Boston Bruins: Zach Trotman Continues To Skate With Chara

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Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Bruins are giving Zach Trotman another look on the top pairing alongside Zdeno Chara.

After shuffling the defensive pairings consistently over the first few weeks of the season to try get the most out of his roster, Claude Julien seemed to find a pairing that he likes. The Bruins lost Dougie Hamilton to injury to close out the 2014-15 season and as a result, Zach Trotman was required to step into a top pairing role and help the Bruins as best he could. After playing in the first few games of the 2015-16 season and being relegated to the press box as a healthy scratch ever since, Trotman finally earned a chance to rejoin the Bruins lineup when fellow young defenseman Colin Miller was scratched due to an injury before the Bruins game against the Detroit Red Wings. Claude Julien revisited the pairing of Chara and Trotman against the Red Wings and the results were satisfactory. Colin Miller returned to practice on Monday, but he skated alongside Joe Morrow with Zach Trotman remaining alongside Zdeno Chara

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  • Zach Trotman is 6-foot-3 and weights 219 pounds. He has shown in the past that his defensive ability is definitely up to the standard of an every day NHL defenseman and there is no reason to believe that he will regress from his initial showing. No other defenseman other than Zdeno Chara and Adam McQuaid on the Bruins roster last season was tasked with tougher zone starts than Zach Trotman. With most of his starts coming outside of the offensive zone, it was clear that Trotman was gaining the trust of his head coach quickly. Earning the trust of Claude Julien is very important for keeping an integral role on the Bruins and Trotman has certainly shown that he deserves the trust of Julien.

    Trotman finished with the third best Corsi For Percentage (CF%) among Bruins defenders with at least 25 games played last season with a 52.9 CF%. Only Zdeno Chara and Dougie Hamilton finished higher than him in that category, and possession numbers are becoming increasingly important in the NHL. The Boston Bruins finished last season with a Corsi For Percentage of 50.7% which ranked them in the bottom half of the league at 16th. The Bruins have historically been a top Corsi For Percentage in the league, finishing first in the 2013-14 season with a 61.4 CF%, and they hadn’t finished outside of the top five in the league since the 2009-10 season. The Bruins are currently the 15th in the league with a 49.4 CF% and could certainly use Trotman’s puck possession numbers to help turn around the season, and should give him a chance to earn his stay. Trotman has only played in four games all season but he currently leads the team in Corsi For Percentage with a 56.4 CF%, meaning he has picked up right from where he left off last season. (All stats found on puckalytics.com)

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    Offensively, Zach Trotman isn’t going to stand out. His point total for the 2014-15 season was five points (one goal, four assists) in 27 games, and that will definitely not help the team replace Dougie Hamilton‘s point total from the 2014-15 season which was 42 points (10 goals, 32 assists) in 72 games. Luckily for the Bruins, the entire team has drastically increased their goals-per-game from last season, and the emergence of Colin Miller has lightened the load of losing Hamilton as well. It’s uncertain where Colin Miller will skate with Dennis Seidenberg and Zach Trotman now in the lineup, but the Bruins have a lot of young pieces that are showing they deserve a spot in the lineup which is a good problem to have. The Bruins currently have Torey Krug, Zach Trotman, Colin Miller, and Joe Morrow, who are currently on Boston’s roster and are either 25 years old or younger. The Bruins have used every one of those players in a rotation — with the exception of Torey Krug — to start the season which has provided them all the opportunity to learn, and remain hungry to keep their spot in the lineup when they get their chance.

    Follow Brandon Share-Cohen on Twitter @BShareCohen to discuss all things Bruins and sports

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