July 15, 2011

2011 Boston Bruins Development Camp roundup- the goalies and defense (2 of 2)

By Kirk Luedeke

Continuing the roundup of Boston Bruins prospects from last week’s development camp in Wilmington, Mass. we pick up with the goaltenders and defensemen.

“The new guys, I liked,” Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said earlier this week after the camp wrapped up. “I mean, obviously Dougie Hamilton is a tremendous, tremendously skilled player. He has to get stronger, but you can see, as each day went on, his skill came out and his confidence came out.”



60 Zane Gothberg
Vitals: 6-1, 190
Acquired: 6th round in 2010 (165th overall)
2010-11 amateur team: Fargo Force (USHL)
Signing status: Unsigned
Camp notes: Still raw, but developing prospect is just one year removed from playing Minnesota high school hockey. Technique is still a work in progress; tends to play deeper in the net than he should, but has tall frame and long limbs to take up a lot of space. Instinctive goalie who battles hard and doesn’t quit on the play. Quick glove hand. Can look like a bigger Tim Thomas at times, but has a great attitude and work ethic. Long-term project who is progressing. The incumbent starter for Fargo of the USHL for the 2011-12 season and expected at the University of North Dakota in 2012.

70 Mike Hutchinson
 6-3, 192
Acquired: 3rd round in 2008 (77th overall)
2010-11 team: Providence Bruins (AHL)/Reading Royals (ECHL)
Signing status: Signed ELC through 2013
Camp notes: The most advanced and refined of the three goaltenders in attendance. Looked cool, calm and poised at all times. A technician who used the butterfly effectively throughout. Smooth, economy of motion and flashed his glove (he catches right) effectively throughout. Survived a nasty-looking goalmouth collision with friend and teammate Jared Knight with a smile on his face. Sterling character- easy going guy in the room masks a real competitor who hates to lose. A lot better than he gets credit for. Will likely be veteran minor leaguer Anton Khudobin’s backup in Providence, but should push the Russian for playing time and starts.

75 Lars Volden
 6-3, 198
Acquired: 6th round in 2011 (181st overall)
2010-11 team: Espoo Blues (Finland Jr.)
Signing status: Unsigned
Camp notes: Impressive showing for late-round pick in last month’s draft who is a classic butterfly-style netminder from Norway. Takes up a large portion of the net and stays square to the shooter. Got more comfortable as the week went on and he began to adjust to shooters. Big, fast, athletic. Showed some real potential as a long-term option. Expected to play on the senior team for Espoo this season in Finland.



59 Dougie Hamilton
Vitals: 6-3, 193
Acquired: 1st round in 2011 (9th overall)
2010-11 amateur team: Niagara IceDogs (OHL)
Signing status: Unsigned
Camp notes: Boston’s top pick and prospect demonstrated his pure size, skating and hockey skills, but is still a work in progress. Hamilton moves well in all directions and has an interesting upright stance/deep knee bend which doesn’t seem to hinder his ability to get up and down the ice. He can pass the puck well and possesses a hard shot. During the first scrimmage, he showed a knack for moving along the blue line and unloading a big drive even though it didn’t find the back of the net. Still learning to play the position and skated with Tommy Cross as his defensive partner. Like most 18-year-olds, has a lot of filling out to do.

67 Marc Cantin
6-1, 192
Acquired: Signed as a free agent; April, 2011
2010-11 amateur team: Mississauga St. Michaels Majors (OHL)
Signing status: Signed ELC through 2014
Camp notes: Hard-nosed but mobile stay-at-home defender reminds of Mark Stuart in terms of style. Good mobility and agility; skates backwards well and crosses over effectively. Has an active stick and demonstrates proper gap control and technique. Played a physical style throughout the camp, hitting guys hard along the boards and trying to line people up for big hits in the open ice. Nothing flashy with this guy in terms of a lot of defensive upside, but has the maturity and smarts to play a lot of minutes right away and should be counted on by Bruce Cassidy as a rookie. Won the Memorial Cup in 2010 as a Windsor Spitfire and was runner up in 2011.

72 David Warsofsky
5-9, 170
Acquired: Trade with St. Louis; June, 2010
2010-11 amateur team: Boston University Terriers (Hockey East)
Signing status: Signed ELC through 2014
Camp notes: Small but skilled puck mover and Marshfield, Mass. native turned pro at the end of his junior season and played 10 games with Providence in the AHL. Very strong passer who sees the ice effectively and can hit teammates on the fly with accurate feeds. Elusive, slippery skater who gets up the ice quickly and likes to join the rush. Gritty guy who plays bigger than his size but will be limited at the higher levels with his lack of strength and power.

76 Rob O’Gara
6-3, 185
Acquired: 5th round in 2011 (151st overall)
2010-11 amateur team: Milton Mustangs (ISL)
Signing status: Unsigned
Camp notes: Two-way blueliner with size and hockey sense is a Yale recruit for 2012. Raw and inexperienced having only played one season in the ISL (Independent School League) before beig drafted by Boston. Has a long, fluid stride and fine footwork for someone who just turned 18 in July. Thinks the game well in terms of diagramming plays and being able to make the breakouts to get the puck up the ice. Calm and composed defender who is only going to get better as he is challenged more and continues to develop. Named captain of his Milton team for 2011-12.

78 Ryan Button
 6-0, 185
Acquired: 3rd round in 2009 (86th overall)
2010-11 amateur teams: Prince Albert Raiders/Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)
Signing status: Signed ELC through 2014
Camp notes: Impressive skater and effective shutdown defender has offensive upside and has come a long way in the two-plus years since Boston drafted him. Excellent speed and quickness; uses his wheels to get up and down the ice and is tough to beat on the outside because of his agility and ability to recover quickly. Has passing and shooting skills, but doesn’t always use them, preferring to play a more conservative style. Developed in more defense-oriented and restrictive systems in junior, so may need some confidence and experience in the pro ranks before spreading his wings offensively a bit. Has some upside, but may end up being a solid, shutdown middle-pairing D.

82 Tommy Cross
 6-3, 210
Acquired: 2nd round in 2007 (35th overall)
2010-11 amateur team: Boston College Eagles (Hockey East)
Signing status: Unsigned
Camp notes: Rising senior and team captain had a strong camp performance as the oldest B’s prospect in attendance. Simsbury, Conn. native still working on overcoming serious knee injuries, but skated well all camp with power, fluidity and quickness. Looked and acted the part of Boston’s most experienced development camp prospect, now in his fifth session (though only second in terms of going through all on-ice activities due to the knee). Similar to Cantin in terms of the style he plays and what he brings to the table as a more physical defense-minded skater. Has a big, booming shot from the point that he can get off quickly, but may not be the kind of instinctive defenseman who can put up a lot of points. Plays best when he keeps things simple.

89 Zach Trotman
 6-4, 202
Acquired: 7th round in 2010 (210th overall)
2010-11 amateur team: Lake Superior State Lakers (CCHA)
Signing status: Unsigned
Camp notes: One of the most pleasant surprises of any B’s prospect in attendance. Big man moves well with a good stride, initial quickness and agility. Skates with his head up and makes all the requisite breakouts and lead passes. Effective on the point with a quick wrister or big bomb that he mixes up nicely. Looks to be on a strong upward developmental curve as an older player who turns 21 next month. Entering his junior season at Lake Superior State after leading all team defenders in scoring a year ago. Still raw, but appears to have all the requisite tools that would allow him to play at the highest level. Trotman is another project player, but one who given the right time and chance to come along at a steady pace, could pay off for Boston as the last prospect picked in the 2010 NHL draft.