It’s been a year of change for the Boston Bruins since new management came in. The mandate was clear from the beginning to get younger and cheaper, and build for the future. The inherited roster contained a few aging stars, limited players in their prime, and no depth and no goaltending. The only remaining member on the Bruins’ Pro roster from the team a season ago is forward Brett Connolly.
Most of the focus has gone to strengthening the defense and goaltending. Cam Talbot will hold the fort for the next two seasons, while promising goaltenders Linus Ullmark and Alexandar Georgiev battle to be next in line (with 9 prospect goalies waiting in the wings). Overall, it represents a stark upgrade from a year ago when Boston only had minor leaguer Kristofers Gudlevskis under contract.
The defense is composed of a collection of young and still-developing veterans highlighted by Michael Matheson, Adam Pelech, Erik Gudbranson, and Alex Petrovic, as well as incoming prospects Ethan Bear and Christian Djoos. Danny DeKeyser provides some added depth and experience.
The forward group saw the departure of franchise forward Claude Giroux, and the trade return of Ryan Johansen and Alex Debrincat will be part of a future top-6 group. The current F group has more depth than last year’s version but lacks offensive punch and several players are playing larger roles than they’re used to.
The Bruins focus during free agency was to add overall depth to the system and targetted players who could fill bigger roles in future seasons. The only FA adds to the current Pro roster are #2C Mikko Koivu, #3C Martin Hanzal, and versatile winger Matt Calvert.
The other major event of the off-season was the Entry Draft, which gave the Bruins a chance to add to their future as the team stockpiled 28 picks and gave a lot of added depth to the system. The major addition from the draft was the trade of the #3 overall pick for 18-year old C Filip Chytil and D Matheson.
The 2018/19 GVFHL season will likely represent a transition year for the Bruins as they hope for continued improvement from younger players. Likely the team will improve a few spots from their 4th from the bottom finish of a year ago but still be far off from the playoff picture.