Boston Bruins Youth Showing Bright Futures Ahead


The Boston Bruins have a few young players who surprised in camp and have bright futures ahead with the Black and Gold. Forwards Jake DeBrusk, Austin Czarnik and Frank Vatrano lasted through late team cuts, and headed back to their respective junior and AHL teams with heads held high.

DeBrusk, one of Boston’s three first round picks from June’s draft who piled in 42 goals for his WHL team last year, made a couple of nice plays in the Bruins’ 4-3 preseason OT win against Detroit Sept. 26, including a good tip while screening the goalie on the powerplay and later storming down the right wing with speed to make a strong cut to the net to try and stuff it home, according to Bruins tweets.

Live Feed

2 trades the Boston Bruins must make to secure the Stanley Cup
2 trades the Boston Bruins must make to secure the Stanley Cup /

Puck Prose

  • Former NY Islanders earn spots on 'Historic 100' list of Boston Bruins players Eyes On Isles
  • The Boston Bruins announced an incredible All-Centennial teamPuck Prose
  • Former NY Islanders defenseman Zdeno Chara finds a new way to push himselfEyes On Isles
  • The Boston Bruins are bringing back another old friendPuck Prose
  • The new faces on the Bruins heading into the 2023-24 seasonPuck Prose
  • “I’ve been pleased with the number of guys that we’ve had at camp that have really made a good impression,” Boston coach Claude Julien told the Bruins Blog. “I look at DeBrusk as an example — and here’s a young kid that did an unbelievable job at protecting that puck — he’s 18 years old and he’s playing against pros and he’s protecting the puck, and making plays, and taking pucks to the net like he did the other night, and cutting in and not afraid to take that puck to the net. There’s some impressive things from some different guys that we’ve seen. We’ve got some real tough decisions coming up. We’ve had a good number of players here that have really opened our eyes and that’s the encouraging part of it.”

    Sep 24, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins center Austin Czarnik (61) celebrates a goal with defenseman Brandon Carlo (73) during the third period again the New York Rangers at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

    Collegiate stars Czarnik and Vatrano, who played briefly together late last year in Providence after being signed by Boston, developed line chemistry through rookie and main camps and also stood out. The speedy play maker Czarnik, 22, jump started the B’s to within 3-2 against the Rangers Sept. 24 when he stole a puck at New York’s blue line, skated into the zone and fired at the net before it came out to 18-year old defense prospect Brandon Carlo for his first professional goal. Later in the same game, Vatrano, 21, showcased his hard shot by punching a goal in during the shootout, which the B’s eventually won.

    “Czarnik makes good decisions with the puck, moves well with or without the puck on his stick and some pretty good offensive skill to make plays,” CSNEE reported after giving Czarnik the game’s gold star. “He finished with four shot attempts, three hits, one assist, a blocked shot and 8-of-15 face-off wins. Czarnik may not make the Bruins out of training camp, but he already looks like an NHL player.”

    Julien separated the two Sept. 28 against the Red Wings, giving them each a chance to play with NHL regulars before they were released. Czarnik centered Matt Beleskey and David Pastrnak, while Vatrano played wing along with Jimmy Hayes on a line centered by Ryan Spooner – who is quickly becoming a go-to guy for the B’s since the latter half of last year through preseason in creating scoring chances and putting points on the board. Pastrnak has also been scoring key goals and drawing a lot of penalties, as he and Spooner represent the B’s first wave of speedy, skilled youth already on the team.

    “Even if they’re not here [at the start of the season], the evaluation we can make on these guys knowing that [they] can be a call-up and what they can bring to your team, whether it’s reliability or creativity, it’s important to see” – Claude Julien

    Seeing Czarnik and Vatrano play with B’s roster players will help coaches and management during the long battle of a season where injuries and matchups can make putting lineups together like chess at times. “You get down to the last few numbers, you look at different players and even if they’re not here [at the start of the regular season], the evaluation we can make on these guys knowing that [they] can be a call-up and what they can bring to your team, whether it’s reliability or whether it’s creativity…it’s important to see those kinds of things,” Julien told the Bruins website.

    Vatrano and Czarnik didn’t hit the scoreboard in their last game but they’ll take the experience to the Baby B’s, where they should form a potent line and lead a new crop of exciting prospects that will be available for the varsity club down the road. “Czarnik and Vatrano to me have potential to play in this league, whether it’s this year or next year or the year after,” Julien said on Boston Bruins TV. “I think they’re showing some good promise.”  

    More from Bruins News

    The opportunity to play in Bruins exhibition games was exciting and something they can build on. “The biggest thing is consistency,” Vatrano added. “Me and Austin know what we have to do to make that next level so I think we just keep doing the things we’re doing now and work as hard as we can, and I think we have a good shot.”

    Czarnik seemed to be one of the camp’s unexpected surprises. “Though they showed perhaps that they weren’t quite NHL ready in their final exhibition game, it shouldn’t take any of the shine away from excellent overall training camps from Vatrano and Czarnik specifically,” according to CSNEE. “It would be surprising if both talented forwards don’t end up making their NHL debuts in a Black and Gold sweater this season.”

    On the defensive front, the towering 6’5” Carlo was also returned to his junior club albeit with an NHL contract after a surprise stellar camp, as well. In the meantime blueliner Colin Miller, 22, continues to rack up preseason points while pushing for an NHL job with the B’s this season, showcasing impressive poise on breakouts to escape forecheck pressure, speed through the neutral zone to create plays, and a howitzer from the point. It’s clear Miller brings something dynamic the B’s could use as they try to adjust to the NHL’s new speed game.

    More from Causeway Crowd