Boston Bruins have several prominent prospects playing in NCAA and Europe

By Richard Murray

Zane Gothberg - Boston Bruins

Photo: Goaltender Zane Gothberg had a breakout year with North Dakota, posting a 20-10-3 record en route to an appearance in the 2014 Frozen Four. Gothberg was selected in the sixth round of the 2010 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Richard T. Gagnon/Getty Images)

The Boston Bruins have most of their prime prospects playing at the professional level in North America, but there are still a few prominent names that are currently playing in Europe or at the collegiate level.

Some of the Bruins college prospects could be signing in the coming days too. Brian Ferlin recently inked his entry-level contract and will skip his senior season at Cornell. Other prospects like Zane Gothberg and Ryan Fitzgerald had impressive runs to the NCAA Frozen Four.

Europe

Peter Cehlarik, LW, Lulea (SHL)
Drafted 3rd round, 90th overall, 2013

Playing at the pro level in Sweden, Cehlarik only put up four points (two goals, two assists) in 32 games. He will look to become more of a scoring threat next season and build off of his three-point performance for Slovakia in the World Junior Championships. He is eligible for next year's WJC Tournament too. He is an interesting player to keep an eye on this summer at the Bruins summer development camp.

Anton Blidh, LW, Frolunda (SHL)
Drafted 6th round, 180th overall, 2013

Blidh got a shot at the pro level in Sweden and had five assists in 24 games. He is very good in the defensive zone and killing penalties and has a similar skill set to former Bruins forward P.J. Axelsson.

Linus Arnesson, D, Djurgarden (Allsvenskan)
Drafted 2nd round, 60th overall, 2013

Arnesson is best known for his defense, but the Swedish blueliner has made improvements in his offensive game. He is very mobile and has the ability to move the puck up ice. The Bruins second round pick in 2013 scored a goal and five assists for Djurgarden after only scoring one assist a year ago. He was also a member of Team Sweden in the World Junior Championships, where he dished out two assists in seven games.

Maxim Chudinov, D, St. Petersburg SKA (KHL)
Drafted 7th round, 195th overall, 2010

After a breakout season in 2011-12, Chudinov has not improved his offensive stats. He scored 35 points during that breakout season but has followed with 10 and 18 points the past two years. He is mobile and could be a impact player at the NHL level, but he does not appear to have much interest in crossing the Atlantic.

NCAA

Zane Gothberg, G, North Dakota (NCHC)
Drafted, 6th round, 165th overall, 2010

The Bruins have a strong depth at the goaltender position and Gothberg is just getting started. Gothberg's efforts came up just short against Minnesota as Golden Gophers beat North Dakota, 2-1, on a last second shorthanded goal. The Bruins draft selections was sensational all night stopping 36-of-38 shots in the semifinals of the Frozen Four.

Gothberg is expected to head back to North Dakota for his junior season after an impressive sophomore campaign. This past season, Gothberg posted a 20-10-3 record, 1.99 goals against average, .929 save percentage, and three shutouts. Look for another big season out of Gothberg next year.

Brian Ferlin, RW, Cornell Big Red (ECAC)
Drafted 4th round, 121st overall, 2011

After three seasons at Cornell, Ferlin just inked his entry-level contract. The Jacksonville, Florida native was a steady producer with the Big Red, but failed to make that big jump to an elite scorer. He will likely spend sometime down in Providence. One thing the Bruins love about Ferlin is his size and how strong he is on the puck. He has 13 goals and 14 assists (27 points) this past season at the collegiate level.

Colton Hargrove, LW, Western Michigan Broncos (NCHC)
Drafted 7th round, 205th overall, 2012

Hargrove improved his offensive game this season and it showed on the score sheet. The Rockwall, Texas native scored 11 goals and had 13 assists (24 points) for the Broncos this past year. Hargrove is a long-term prospect, but has size and some upside.

Ryan Fitzgerald, C, Boston College Eagles (Hockey East)
Drafted 6th round, 175th overall, 2012

Fitzgerald was solid for the Eagles and was able to learn from the best line in hockey as Johnny Gaudreau (CAL), Bill Arnold (CAL), and Kevin Hayes (CHI) stole the show all season. Fitzgerald came up big with a game-tying goal against UMass Lowell to help send Boston College to the Frozen Four. With Gaudreau, Arnold, and Hayes all not returning next season, Fitzgerald could be the go to guy on offense. He scored 29 points this past season.

Matt Grzelcyk, D, Boston University Terriers (Hockey East)
Drafted 3rd round, 85th overall, 2012

After a strong freshman campaign, Grzelcyk missed most of the 2013-14 season to injury. He had 11 points in 19 games before getting hurt. He will look to bounce back in his junior season.

Rob O'Gara, D, Yale Bulldogs (ECAC)
Drafted 5th round, 151st overall, 2011

After winning the NCAA National Championship as a freshman, O'Gara continued to make strides this season, especially in the defensive zone. At 6'4, the lengthy Bulldog defenseman has all the tools to become a impact defensive defenseman, but he can chip in offensively too. He scored 11 points in 33 games during the 2013-14 hockey season.

Matt Benning, D, Northeastern Huskies (Hockey East)

Benning helped Northeastern's resurgence in 2013-14. The Huskies moved out of the basement of the Hockey East standings and into the middle of the pack this year. He had 13 points and will look to improve on that during his sophomore season next year.

Follow Rich Murray on Twitter via @Richie_Murray