Bruins training camp preview

By Janine Pilkington

Some of the Boston Bruins’ finest prospects will compete for roster spots beginning on Thursday, Sept. 8, when rookies report to camp. With a budget that’s sprinting towards the salary cap, the Bruins will look towards some of their younger players to step up and make an impact early in the season. They’ve also got a number of forwards who have done their time in the minor leagues and are looking for a promotion. With limited space on the roster, and a solid group of prospects, for a few players, there will be a lot riding on this year’s camp. The full training camp begins Monday, Sept. 12.

Off-Season Movement and Signings

Prior to the 2005 draft, the team, like all NHL teams, had a limited amount of time to claim their 2003 draftees. Out of seven total, Boston signed both fifth round pick Mike Brown (G) and sixth rounder Nate Thompson (C) to three-year deals, leaving Masi Marjamaki, Benoit Mondou, Frank Rediker and Patrik Valcak eligible to re-enter the draft.

First round pick Mark Stuart was not affected by the deadline, because he still had a year of college remaining, and of those sent back to the pool, only Marjamaki was drafted (NY Islanders). Both Mondou and Rediker were, however, among those invited to this year’s camp. The Bruins also traded forward Yan Stastny to the Edmonton Oilers for a 2006 fourth round pick.

A number of Bruins prospects opted to leave college early and sign contracts with the team. Mark Stuart confirmed that he would forgo his senior year at Colorado College and a signed a three-year contract with the B’s. The highly anticipated first round pick from the 2003 draft completed the 2004-05 season with 19 points and 94 penalty minutes in 43 games and is among the few players with a serious shot at making the Boston club right out of camp.

U Mass Lowell center and 2004 draft pick Ben Walter also signed a three-year contract with the B’s. Walter, who would have been a senior, was coming off another strong season at U Mass with 39 points in 36 games for 2004-05. He ranked near the top of the league in goals scored and was a Hobey Baker Award finalist in 2005.

Somewhat surprising was the signing of Bowling Green State University defenseman Jonathan Sigalet to a three-year contract. Sigalet completed his sophomore year in 2004-05 with 16 points in 35 games and was a fourth round pick in 2005. His brother, goaltender Jordan Sigalet signed a one-year contract after a strong senior year season at Bowling Green University. The Falcons’ team captain had a 2.89 GAA, .915 percentage and 1,140 saves for the 2004-05 season. He was a seventh round pick by Boston in the 2001 draft.

A number of Providence players also received contracts: Among them was 23-year-old center Brad Boyes, who was second on the team in 2004-05 with 75 points and 58 penalty minutes in 80 games. He scored 20 of those points on the power play, and was also a factor in the 2005 playoffs with 15 points in 16 games. He was acquired via trade with San Jose in 2004.

6’4 218 lb defender Andrew Alberts received a one year contract. Alberts capped off a successful college career with the Boston College Eagles in 2004-05 with 16 points and 67 penalty minutes in 30 games. Following that he joined the Providence Bruins for the remainder of the season, and picked up 5 points and 40 penalty minutes in 16 games. He was a sixth round pick in the 2001 entry draft.

Finally, right wing Colton Orr recently signed a one-year deal. The 6’3 210 lb scrapper came off his second full season with the Providence Bruins, where he scored 7 points and gathered some 279 penalty minutes in 61 games. He signed with the Bruins as a free agent in 2001.

Misc. Notes

2005 draftees Matt Lashoff, Petr Kalus, Wacey Rabbit, Jonathan Sigalet and Lukas Vantuch will make their first camp appearance, as will 2004 draftees David Krejci, Martins Karsums, Ben Walter, Anton Hedman, Ashton Rome and Kris Versteeg. Of the invitees, Brian McConnell, who plays center for Boston University, is a former second round pick (2002) for the Calgary Flames; Right wing Jamison Orr is the younger brother of Bruins prospect Colton Orr and currently plays in the WHL. Milan Gajic is an unsigned draft pick of the Atlanta Thrashers. The highly anticipated first round pick from 2000, Lars Jonsson is not expected to be in camp this year.

Rookie Camp Roster

The following players are expected to begin camp Thursday September 8th:

Forwards: *Milan Gajic (RW); Anton Hedman (LW); Petr Kalus (RW); Martins Karsums (RW); David Krejci (C) ; *Cody McLeod (LW); *Brian McConnell (C); *Scott Mifsud (LW); Benoit Mondou (C); *Jamison Orr (RW); *Adam Paiement (RW); Wacey Rabbit (C); Ashton Rome (RW); Nate Thompson (C); Lukas Vantuch (LW); Kris Versteeg (RW); Ben Walter (C); *Peter Zingoni (LW)

Defenders: Andrew Alberts, *Bobby Gates, *Jesse Lane, *Michael Korenko, Matt Lashoff, *Guillaume Lepine, Frank Rediker, *Evan Shaw, Jonathan Sigalet, Mark Stuart

Goaltenders: *Mike Ayers, Mike Brown, Jordan Sigalet

* = Free Agent Invitees

Brad Boyes, Milan Jurcina, Colton Orr, Martin Samuelsson, and Hannu Toivonen will begin camp with the veteran players on Monday, September 12th.

Preseason Schedule

Sept 16th – Black and White Intrasquad Game – Agganis Arena, Boston
Sept 20th – vs. Toronto Maple Leafs – Copps Coliseum, Hamilton, Ontario
Sept 21st – vs. Pittsburgh Penguins – Wachovia Arena, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA
Sept 23rd – vs. NY Islanders – TD Banknorth Garden, Boston
Sept 24th – vs. NY Islanders – Verizon Wireless Center, Manchester, NH
Sept 25th – vs. NY Rangers – Madison Square Garden, NY
Sept 27th – vs. Montreal Canadiens – Bell Centre, Montreal
Sept 28th – vs. Montreal Canadiens – Moncton Coliseum, Moncton NB
Oct 1st – vs. NY Rangers – TD Banknorth Garden, Boston

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