This offseason one name that General Manager Don Sweeney has mentioned often is Jack Studnicka. The Bruins drafted Studnicka in the second round of the 2017 NHL draft. He has come to camp determined to win a job despite his limited professional experience. Studnicka is not the only Bruin prospects pushing for an NHL job leaving little room for error. He is a gifted playmaker with leadership skills that are rare for a 19-year-old. Regardless of whether he starts the season in Boston or Providence, he will be a player to watch.
Nonetheless making the Bruins roster will not be easy but his offensive ceiling is high. Last season Studnicka was one of the stars of the Bruins development camp. Due to a crowded forward mix, he returned to the Ontario Hockey League after only one preseason game. He was the Oshawa Generals leading scorer with 22 goals and 50 assists. He added muscle which allowed him to win more battles and improved his game. In five games for Providence, he was equally impressive recording one goal and four assists.
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What Makes Studnicka so talented is his playing style. He is an excellent skater with an explosive first step. His speed and deception allow him to break away from coverage to put himself in the best position to score. He excels on both ends of the ice due to his competitiveness. Unlike many young players, he is not afraid of being a leader but embraces that role. He wants to be in charge and is not afraid of standing up for his teammates. The former second round pick is not a vocal leader but leads by example. These traits have caught the eye of Sweeney and the rest of Bruins management.
Where Will Studnicka End Up
Unfortunately like last season the Bruins have a crowded forward group. They do not have enough spots for all these prospects and are looking for some to distinguish themselves. Studnicka has done that after falling short last season. He has shown that he will work harder than anyone on the ice and that he is a natural leader. A lot is still determined but Studnicka has positioned himself well. Regardless of what happens, he has a bright future. Even if he begins the season in Providence it would not be surprising if he found himself in Boston at some point this coming season.