2016 Boston Bruins Line Predictions


Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; Boston Bruins general manager

Don Sweeney

makes the first of three consecutive draft picks in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

With training camp opening this morning, following a playoff-less 2015 season, Bruins fans are eager to see the Black and Gold jump over the boards once again. However following an offseason that included a General Manager change, and many personnel changes, many are not sure what to expect. With a mixture of new blood and the addition of a couple of veterans to the B’s roster, Bruins fans should be cautiously optimistic as the new season approaches.

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First Line- Marchand, Bergeron, Pastrnak

This line combination should be a surprise to nobody, Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron have had great chemistry since playing together in Marchand’s rookie 2011 campaign. This combination with the addition of David Pastrnak following an impressive first season, should be an exciting prospect for Bruins fans. That being said if his production drops off, as is often seen in sophomore seasons, Pastrnak could see himself lose some ice time and drop back to a bottom six forward. However, after putting up numbers comparable to Tyler Seguin‘s rookie stats, (10 goals and 17 assists compared to Seguin’s 11 goals and 11 assists) Pastrnak could have a breakout season ahead of him. Let’s hope this potential star doesn’t find himself in a Stars jersey, or any jersey besides black and gold for that matter, anytime soon.

Second Line- Beleskey, Krejci, Hayes

This line should undoubtably be the most exciting for Bruins fans. After the departure of fan favorite Milan Lucic this offseason, new Bruins GM Don Sweeney punched Jimmy Hayes and Matt Beleskey‘s tickets to Boston. Hayes is a 6’6, 221 pound Dorchester native, whose physicality matches that of athletes like JJ Watt, will easily fill Lucic’s role as a net-front force. Hayes tallied 35 points last season as a member of the young Florida Panthers organization. It will be interesting to see what he will be fully capable of with a skilled center like David Krejci and a dangerous winger Matt Beleskey by his side. Beleskey himself should be an exciting attraction for Bruins fans this year. The 27-year-old is entering his eighth season and coming off his most productive season yet, scoring 22 goals and notching 10 assists. With a center like Krejci leading the way this line is poised to dismantle defenses all season long.

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  • Third Line- Rinaldo, Kelly, Eriksson

    Following the departure of Riley Smith this offseason, a void was left on Boston’s third line, while there are a lot of potential fits for this spot, the most realistic is Zac Rinaldo. The Bruins specifically targeted Rinaldo  in the summer and despite his history of being a ‘goon’, he could elevate his game and become an enforcer-like physical presence to protect fragile linemate Loui Eriksson. Last Season, Eriksson was able to stay healthy and had a nearly 50 point season, including 22 goals. If the only positive Rinaldo does this season is find himself in the sin-bin protecting Eriksson, not many Bruins fans should complain. If this line combination were to transpire, Chris Kelly‘s role (assuming he isn’t traded a month into the season) would have to change as well. Instead of being a defensive minded player that doesn’t like having the puck on his stick, Kelly should focus on his offensive positioning and vision that he was once known for in his Ottawa Senator days, this will open the door for Loui Eriksson and Zac Rinaldo to finish scoring opportunities that Kelly’s line were often unable to do last season.

    Fourth Line- Talbot, Spooner, Connolly

    The new school merlot line will have a very different feel this season compared to the Thornton, Paille, Campbell combination that Bruins fans had grown to know and love. Boston has ventured away from the idea of a scrappy fourth line and will likely have a fast, skillful fourth line. Max Talbot’s veteran presence will help coach Ryan Spooner. Spooner has proven he can hang with other NHL centers, but needs a good season to solidify his roster spot moving forward in his career. The most exciting member of this line however though is right winger, Brett Connolly. Connolly didn’t see much time in a Bruins jersey last season after injuring himself in practice immediately after being traded to Boston. Should he show that he can play at the level he was once expected to (he was drafted sixth overall in the 2010 draft) he will undoubtedly move up on the roster and see much more ice time as the season progresses.

    *All Stats are from NHL.com

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