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The arena’s bone-chillingly cold temperature may have driven fans to their cars for their sweatshirts, but the action on the ice within the little rink in northern Massachusetts keep Bruins fans’ eyes peeled. In the first of four sessions of training camp open to the public, the Boston Bruins rookies showed their skills and continue to develop into Bruins hopefuls at the annual summer camp held at Ristuccia Rink in Wilmington.
Last year, it was Blake Wheeler who captivated the crowd in attendance with his dazzling skating techniques and acceleration, and the year before the buzz was about now Boston-cult-like-icon Milan Lucic. Who’ll be the next name to keep an eye on leaving Wilmington?
Players I had my eyes on were defenseman and Bruins 2009 3rd round pick Ryan Button along with Bemidji State netminder Matt Dalton.
Throughout the drills, Button showed strong defensive abilities with his stick and defending during the 2 on 1′s. Along with his surely up-to-snuff defensive abilities, Button displayed strong skating skills and balance to make him a player to continue to watch carefully as the camp continues this week.
In Boston, the Bruins have 35-year old Vezina-winner Tim Thomas manning the crease and are expected to have The Finnish Flash, also known as Tuukka Rask serving as his back-up for the 2009-10 season. However, with Kevin Regan’s talent poising a question mark to the future of the Bruins in net, GM Peter Chiarelli grabbed Matt Dalton from Bemidji State, who put together a fine season for the Beavers with a 19-11-1 with a 2.19 GAA in their Cinderalla chase for a Frozen Four Championship.
Dalton, in my opinion showed great post to post movement and was going down into the butterfly quickly and effectively. It may be early, but as time passes on, Dalton looked as if he could become more advanced than fellow goaltenders Adam Couchraine and Michael Hutchinson on the Bruins depth chart. Which is by no means a knock to Couchraine or Hutchinson, who both had fine days in between in pipes.
Although there was no sign of Boston College Eagle and B’s prospect Tommy Cross on the ice due to a leg injury, the Bruins coaching staff had Yannick Riendeau doing skating drills along with shooting on Adam Couchraine and Matt Dalton without defensemen. Although Riendeau wasn’t being defended against, his wrist shot shows to have some serious snap to it, even with a rehabilitating shoulder.
Two surprises out of today were David Krejci and Milan Lucic. Krejci was test driving a new Porsche following an indoor workout and Lucic was trying his best Houdini impression to get out of the parking lot before anyone noticed it was him.
Day two for the public is tomorrow (Thursday). In a perfect world, I get a better look at Russian defensemen Yuri Alexandrov and the newest Bruin, first round pick Jordan Caron.