Hamill knows this may be last chance with B's

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Hamill knows this may be last chance with B's

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
WILMINGTON -- Zach Hamill knows what its like to be saddled with the weight of expectations. Hamill is a top 10 first round pick and a player who entered the Boston organization with high expectations, but its never quite come together for the center.

Hamill has taken on leadership roles at the prospect camps and has flashed playmaking skills in a pair of short stints in the NHL, but hes never been able to carve out a permanent job for himself in Bruins. Hamill really hasnt ever put together a truly outstanding AHL season since arriving in Providence, and knows that this training camp might just be his final chance in Boston.

Obviously you want to get better every year and this is an important season, said Hamill. But you dont want to look too far ahead. I take it day-by-day and dont look too far ahead. Looking too far ahead kinds of makes it more difficult for me if I do that.

Its good to see some teammates make it to the NHL and it makes you a little bit hungrier. Brad Marchand, David Krejci, Adam McQuaid and Johnny Boychuk all spent some time in Providence and finally made it. Its inspiring to me. Ill do whatever it takes to make it to the NHL.

Hamill is a free agent at the end of the season, and knows that it hasnt quite come together for him yet in a Boston organization stocked with centers. To his credit Hamill is supported by his past, current and future teammates in Boston, and theres likely a team out there that recognizes untapped potential in the 22-year-old pivot.

Hamills best season to date is 43 points and a plus-6 in 68 games for the P-Bruins last season, and he may need to start showcasing himself for other teams potentially interested in adding to their center situation.

The Bs coaching staff recognizes that Hamill has looked more confident and better with the puck this season, and perhaps he can jump back into the top of the depth heap when it comes to center.

Ive seen more confidence in Zach, said coach Claude Julien. Zach has struggled a little bit with that in the past but right now hes shown that after the amount of years hes been at our camp. Its a time for him to show that hes benefitted from the camps. I find him playing a lot more confidence. Hes one of those guys that youll probably see more of what he can do in a game situation than in practice because hes a smart player, a smart individual and he can make some real nice plays. Well et a chance to see that from him.

Hamill said he skated more this summer than he ever had before in preparation for the year with the Bruins, and has quickened up the power and pace hes able to consistently play with.

Time will tell if it makes a difference with Hamill and it those gaudy expectations will ever truly be met by the young centerman.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Pastrnak, Marchand and Vatrano represent Bruins at World Championship

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Pastrnak, Marchand and Vatrano represent Bruins at World Championship

The Bruins have three players headed to the IIHF Hockey World Championship, which begin this weekend in Russia.

Brad Marchand was invited to play for Team Canada early on in the process, coming off his 37-goal season for the Bruins. Last week the Czech Republic added 19-year-old right wing David Pastrnak to their squad with plans to skate on a line with the Montreal Canadiens' Tomas Plekanec.

And Frank Vatrano -- who scored a total of 44 goals between Boston and Providence in this, his first full professional season -- was added to the Team USA roster this week. Vatrano, 22, confirmed it on his own Twitter account on Tuesday night prior to hopping on a flight bound for Russia:

Torey Krug played for Team USA last season, but was unavailable this time around after undergoing right shoulder surgery just a couple of weeks ago that will have him sidelined until late October. 

Vatrano is one of four Massachusetts players on this year's version of Team USA. The others are Canadiens goaltender Mike Condon, Hurricanes defenseman Noah Hanifin and Devils D-man David Warsofsky.

Both Marchand and Pastrnak previously suited up for their countries in the World Junior championships, and Vatrano played in the U.S. National Team Development Program prior to playing college hockey at the University of Massachusetts. Vatrano also previously represented the U.S. at the 2012 IIHF Under-18 Men's World Championship in Brno and Znojmo, Czech Republic, where he helped Team USA claim the gold medal.

The IIHF Men's World Championships will start Friday and run until May 22 in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia. It features featuring many of the NHL players that aren’t participating in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Haggerty: Anticipate ‘great deal of player movement’

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Haggerty: Anticipate ‘great deal of player movement’

Ahead of the expansion draft, teams may look to get something in return for players they’d otherwise lose for nothing.

May 4, 2016: If expansion hits, which Pens goalie is protected?

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May 4, 2016: If expansion hits, which Pens goalie is protected?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while giving a warm May the Fourth Be With You to everybody out there.

*Mike Francesa has declared sports radio war on former New York Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro, and it’s getting ugly folks.

 

*A humbled Bruce Boudreau, who really didn’t need to be humbled given what a nice man he is, will have a long line of NHL suitors interested in his services.

 

*The Northeastern University hockey team has gone to some extremes with their pregame wrestling matches.

 

*Pro Hockey Talk asks the question: if there’s an expansion draft, which goaltender should the Penguins protect given what’s going on in their playoff series?

 

*A really nice gesture within the PHT morning skate with Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper going to bat for a Lightning beat reporter that finds himself out of a job.

 

*Max Domi had a very memorable rookie season even if it didn’t end with any serious consideration for the Calder Trophy.

 

*The Nashville Predators got a little better this week with the decision to kick Mike Ribeiro up into the press box.

 

*For something completely different: these Han Solo uniform jerseys for the Durham Bulls’ Star Wars Night are the freakin’ truth.