but so has Bartkowski. I can honestly say it could have gone either way.
Right now its a matter of keeping seven defensemen here and making sure that we have the guys in Providence available. Warsofsky isnt here by fluke. Hes had a great year and played well in Providence, and hes got a year under his belt so he knows how to handle himself against the professional competition. He played well against us in the Tuesday night scrimmage. He moves the puck well, is pretty smart with his decision-making and is quick and shifty on his skates with a good shot. Hes got a lot of skills.
For a kid that grew up a bona fide hockey fanatic on the South Shore of Boston in Marshfield, Warsofsky sounded pretty excited about suiting up for the Black and Gold as their extra defenseman.
Its definitely exciting for me growing up here and kind of cheering for the Bruins, so its definitely a dream come true. Im looking forward to the opportunity of being a part of it, said Warsofsky, who arrived in Boston in a draft-day deal with the St. Louis Blues for Vladimir Sobotka three years ago.
Dont be surprised if Warsofskys name pops up in trade rumors soon after his arrival on the Bruins scene, particularly if injuries along the blueline open up some playing time for him to showcase his abilities.
Across the league teams are looking for spare defensemen in deals, and going eight or nine deep on the blueline while planning on injuries taking a bite out of their organizational depth. So NHL-caliber defensemen have rising value on a developing trade market, and Warsofsky might be better served on an NHL team where some open roster spots are up for grabs.
Either way he's getting his shot to establish himself in the NHL, and that's also a local hockey product could ask for.