Boston Bruins: Sean Kuraly Open To Versatile Role


Boston Bruins: Sean Kuraly Open To Versatile Role to Better His Chances at Making the NHL

The Boston Bruins have a lot of centers. It’s no secret, and it’s one of the main reasons why Alex Khokhlachev chose to leave North America and return to the KHL. The Bruins current center picture is crowded at the NHL level, with Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, David Backes, Ryan Spooner, Riley Nash, and Noel Acciari all natural centers. To make matters even more complicated, Austin Czarnik and Sean Kuraly both look ready-and-able to take on NHL roles in the near future, but their position may be blocked due to the Bruins depth up the middle.

Much to his credit, Kuraly is aware that versatility is one of the best assets a player can possess in today’s NHL. The Bruins may not have room for another center on their roster for a long time, but that doesn’t change the fact that Sean Kuraly is hungry for a roster spot and will do anything he can to earn it.

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“You’ve got to be ready to do whatever. You have to,” Kuraly said at the Bruins’ development camp. “That’s something the staff has said to me: You’ve got to be ready to give yourself the best chance. You’ve got to be able to do more than one thing. If you can only do one thing, it limits your value and how you can help the team. For me, the way I can help the team is to be able to do a couple of things, so I’ve been working on getting pucks off the wall. I haven’t played a lot of wing, but I’m working on being ready for it.”

Claude Julien is a big fan of versatility, as most coaches are. It makes the life of a head coach much easier when a player can slot into multiple roles with ease, and without much of a drop-off from their original position. Loui Eriksson, a natural right winger, found tremendous success with the Bruins last season on the left wing before he parlayed that into a big contract with the Vancouver Canucks. There is always room to improve for NHL players, and learning a new role is just one of the many steps a player can take to bettering themselves, and their future opportunities in the league.

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Kuraly may push the Bruins into giving him a roster spot sooner, rather than later, given his age, and impressive ability. While he may not become a superstar, at 23-years-old and 6 foot 2, 201 pounds, Kuraly could be an imposing force in the Bruins bottom-six. He also comes with leadership under his belt having served as the captain of the Miami Redhawks in his senior year.

When it comes to Kuraly’s skillset, Bruins’ executive director of player personnel John Ferguson Jr. has this to say:

“He’s demonstrated the things he does well,” he continued by saying “He protects the puck very well. He’s strong on the puck, hard down low, retrieves it well, pursues it well and uses his body to get to the crease. . . . He’s now ready to turn pro, and he’s ready for the next step.”

If Kuraly is ready to play in the NHL now, then it’s likely that he receives minutes as a winger to best boost his chances. Is he capable of such a role, though?

“I think he can move to the wing,” Ferguson said. “He’s certainly capable of that.”

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Only time will tell if Kuraly will make the Bruins NHL roster this year or not. What will be even more interesting to watch, however, is how the entire positional chart for the Bruins plays out to start the season. The season is getting closer every single day, and the Bruins will evaluate their roster one day at a time.