Last week, we spoke about who the Bruins are most likely to let go, as well as our chances of picking up new talent. Needless to say, GM Don Sweeney trusted Bruce Cassidy‘s cool and stood pat with our current lineup, with some small changes. With Thursday’s loss against one of our original 6 rivals, it was hard to notice any changes made to the Bruins roster. Now that the air is cleared with a fresh win against the Devils with Khudobin tending the net, we can discuss what names you may have noticed, and can expect great things from.
We all know this name isn’t new, however with the Time On Ice he’s been putting in, I feel like his name is worth mentioning. From Colorado Springs, Carlo actually played on the Minor League team I grew up watching, the Tri-City Americans, from 2012-2016. He was picked up by the Providence Bruins for the 2015-2016 season, and was finally called up for the 2016-2017 season.
His playing style is similar to that of who he’s paired with, Zdeno Chara. Despite their obvious size difference, Carlo’s first priority is playing the puck, and getting physical when needed. At 6’2″ and 203 lbs, he’s big enough to play physical, but can still skate on a dime.
With some work on his 2-Way abilities, Brandon Carlo has the potential to be the next Raymond Bourque. Under the wing of Chara, we should see exponential growth in his applied skill-set, especially at only 20 Years Old.
Again, we’ve all been seeing this guy for a while. Also again, Vatrano’s been an invaluable member of our offence on the left side, as well as right side Defenseman on the 2nd Power Play unit. At 22 Years Old, Vatrano has had a pretty busy career thus far, bouncing in between EJHL and the Jr. Bruins, USHL National Development Team, UMass-Amherst, on up to Providence, and has finally found his place among our Bruins.
At 70 NHL Games Played for 28 Points, he may not be a steam roller at the net just yet, but given a bit of work in the off-season, we could have a clone of our current number one forward, Brad Marchand. With the exception of skating and stick-handling abilities, Vatrano has displayed his one major similarity with Marchand (besides both being 5’9″). They share the mindset of, “Get the puck in the net.”
The pairing of Vatrano and Stafford attempted to accomplish this in Saturday’s game 2 ways. Move the puck around the zone until somebody finds a clear shot, or bombard the goalie with endless shots on goal. Both ended up working eventually with a 3-2 Victory over the Devils.
You knew this name would come. Finally, right? Also standing at just the right size for a Bruin, 6’2″ and 214 lbs, Stafford was the offensive pressure we needed on the right side to follow David Backes and David Pastrnak, but also keep the opposing goalie under stress for Riley Nash to come in on the following line. In his debut game with the Bruins, Stafford was able to put away a powerplay goal, although it was overturned due to Goaltender Interference.
Hailing from Milwaukee, WI and 31 years old, our new gun was picked up in the 1st Round (13th Overall) by the Buffalo Sabres in 2004. Since then, Stafford has racked up 708 Games Played for 393 Points. In Saturday’s game, we saw him covering the right side at full strength, but he’s also being utilized on the left side as part of the Bruins‘ 1st Power Play Unit, with David Backes on the right and David Krejci heading up the Center.
During regular 5 on 5, complimented by Frank Vatrano on the left and Ryan Spooner in the middle, Stafford and Vatrano’s shot-happy styles paired with Spooner’s Play-Making abilities are perfect to stress out a goalie and pave the way for the remaining lines to put rubber to net.
Let us know what you think.
Anybody we missed? Somebody you would like to see talked about more? Let us know in the comments who on our roster you could see doing great things and why.
Feature Image Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports