|Bruins rookies were under the capable direction of Providence coach Bruce Cassidy yesterday at Ristuccia Arena. (Barry Chin/Globe Staff)|
Ex-Terrier gets a shot
Warsofsky may follow a trend
WILMINGTON - Two rookies who made an impression on Bruins management and the coaching staff last fall were Matt Bartkowski and Steven Kampfer.
Both are defensemen. Both played college hockey (Bartkowski at Ohio State, Kampfer at Michigan).
David Warsofsky would like to continue that trend.
The Marshfield native, who starred for three years at Boston University, is participating in his first pro training camp. As he’s had to do throughout his career, the 5-foot-8-inch, 170-pound Warsofsky will have to overcome his lack of size to stand out.
So far, Warsofsky’s skills have helped him do just that.
As a freshman, Warsofsky scored three goals and had 20 assists. The following year, he had 12 goals and 11 assists. Last year, Warsofsky submitted a 7-15-22 line in what would be his final college season. He is an offensive-minded defenseman who could potentially quarterback a pro power play.
A fourth-round pick of St. Louis in 2008, Warsofsky was acquired for Vladimir Sobotka. The Bruins have made a habit of trading for collegiate defensemen. They snared Kampfer’s rights from Anaheim. Bartkowski was part of the Dennis Seidenberg package. Last year, the Bruins traded Matt Hunwick to Colorado for Colby Cohen, who manned the BU blue line alongside Warsofsky.
Warsofsky should start the season in Providence. If he is to become a successful AHL defenseman, Warsofsky must rely on his stick skills and positioning to fend off forwards and track down pucks. After the Terriers finished play last season, Warsofsky signed an amateur tryout contract with Providence. In 10 games, Warsofsky logged three assists.
“In reality, it wasn’t that long down there,’’ Warsofsky said. “But just getting a couple weeks there and a couple games gives you an idea of how to prepare for this, how to train, and the level you’re going to be competing at in order to earn a spot.’’
Good hands Tyler Randell fought 21 times last season, making him one of junior hockey’s most willing pugilists. His offensive output was the surprise.
Randell, the Bruins’ sixth-round pick in 2009, popped in a career-high 20 goals for Kitchener. As a first-year pro, he might be expected to make as much noise with his stick as he does with his fists.
“Last year, he really came into his own as a player,’’ said assistant general manager Jim Benning. “He was at the top of the OHL in fighting. He stuck up for his teammates all the time.
“But not only that, the offensive side of his game - going to the net, getting rebounds, getting tip-ins - really took a step forward. He’s ready for pro now.’’
During drills yesterday at Ristuccia Arena, Randell took shifts at right wing with Ryan Spooner, the rookies’ top playmaker, serving as his center. Randell could have a top-six role in the two upcoming rookie games against the Islanders.
Games approaching The rookies have one more practice at Ristuccia this morning. They will travel to Long Island after practice and play the Islanders rookies at Nassau Coliseum tomorrow and Tuesday . . . Bruins prospect Dougie Hamilton should be playing against Ryan Strome, his Niagara teammate. They may both be IceDogs in juniors, but they will be enemies tomorrow and Tuesday. “If he has his head down coming across the middle, I’ll take him down,’’ Hamilton said with a grin . . . After two days of captains’ practices on Thursday and Friday, the veterans are taking a long weekend off the ice. The big boys will participate in the annual Boston Bruins Foundation golf tournament tomorrow at The International in Bolton. They will resume informal skates at Ristuccia Tuesday in preparation for Friday’s physicals and fitness testing.