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Drop the puck

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff  September 12, 2007 04:45 PM

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WILMINGTON -- Under the watch of Providence coach Scott Gordon, assistant Rob Murray, skating coach Paul Vincent, and goaltending coach Bob Essensa, 16 Bruins rookies took to the Ristuccia Arena ice this afternoon for their first official session.

They performed a variety of drills, ranging from down-low work, skating and puckhandling, and edgework for goalies Tuukka Rask and Adam Courchaine.

Claude Julien and assistants Craig Ramsay, Geoff Ward, and Doug Houda watched the action from the stands. GM Peter Chiarelli and director of hockey operations and player development Don Sweeney sat in the box above the rink.

The rookies will remain in camp through next Monday. After that, a handful will be brought up with the big boys. Julien didn't specify how many youngsters will make the jump, although that group will most likely include Rask and the three Team Canada representatives from the Super Series -- Brad Marchand, Zach Hamill, and Milan Lucic.

Some observations:

* Marchand, skating mostly on the wing alongside Hamill, didn't look at all fatigued from the global travel between Canada and Russia. Marchand, who projects as an energy wing in pro hockey, showed good wheels and a quick release.

* Matt Hunwick may be considered undersized as a defenseman, but that didn't stop him from leveling Byron Bitz behind the net.

* Rask flowed effortlessly in the crease instead of using jerky movements to get around the net.

The rookies will return to Ristuccia tomorrow morning and skate from 10 a.m. to noon. Veterans have an optional skate at TD Banknorth Garden tomorrow afternoon from noon to 3 p.m. Julien and his staff will first take to the ice on Friday at the Garden.

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