NORTH SMITHFIELD, R.I. While Zach Trotman managed to get in nine AHL games under his belt last season after signing an entry-level deal with the Bruins, this was supposed to be a year of firsts for the 22-year-old blueliner.
It would be his first full pro season, his first NHL training camp and his first chance to truly make a lasting impression on the decision makers that could grant him an NHL job someday.
Well, two out of three isnt bad.
Its been a long summer, so I think everybody has been itching to get back out there, said Trotman. Its huge to be at the next level and see how everybody gets prepared at this leveljust the pace of it.
It was nice to get a few games under my belt last year just to see what this was all about, and now this is a nice little confidence-booster to get ready for the season.
While the 6-foot-4, 202-pound Trotman wont get to experience a full NHL training camp this time around, hell be with the Providence Bruins this season and he has the watchful eyes of the Bs front office and coaching staff upon him. With that in mind Trotman had an auspicious debut finishing with four points and a hat trick in a 5-1 win for the Black Team over the White team in the first scrimmage of camp.
Aside from Trotmans hat trick, Justin Florek, Chris Bourque and Carter Camper added the red lamp-lighters during the scrimmage on the second official day of camp.
Two of Trotmans goals were point shots that managed to snake through traffic in front of the net, and the third was a top shelf rocket off a nifty feed from Matthew Pistilli with Craig Cunningham driving straight to the net.
While Trotman finished with 11 goals last season for Lake Superior State before signing with the Bruins, he wasnt about to crown himself an offensive defenseman after one good day of practice.
I wouldnt say that Im an offensive defenseman, but Im more of a two-way guy, said Trotman. So getting shots through at the point and creating rebounds and tips is definitely a big part of my game. All of the forwards were giving me good passes and then stacking up down low in the zone in front of the net.
We were joking about it before the second half and Kevan Miller said why dont you just go out there and get the hat trick? Then I had a shot go in right at the start of the second half.
Here were the lines and defensemen pairings from the P-Bruins scrimmage while the coaches mixed and matched throughout: