Throughout Bruins Development Camp, NEHJ's Kirk Luedeke and Jesse Connolly will be profiling the participants. Today, they're looking at Jared Knight, who will undoubtedly be pushing hard for a spot in the B's lineup when full camp begins in September.
Jared Knight, RW, London Knights (OHL)
5-11, 205 Jan. 16, 1992 in Battle Creek, Michigan
GP 52 G 26 A 26 PTS 52 PIM 28
Drafted: 2nd round, 32nd overall, in 2010
Strengths: Compact, strong frame with plenty of strength and power to effectively crash the net and control the puck down low. Knight has an NHL-ready physique and frame and could play a bottom-six role right away if called upon because of his versatility. Powerful skater who does not have high-end speed, but gets off the mark quickly and is strong on his skates. North-south winger is at his best when taking the puck to the net and fighting off checks in close. Excellent shot, with a fast release; can finish from just about anywhere in the offensive zone. Strong two-way player with good work ethic and willingness to play hard in all zones. Can take face-offs in a pinch and impressed observers with his work on the dot during the Memorial Cup tournament. Plays hurt; gutted out a high ankle sprain suffered in the first round of the OHL playoffs. A leader and good teammate who brings a lot of Boston Bruins attributes to the table: toughness, character, work ethic and physicality.
Weaknesses: May project more as a third-line NHL player than the goal-scorer the B's drafted in 2010 after lighting the lamp 36 times. Average height will have to be off-set by his work ethic and natural strength, but would benefit from time in the AHL where he can play a top-six forward role and hone his skills at even strength and on special teams.
Projection: 3rd line NHL winger who could score 20-30 goals and play a solid two-way game if he reaches his potential. Physically ready for the NHL, but with all the Bruins veterans returning, will likely spend most if not the entire season in Providence.
On where Knight is at compared to last year…
Knighter’s kind of a player that thrives in playing in straight lines and going to the net and playing in the dirty areas. He just has to realize that he’s been able to do some of the stuff physically at the junior level that at the next level, these guys are going to be bigger and stronger and he’s going to have to understand how to get that space back against bigger players that can push back as equally as hard as he can push. So there will be probably an adjustment period for him, for that matter, but he did fine last year and obviously this past year, he had a Memorial Cup run and wasn’t in Providence, which is great for him.
The year before he came in and played some games and then acquainted himself very well. I think he’s a very focused young man that knows physically he’s probably ready for that next step and now he’s just got to understand that things move a little quicker at the next level and he needs to adjust. Experience is the only thing you can get to be able to go through that.
On how close Knight is to taking the next step…
Knight didn’t make it to us last year. But he looks a lot like the player we saw two years ago. Like he’s a straight line guy, drives to the net, great release. For him it’s, ‘Will he be able to create the separation he needs to get those chances?’ and until he gets to training camp with men, I think it’s hard to speculate on that.