Today is the day we’ve all waited for since April 30 when Carter Verghaege played spoiler in Boston, and ended the Bruins season in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Florida Panthers.
Not only does the preseason start today at 5:45 p.m., but the Bruins centennial season also unofficially begins. Yes, we’ll have to wait a few more weeks before it actually begins, but the process to get there begins.
Yesterday, Boston released its roster for the game tonight and it’s littered with young players.
It’s not entirely young players, however, as there are some experienced players as well – both from last year’s roster, and those acquired through free agency.
It’s has not been released yet what the lines will be exactly, but given the chemistry between Trent Frederic, Morgan Geekie, and Anthony Richard, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them on a line together.
Also given his veteran status, I wouldn’t be surprised to see James van Riemsdyk on one wing with Jake DeBrusk on the other flanking either Patrick Brown or Jayson Megna.
Don’t expect to see a lot of van Riemsdyk, DeBrusk or Frederic as they are mostly acting as the veterans on this team who are fighting for where exactly they will be playing on this team. Out of all of them DeBrusk is most likely to be playing towards the top, but realistically where towards the top is another story.
Players to watch
Brett Harrison – Forward
Harrison shined at the 2023 Prospects Challenge, scoring two goals in three games, so putting him in this game proves to many that Bruins general manager is intrigued by what he saw, but he’s not fully convinced that he deserves to be on the full roster.
Harrison is entering his first full profeessional season after playing just one game with the Providence Bruins in the 2022-23 season after playing in 57 games in the Ontario Hockey League between the Windsor Spitfires and Oshawa Generals.
Jakub Zboril – Defenseman
Zboril is entering his his sixth professional season with the Bruins after getting drafted 13th overall in 2015. He made his professional debut in 2017, playing 67 games for AHL Providence. Since then, the pick has never really fully paid off for Boston, and he is looking to prove he belongs in Boston this year.
If he can’t prove that he can stay following the preseason, it behoove the Bruins to release him to free up $1,135,500 of cap space. He has never played any more than 42 games in the NHL, and that was during the Covid-shortened. Other than that, the highest he has played in was 22.
Brandon Bussi – Goaltender
Now, it’s unclear as of right now who is going to be starting in net for this one. If you base it on performance and who has the most to prove, Keyser will mostly likely get the nod in net; however, most of what the preseason is about is getting the veterans, or in his case “veterans”, their feet wet before the season, and to see what the rookies have to show for themselves.
So, more than likely, Bussi will get the start. While he did eventually get the starts over Keyser for the P-Bruins last season, he has more to prove going into the season. He has to show to the Boston brass that they made the right decision to sign him.
Prediction: Bruins 3, Rangers 2.