B's geared up for start of rookie training camp

B's geared up for start of rookie training camp
September 4, 2013, 12:45 am
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Anthony Camara was one of four Bruins who scored in regulation for the rookie team Friday night.

(AP Images)

WILMINGTON – It’s safe to say that the future is now for the Boston Bruins.

It was a “now” mentality that saw the Bruins trade 21-year-old Tyler Seguin and his untapped potential to the Dallas Stars in exchange for 28-year-old Loui Eriksson, who will absolutely help Boston right away at the right wing. With less than a five-year window for Zdeno Chara maintaining his usual dominant level of play before Father Time eventually catches up to him, that’s also the window of opportunity for the B’s to contend for the Cup.

So there’s plenty of pressure for Peter Chiarelli and the Bruins to win now in the short term rather than wait for long term prospects to cash in. But the future is also now for Boston’s top young prospects as there will be job opportunities when full NHL training camp opens next week.

With that in mind the top contenders for some of those NHL jobs will report to Ristuccia Arena for duty on Wednesday afternoon for the opening of rookie camp. Young forwards Ryan Spooner, Jared Knight and Anthony Camara still have very bright futures in pro hockey, and former first round pick Malcolm Subban holds the most cachet of the 22 youngsters reporting this week.

In the salary cap world with the ceiling dropping for the 2013-14 season, the need is present across the NHL for young, affordable players that can do the job at a reduced rate. Spooner, Knight, Camara, Reilly Smith, Matt Fraser and Jordan Caron will be among the low cost alternatives with affordable cap hits that will be competing for spots on Boston’s third line when regular training camp opens.

Bruins management will be watching the rookies this week as they practice, and continue to evaluate the youngsters as they head to Florida for three preseason games against the rookies for the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Nashville Predators. It’s something Chiarelli wasn’t shying away from while discussing the future plans for the Black and Gold now that he’ll be in the GM chair for the next five years.

“We have to be proactive in this cap world, we have to be aggressive and one of the other challenges that we have is we’d like to try and – you saw a bit of it last year –we’d like to try and get some younger players into our lineup,” said Chiarelli. “The challenge there is that you need a good solid leadership group, which usually means experience.

"So the challenge there is getting the young group to be in with the older group and it’s a challenge everybody has but we’re certainly going to face it head on.”

As Chiarelli alluded to, the youth movement has already begun for the Bruins. Dougie Hamilton spent the entire season with the Bruins last year as a 19-year-old blueliner with unlimited potential. Both Torey Krug and Matt Bartkowski also enjoyed their NHL arrival in the middle of Boston’s playoff run, and both young blueliners will be in the mix for NHL jobs during training camp.

All of the new names speak to the changing B’s roster in the brave new cap world, and all of that gets going on Wednesday with the start of rookie training camp. It also signals the official start of the hockey calendar for the 2013-14 NHL season as regular training camp stands only a week away from winding up the Bruins for another exciting season of hockey. Listed below is the roster for B’s rookie training camp that gets going on Wednesday afternoon:

FORWARDS: Anthony Camara, Mitchell Dempsey, Campbell Elyniuk, Alex Fallstrom, Justin Florek, Seth Griffith, Jayden Hart, Alexander Khokhlachev, Jared Knight, Matthew Lindblad, Wayne Simpson, Ryan Spooner, Maxime Villemaire

DEFENSEMEN: Mickael Beauregard, Chris Casto, Alex Cord, Tommy Cross, Jesse Lees, Steven Spinnell, Zach Trotman

GOALTENDERS: Adam Morrison, Malcolm Subban