The 2017-2018 Boston Bruins opening night roster

SAN JOSE, CA - FEBRUARY 19: The Boston Bruins line up for the national anthem of the game against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on February 19, 2017 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Rocky W. Widner/NHL/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
SAN JOSE, CA - FEBRUARY 19: The Boston Bruins line up for the national anthem of the game against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on February 19, 2017 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Rocky W. Widner/NHL/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** /
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The opening night roster has been submitted to the league.  Heading into the regular season, who will be wearing the Spoked-B, and who will be wearing the Spoked-P?

It appears the final cuts have been made.  After nearly six long months of no hockey, a couple sticky contract situations (i.e., David Pastrnak, Ryan Spooner), and a impressive showing by young players in training camp, the Boston Bruins 2017-2018 opening night roster is appears to be set.

Coming into the final day when rosters were due, there were really only a few unknowns.  Who would be the last two defensemen on the roster, with one replacing Torey Krug in the lineup?  The battle was down to Rob O’Gara, Matt Grzelcyk, and Paul Postma.  Only two would join the likes of Zdeno Chara, Brandon Carlo, Charle McAvoy, Kevan Miller, and Adam McQuaid.

Boston Bruins
OTTAWA, ON – APRIL 21: Teammates Brad Marchand /

The top-6 forward corps appeared to be pretty set in stone early on.  Given the preseason performance of Jake DeBrusk and Anders Bjork, and how head coach Bruce Cassidy continued to roll them all together, the two rookies locked up spots with Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, and Pastrnak.

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The bottom-6, however, all appeared to be up-for-grabs in terms of position.  David Backes and Matt Beleskey were going to make the team, given their NHL experience.  Spooner had a great showing in the preseason.  That basically left 3 starting spots and 2 scratch spots for 6 players:  Riley Nash, Noel Acciari, Tim Schaller, Austin Czarnik, Frank Vatrano, and Sean Kuraly.

After what must have been quite a deliberation in the front office and coaching rooms, it looks as though the following players have made the opening night roster for the big club:

Forwards:  Bergeron, Marchand, Bjork, DeBrusk, Krejci, Pastrnak, Beleskey, Spooner, Backes, Schaller, Nash, Acciari, Kuraly, Vatrano, Czarnik (IR)

Defensemen:  Chara, Carlo, McAvoy, Miller, McQuaid, Postma, Grzelcyk, Krug (IR)

Goalies:  Rask, Khudobin

It looks like the team was able to hold off making the tough decision with the forwards, given that they were able to slap the IR designation on Czarnik.  This made him exempt from the 23-man roster.  When he’s healthy again and comes off IR, then, a decision will have to be made.

How about Providence?

Boston Bruins
PROVIDENCE, RI – MAY 11: Providence Bruins’ Danton Heinen (9) is pictured during pre-game warmups before an AHL playoff game against the Hershey Bears at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, RI on May 11, 2017. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images) /

If this offseason, rookie camp, training camp, and preseason demonstrated anything, it’s that the Bruins organization has a bountiful talent pool.  The fact that so many cuts came down to the wire speaks to the organizational depth.  So, what will the Providence Bruins roster look like this season?

Forwards: Anton Blidh, Chris Breen, Colby Cave, Peter Cehlarik, Ryan Fitzgerald, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, Jesse Gabrielle, Colton Hargrove, Danton Heinen, Justin Hickman, Chris Porter, Zachary Senyshyn, Jordan Szwarz

Defensemen: Tommy Cross, Taylor Doherty, Jeremy Lauzon, Ben Marshall, Jakub Zboril, Rob O’Gara

Goalies:  Zane McIntyre, Dan Vladar

Next: Why Vatrano is not waivers exempt

So, how did your roster predictions stack up?  Do you have any thoughts about the direction the Bruins took?  Any idea how you would run the lines with this lineup?  Let’s hear it!