Boston Bruins Potential 7th Player Award Winners


In the past years, the Boston Bruins have awarded the title of the 7th Player Award to a member of the team. The award is given to one who, according to the Boston Bruins website voting criteria, “has gone above and beyond the call of duty and exceeded the expectations of Bruins fans during the season.” With so many players who are new to the team, have something to prove, or are in the final years of their contract, this award could really be given to any number of players. I will be sharing the seven players that I think could be the 7th Player Award Winner for this year.

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  • Brett Connolly has been waiting for the opportunity to show everyone why he was a first round draft pick, but has yet to be given a decent chance to. He was used limitedly by his old Tampa Bay Lightning team due to an abundance of right wingers. Connolly will be playing with Ryan Spooner and Jimmy Hayes on the third and may get a chance on one of the power plays. All signs point to him getting the shot he’s always deserved so it would be no surprise if he reaches career highs in all scoring categories this year.

    Joonas Kemppainen is coming into his first year in the NHL at 27 years old. It is very possible that he could be a very impactful player on this Bruins team, possibly playing on the penalty kill and in other important defensive zone scenarios. There are those who believe that he could fill the void that was left by former Scandinavian forward, Carl Soderberg, even if he is projected to play on the fourth line to start the season. If Claude Julien grows to trust Kemppainen, he may be called upon to move up to the top nine if injuries were to strike. This would definitely put Kemppainen is a position to go above and beyond.

    Sep 20, 2015; Providence,RI, USA; New Jersey Devils goalie Scoott Wedgewood (31) watches as the shot of Boston Bruins center

    Zac Rinaldo

    (36) goes off the goal post during the second period at the Dunkin Donuts Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

    Zac Rinaldo is an obvious and hopeful choice already for this award for some Bruins fans. Seeing, so far, that his devotion to change his game has been evident, a full year of a hard working Rinaldo could result in a very dangerous fourth line. Rinaldo is the type of player that has the tools to change the momentum of a game. That could mean aggravating the other team into drawing penalties, or it could mean taking penalties of his own and costing his team the game. If Rinaldo becomes the player we all hope he can be, he could not only take the 7th Player Award but he could also take the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.

    Matt Irwin is on the brink of becoming an impactful offensive defenseman. In his last two seasons, he put up 19 points and should be given more games and responsibility than in the prior years. If injuries to defenseman continues to trend like it did in September, the Bruins will be heavily dependent on Irwin to play a larger role. If he is able to do this, he would most certainly be taken into consideration for this title.

    “Vote for the player who has gone above and beyond the call of duty and exceeded the expectations of Bruins fans during the season.” – 7th Player Award

    Colin Miller has not played a single NHL game yet and might be on the verge of starting the year for the Bruins. Like Irwin, if the injuries continue, Miller could be used in a variety of situations this season. It is clear that if he were to spend any more time in the AHL, he would be a dominant player, so having him up with the big club is no surprise. However, if he can continue to climb and receive quality ice time at this higher level, anything is possible for this young defenseman.

    Zach Trotman showed last year that he is capable of handling big minutes in the NHL. Some fans believe that he will be expected to handle those minutes again while others think that the workload will be spread out. I feel that Trotman is prepared to take on a top four defensive role even with all of the Bruins defenseman healthy. That being said, Trotman has big boots to fill, with talks of Johnny Boychuk and Dougie Hamilton‘s departures still ringing in everyone’s ears. If he can get anywhere near to where those players were before they left Boston, it would be difficult not consider Trotman for the award.

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    Jonas Gustavsson has been a pleasant surprise to Boston fans, ever since they heard news of him taking a PTO with the Bruins. Being able to hold his own against Boston’s impressive goaltending pool of prospects is already impressive in itself. Now, Gustavsson will be playing behind a team supported by one of the best goalies in the league. If Gustavsson is able to come up with some big wins while Tuukka Rask gets his breaks, it would make all the difference in this season’s push for the playoffs. This fact alone puts Gustavsson in conversation for the 7th Player Award.

    Of course it’s impossible to tell who currently has the inside track at this time of the year. However, the fact that I am able to come up with seven players who all seem legitimately deserving, already, is a testament to how good this team could potentially be. If any of these players achieve and exceed the goals that have been put before them, the Boston Bruins will become a much better team and will be that much stronger throughout the 2015/16 season.

    Who do you think will win the 7th Player Award this year? Comment below to share. For more access to all things Boston Bruins, follow 29Bruins on Twitter.

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