The Boston Bruins have carried some of the most storied careers in NHL history. Whether it be Bobby Orr, Cam Neely, or Zdeno Chara, the black and gold have produced elite talent throughout their nearly 100-year history. As we set foot into a new decade, the B’s will attempt to continue this grand legacy they have created. We’ve now seen David Pastrnak, Charlie McAvoy, and Jake Debrusk become key pieces to the roster at a very young age. But, the transition away from the 2011 team will have to continue. Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, and Zdeno Chara are all reaching their ends. So what does the “next line” look like for the future of the Boston Bruins? These three young standouts should be on your radar.
What Does the Future of the Boston Bruins Look Like?
Drafted in 2017 by the Bruins, Studnicka has become one of the B’s most promising come ups. He is generally ranked as Boston’s top system prospect, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to see him on this list. Studnicka appeared on many NHL team’s radars after his outstanding season with the Oshawa Generals, where he totaled 52 points in 64 games.
The Bruins took him with the 53rd pick, and have to be happy with what they have seen so far. In his first season with the Providence Bruins, Studicka amassed 49 points in just 60 games played. In addition, he was well on his way to a 30-goal season. He has yet to see any significant time in Boston, but the 21-year-old has many years ahead to prove his worth in the big leagues.
The Oshawa product certainly has a legitimate path to a future spot on the Bruins roster. Not only has he become a centerpiece for the Providence Bruins, but his position is also what the Bruins will lack following the departure of Krejci and Bergeron. If we take a look at their current roster, Charlie Coyle is the only name on that seems to have locked up one of the “centerline” spots. Studnicka could see significant time next season, and I think that would be the smartest decision by the Bruins. He has talent, and he’s proven his worth in Providence.
Instead of wasting a contract on another 30-year-old filler, use and develop what you already have. Studnicka has the potential to become a household name for Boston fans in the coming years. The future of the Boston Bruins really shouldn’t be discussed without at least a mention of Jack Studnicka.
C/W John Beecher
The most recent Bruins draft pick has some major potential. Beecher was taken in last year’s draft with the 30th overall pick and was certainly highly touted by the Bruins scouts. Prior to the draft, Beecher was just a teenager performing for the U.S national teams. He played for both the U17 (2017-18) and U18 (2018-19) teams. Beecher’s point total rose throughout both seasons and with that so did his draft stock. he totaled 84 points in 123 games over those two seasons and also saw some great production with the development team as well.
Following the draft, Beecher attended the University of Michigan. His decision further proved his abilities, as he totaled 16 points in his 31 games played with the Wolverines.
Beecher just recently turned 19-years-old and could see some time in Providence next season. However, there shouldn’t be any rush to get Beecher to the NHL. He’s a diverse player who has played both wing and center, which is a fantastic trait to have. The B’s still have some time before their forward core will need significant work. Even when that time comes, Beecher will still be a young, and hopefully further developed, player. He sits at 6’3″ 209lbs and has been credited with being extremely tough to move from the front of the net.
Could the Bruins be looking at their next Milan Lucic? Maybe. But either way, Beecher has all the components to become a fantastic player in the NHL. He’s personally my favorite piece the Bruins have added in recent years. He’s yet to be mentioned much when discussing the future of the Boston Bruins, but he’ll certainly get much more recognition as the next few years go by.
We’ve now mentioned two forwards above. Let’s give the defensemen some love. Urho Vaakanainen has now become the next defenseman up for the B’s. After seeing the success of both McAvoy and Carlo, Bruins fans will certainly have their eye on Vaakananien.
Drafted in 2017 with the 18th pick, the Finnish product has played highly competitive hockey for nearly ten years. He has kept his play in his home country for the past few years, but recently made his way onto the Providence Bruins in 2018. He hasn’t been extraordinary with Providence in terms of point totals, but defensemen rarely produce at the level that forwards do. Vaakananien was a +18 this season for Providence, ranking fourth on the team in that respective category. +/- is extraordinarily important for defensemen and seeing Vaakananien so high on the list is very promising.
As I mentioned, the Bruins have seen some great success with the development of young defensemen in recent years. Torey Krug, Charlie McAvoy, and Brandon Carlo are now all key pieces to the Bruins roster and their future. Is Vaakanainen next?
He’ll certainly see a significant increase in NHL time once Chara decides to hang them up. But, Chara continues to be a heavy presence in the locker room and seems to be channeling his inner Tom Brady. I think Vaakananien will need to wait just a couple more years until he sees starting time for Boston.
Vaakananien has some fantastic offensive upside and his ability to move the puck mirrors players like Erik Karlsson to an extent. He’s got some raw potential that still needs to be ironed out, but he’s only 21 and has already peeped his nose into professional play. He’s only going to see his opportunities increase once the defensive core starts to thin out in Boston.
A Bright Future
The B’s had an extremely rough middle of the decade, with many questioning the future of the team. But, the past few years have significantly changed their path for the good. Starting with the emergence of David Pastrnak and ending with these players listed above. A new era has started to develop in Beantown and we’re seeing the last few pieces start to align. The future of the Boston Bruins is extraordinarily bright. Don’t count the B’s out just yet.
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