Anthony Camara is still a few weeks away from the start of Bruins rookie training camp on Sept. 11, but he’s looking forward to building on his first pro season.
Camara will be a member of the B’s rookie group that will head to Tennessee for a rookie tournament against the Predators, Panthers and Lightning, and will look a little different than he did last season. A summer of working out and bulking up has pushed him up to 202 pounds heading into this season, roughly 10 pounds heavier than last year.
That should make a world of difference for the soon-to-be 21-year-old with physicality as the bread and butter of his game, and the on-ice quality that will get him noticed most quickly by the NHL staff. Camara finished with nine goals and 22 points in 58 AHL games for Providence. Those offensive numbers should grow as he gets comfortable with the pro hockey game.
Still, he knows bigger, stronger and faster is the way to go for a young guy looking for a bottom six spot on an NHL team. The 2011 third-round pick is probably on the outside looking for an NHL roster spot right out of training camp this fall, but Camara is putting himself in a position to be ready should one of those spots open up for him.
“Now I know what to expect, and I’m able to prepare mentally for what’s to come this year,” said Camara to CSNNE.com via a phone interview from the NHLPA Rookie Showcase. “The schedule was something for me. Playing three games in three nights, and knowing you can’t take a night off because all of the guys are fighting for it out there.
“The knowledge of the game and knowing where to be so I could quickly react were things I had to learn. I’ve been working with our video guys on where to be [in the defensive zone] in certain situations, and working on my timing. I was also playing a little bit underweight last year, so I’m bulking up a bit.”
Camara is getting the blue chip prospect treatment this season: getting invited to NHLPA Rookie Showcase in Toronto along with Alex Khokhlachev, and a host of top NHL prospects. The scrappy B’s winger has reunited with a couple of teammates, and is getting to know some of the other young guns across the NHL.
“There are guys I’ve played with before like [Aaron] Ekblad, and Koko,” said Camara. “Then there are guys I played against in world juniors too. It’s pretty cool to be around them all.”
Camara and Khokhlachev are following in the footsteps of some pretty notable B’s prospects over the past few years that have also taken part in the NHLPA Rookie Showcase:
2010 – Tyler Seguin, Joe Colborne & Zach Hamill
2012 – Dougie Hamilton, Jared Knight, Ryan Spooner
2013 – Malcolm Subban
Now in its sixth year, this unique event provides Upper Deck – the official trading card partner of the NHLPA and the NHL – with an exclusive opportunity to photograph many of the game’s top young prospects/rookies in their official NHL team uniforms, in shots that will be used for upcoming card and memorabilia launches.