Boston Bruins: Getting Ready For the Youth Movement

Apr 9, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins center Noel Acciari (55) skates at center ice during the first period against the Ottawa Senators at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 9, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins center Noel Acciari (55) skates at center ice during the first period against the Ottawa Senators at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Boston Bruins understand that the 2016-17 season could be a very interesting year for the Black and Gold. They’ve already made some changes in their front office, removing Doug Houda and Doug Jarvis from their assistant coach positions. Now, the fans and the organization know there will be some changes on the team.

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The Bruins have no choice but to turn to some young blood. Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg still don’t seem to be 100-percent. Boston has yet to come to terms with either Loui Eriksson or Torey Krug. Bottom six forwards like Max Talbot have already decided to look elsewhere to play hockey. John-Michael Liles and Lee Stempniak aren’t likely to come back to the squad either.

So, what kind of players will be leading the Boston Bruins youth movement? It’s quite clear that young players will be picking up the mantle. The Bruins wouldn’t have moved their head of player development into a coaching position otherwise.

It’s easy to say that forward Frank Vatrano will be one of those players. The Massachusetts native earned himself a position on the team due to his solid play last season.  The 22-year old became known for his solid technical play, and he validated the Bruins trust in him by putting up eleven points (eight goals) in the later half of the season.

Seth Griffith should also be one of those players stepping up for Boston. The 23-year old could be one of those players that make an impact next season. Griffith was one of the top scorers for the Providence Bruins (putting up 77 points (27 goals) for the baby B’s in 57 games). Griffith spent a lot of time playing with Vatrano when he was in Providence, and the coaching squad could be looking to capture some of that magic on a larger scale.

The Bruins recently signed Griffith to a one-year, two-way contract. The big club looks willing to give Griffith the shot they should have given him last year (He played just four games in Boston last season). Griffith could certainly serve in some come capacity in the bottom-six, and might even surprise the B’s by serving as a top six-forward.

Noel Acciari could also be one of those young players that gets to step up big next season. The Boston Bruins will need forwards who are willing to put in serious physical play next season. (Matt Beleskey can’t do it all by himself.) The 24-year old Rhode Island native was more than willing to throw his 5’11”, 205lb frame to help the Black and Gold.

Acciari was one of those rare young players that quickly earned the eye of Claude Julien. If the B’s head coach (who is notorious for his reticence in allowing young players to play) believes in his play enough right now, then his play time will only increase next season. Acciari (who was part of Providence College NCAA Championship team two years ago) is one of those players who will likely be a replacement for players like Talbot.

The Bruins will need to look these young players if they want to get back on the playoff track. These players could make the difference between getting back on the right road or suffering yet another season out of the playoffs.