The Bruins have signed another local college hockey player with an impressive pedigree of winning, and being tough to play against.
Per ESPN’s John Buccigross on his twitter account, the Bruins have signed Providence College forward Noel Acciari to a two-year contract with the redshirt senior departing the Friars with one year of college eligibility left.
A Bruins source indicated to CSNNE.com that they have been “discussing an opportunity” with Acciari, but that nothing has been confirmed as of yet.
The 5-foot-11, 205-pound center is a Johnston, Rhode Island native, and was named the best defensive forward in Hockey East this season while also captaining the Friars to their first NCAA national championship. Acciari finished with a career-high 15 goals and 32 points in 41 games for the Friars along with a plus-22 rating, and scored important goals in both the NCAA regionals and the semi-final win for Providence while showing his abilities on the big stage.
The undrafted 24-year-old obviously doesn’t project to be a game-changing top-six forward or a high-end offensive player, but it sounds like he could eventually develop into a useful bottom-six guy capable of providing energy and occasional offense.
That’s something the Bruins could always use more of in the form of affordable young players rather than expensive, tired veterans.
Here’s what one NHL scout from a Western Conference team had to say about Acciari after multiple viewings of the player: “High energy, hard-working 2-way center. The kids motor never stops. Average size but gets his nose dirty and plays really hard. Will need some time in AHL, but he has 4th line/checking upside, and is smart. Think Antoine Roussel minus the fighting and agitating, or a Derek McKenzie type. Just loves to play.”
That sounds like a player that fits right into the Bruins way of doing things, and signifies many of the things Don Sweeney talked about in his introductory press conference.
BRIGHTON, Mass – It was absolutely an “uh-oh” moment for Matt Beleskey when he was hit on the foot with a shot Monday night in the Bruins' preseason opener against the Canadiens. Beleskey, 29, was just hoping that his foot wasn’t broken in what would have been another shot of bad luck coming off a tough season for the hard-nosed winger, so his hopes have been answered given his presence in the lineup for the preseason game Saturday night vs. the Detroit Red Wings.
Beleskey missed the past two preseason games and most of the practice time as well but returned to the ice on Friday before getting ready for tonight's game. With plenty to prove while coming off a down second season in Boston, Beleskey knows he needs a strong camp that can’t get derailed by injuries or assorted bumps and bruises.
“I definitely did not want a broken foot to start the year, so I’m glad that I was fine,” said Beleskey, who finished with three goals and eight points along with a minus-10 in 49 games last season. “I took a puck in the face during warm-ups and the shot to the foot in the third, so that’s quite a good start to the year. But hopefully, I’ve got those out of the way now.
“I felt really good in the last game. It was great to see some of the work I did in the summertime paying off, so now we build on that [against Detroit] and keep things moving. There are a lot of great players here [in camp] and there’s great competition. I’m just here to play my game and prove myself, and I’ve got all the confidence in the world I can do that.”
Now that he’s been given a full bill of health again, Beleskey will get just that chance skating with Sean Kuraly and Ryan Fitzgerald on Saturday night in Hockeytown amid a deeply competitive situation for Boston’s third line. Here are the projected line combos and D-pairings for the Bruins against the Red Wings in Boston’s fourth game of the preseason:
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while amazed at what has united Lebron James and Steph Curry in this wacky country of ours.
*Sean Avery has some brutal things to say about John Tortorella in his new “screaming for attention” book, but then again Avery is one of the biggest low-talent dirtbags that the NHL has ever seen. So you probably need to consider the source.
*FOH (Friend of Haggs) John Shannon has a few thoughts on where the NHL needs to go in their relationship with China now that they’ve played preseason games there.
*Pro Hockey Talk has the details as Steven Stamkos stood out in his preseason debut and the first game back from last season’s injury.
*The NHL has yet to determine whether or not Marian Hossa is eligible for LTIR with a skin issue that is expected to be career-ending.
*PK Subban talks about his rule of thumb while staying away from controversy with an active social media account.
*Mark your calendars for the annual Comics Come Home event on Nov. 18 to raise money for the Cam Neely Foundation. Here Neely talks with SI about his friendships with a number of local comics, and how the comedy event became a tradition in Boston.
*For something completely different: Today marks the 40th anniversary of David Bowie’s classic “Heroes”, so it feels like a good time to get the story behind it.