The Boston Bruins currently have five players playing at the NCAA level including University of Denver standout Joe Colborne. Among the five players, there are a total of four forwards and one defenseman.
Joe Colborne, C — Jan 30, 1990 — Calgary, AB
Height 6.05 — Weight 190
Boston’s first-round pick in 2008, Colborne has been polishing his game with the University of Denver for the past two seasons. His rookie campaign was as successful as anyone could have hoped for. Heading into the 2009-10 season, the hope was that Colborne didn’t fall victim to the dreaded sophomore jinx. Midway through the season, it is safe to say that the future Bruin is right on track with his development. Thus far he is at a better than point-per-game clip, with 10 goals and 14 assists in 23 games.
The knock on Colborne in the past was that he didn’t use his shot enough, instead favoring low percentage passing plays. But his goals to assists ratio shows that he has improved on it. Another aspect of Colborne’s game that has improved is his physical play. Noted in the past for not using his size effectively, he is showing signs of playing a more gritty style this season. In general, his confidence level is higher and his play is benefiting from it. He will continue to develop in Denver for the next one or two seasons before making his NHL debut.
Tommy Cross, D — Sep 12, 1989 — Hartford, CT
Height 6.03 — Weight 195
Noted for his excellent defensive play with the puck and strong hockey IQ, the Boston College sophomore is showing a little more offensive flair this season. In 20 games, Cross scored his first four goals at the NCAA level and matched that with four assists. He seems to have moved on from the knee problem that has plagued him over the past two years. His mobility is improved and he has been using his body more this season than last. Cross is probably two or three seasons away from realistically attempting to crack the Bruins lineup but if he continues to develop as he has, there is no reason to think that he won’t be a solid contributor at the NHL level.
After being chosen by the Minnesota Wild in the fourth round of last summer’s NHL entry draft, many insiders proclaimed Fallstrom as being one of the better mid-round picks of the draft. Boston later acquired the young Swede in the deal which saw Chuck Kobasew moved to Minnesota. The acquisition further bolstered Boston’s organizational depth at the forward position.
Fallstrom made his NCAA debut this season with Harvard University. Thus far his rookie season has gone well. He has two goals and seven assists through 19 games, good for seventh in team scoring. As he gets more comfortable with the style of play in college hockey, look for Fallstrom to assert himself as one of the league’s better two-way forwards.
Mark Goggin, C — Jul 29, 1990 — Glen Ellyn, IL
Height 5.11 — Weight 180
Former USHL Chicago Steel forward Goggin is in his freshman season at Dartmouth. Although Goggin has just four goals and one assist in 17 games, he has been seeing enough ice time to develop and improve. Credit Goggin for working hard for his ice time and competing every shift. He remains a long-term project for Boston but with his raw talent and strong heart he should be knocking on Boston’s door in three or four years.
Nicholas Tremblay, C — Apr 5 1988 — Ottawa, ON
Height 5.11 — Weight 190
A sixth-round pick by Boston in 2008, Tremblay is a sophomore at Clarkson University. This season is going a little better than his first. He has two goals and nine assists in 25 games, the same point total he had in 36 games last season. Ideally the speedy forward would be near the top of team scoring and close to a point per game. Offense is the strongest part of his game, not defense. Tremblay is a project.