DeBrusk "looking forward to next step" after scoring binge at rookie camp

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DeBrusk "looking forward to next step" after scoring binge at rookie camp

BRIGHTON -- Jake DeBrusk was just a wide-eyed kid a year ago at his first Bruins rookie camp fresh off being selected in the first round. But DeBrusk still managed to impress Bruins coach Claude Julien with his willingness to battle as a “skill player”, and the kind of hockey smarts he showed off in game situations as the son of a former NHL player in Louie DeBrusk.

This time around DeBrusk brought the offense with him as a more experienced 19-year-old winger with a decent shot at winning an NHL roster spot with the Black and Gold, and scored a goal in each of the two rookie camp games in Buffalo. In both instances DeBrusk was set up by fellow forward prospect Peter Cehlarik, and scored power play goals showing off both his excellent shot and his ability to move into scoring positions without the puck.

COUNTDOWN TO CAMP PREVIEWS

DeBrusk is overjoyed at getting his training camp off to a strong start with the rookies, and now the talented winger is geared up to fight for a roster spot with a group of fellow B’s forward prospects.

“The games and just they were being played, I felt way more comfortable and back to myself,” said DeBrusk, who was held to 21 goals in 61 junior games last season while battling through injury issues. “It felt nice to score some goals; that’s for sure. I got some really good passes. Pretty much both of them were identical, and I’ll always score those ones.

“I’m looking forward to the next step now, and just want to keep going. I [think I got to show] my game, my style and how hard I work from goal line to goal line. Being in and around the net and my goal-scoring touch, I think I did a good job of that over the weekend. I think a lot of [Bruins prospects] were able to show their worth. I was happy with how I played, and was able to show my style of hockey.”

DeBrusk, Heinen and Cehlarik all enjoyed extremely good rookie camps, and will join the fray with other veterans like Peter Mueller to compete for at least one open winger spot among Boston’s top-9 forward group this season.

Now it’s up to DeBrusk to dig into main training camp as it starts on Thursday, and keep showing off the shot, release and hockey IQ that’s allowed the youngster to score goals at every level of hockey he’s played at during his young career.

Morning Skate: Former PC coach Army on Avs' rough year

Morning Skate: Former PC coach Army on Avs' rough year

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars being released today. Amazing that the power and influence of the best movie franchise in cinematic history are just as strong today as it was four decades ago. I still remember my first time seeing it as a very little kid with my parents at the dearly departed Starlight Drive-In in North Reading.

*Good guy and recently fired Colorado Avalanche assistant coach Tim Army talks about a rough past season with the Avs, and some of the difficulties they faced in a truly terrible season. The former Providence College head coach and good hockey man shouldn’t have much trouble finding his next gig.

*A great move by the Arizona Coyotes, who have hired former Bruins forward Craig Cunningham as a pro scout after his awful medical situation last season that resulted in his leg getting amputated. Cunningham is a hard worker and a hockey lifer, and that’s exactly the kind of traits that the best scouts have in huge amounts.

*The New Jersey Devils have fired a number of employees after a rough season, including a groundbreaking radio analyst.

*With the ultra-competitive demand for an edge in NHL player development, teams are beginning to look to Europe for more and more diamonds in the rough. The Bruins tried that with Joonas Kemppainen, but it didn’t work out so well.

*One of the real big advantages of the Nashville Predators getting to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time is a national spotlight getting flashed on PK Subban, who shows off his personality in a rare ESPN interview of a hockey player featured on the network's magazine show.

*Ryan Johansen isn’t done talking smack to Ryan Kesler after the Predators prevailed over the Ducks, and it’s some delicious playoff hatred.

*Is the NHL ready to draft another goaltender with the last name DiPietro in the first round? Inquiring minds want to know, but I’d recommend the New York Islanders take a pass just in the name of avoiding a repeat of some bad history for them.

*Taylor Hall sounds pretty bitter about the whole “Edmonton Oilers getting into the playoff without him” thing, doesn’t he?

*For something completely different: As mentioned above, it’s a milestone birthday for the Star Wars franchise hitting 40 years old today. Boy, this Boston Globe movie review was right on the money back in 1977.