With the third season of BEARD Hockey upon us, the Bruins are shaping up to be a contender for the Cup in the new era of the league.
With the 15th overall pick, Boston had a consistent middle pick throughout the draft (other than picks that were traded). The Bruins GM was a little flustered about what player would fall to them at 15, and were ecstatic to see Nathan Mackinnon available.
When #50 came around and David Pastrnak was still available, the Bruins knew they had their two young all-star forwards to shape the team around.
Let's take a look at how the Boston Bruins' Pro Team roster looks for the start of the season.
Forward Line 1
Bryan Rust - Nathan Mackinnon - David Pastrnak
An all-out fire power unit. All three players are capable of point per game production, with the ability to set up and bury the puck. There isn't much defensive play from this combination, but they are a line that will spend the majority of the time in the offensive zone. Or the centre dot after each of their many successful, goal scoring shifts.
Forward Line 2
Reilly Smith - Michael Backlund - Kyle Okposo
After all the dust settled following the dispersal draft, the Boston GM believed there was a bit of a hole at the 2C position. He acted quickly and moved a pick and prospect for Mr. Backlund. Backlund provides a great 2-way game, as he can take faceoffs, back check with the best of them, and set up players with feeds. With Okposo and Smith flanking him, they have offensive punch and leadership to shine as a very strong 2nd scoring line.
Forward Line 3
Alex Formenton - Adam Lowry - Seth Jarvis
With any dispersal draft, a GM wants to make sure they are set up for the "now" and the "future". Boston was thrilled to draft both Jarvis and Formenton in the draft as players who had great seasons last year to build on and are still just sophomores coming into this season. Coupled with Lowry, who is one of the best defensive centres in the game, the kids will be allowed to fly, as Lowry watches their 6. Adam has a bit of an offensive punch as well!
Forward Line 4
Derick Brassard - Thomas Nosek - Alexander Barabanov
What more can I say other than this line has every element that the game needs. Leadership, faceoff capability, checking, defensive awareness, and even some scoring punch. Alexander may work his way into a spot in the top 9, as originally planned, however he will have to earn his time, with the solid forwards that this team possesses.
Defensive Pairing 1
Darnell Nurse - Dmitry Orlov
Nurse is one of the best defensemen in the game. There is nothing that he does not do and is still only in his 20s. He is the cornerstone of this defensive group. Orlov provides leadership and defensive awareness, being able to shut down any team's top line.
Defensive Pairing 2
Derek Forbort - John Marino
Marino is another all-around defenseman, who provides some scoring touch, along with a good defensive mind. We hope to see him build off of his breakout year from last season, as he seems to just be entering his prime. Forbort is a workhorse defenseman who doesn''t shy away easily. He is able to be the stay-at-home type of defender to allow Marino to take risks when necessary.
Defensive Pairing 3
Filip Hronek - Zdeno Chara
Hronek has had some growing pains. To put it bluntly, he had a horrible season. However, the Bruins GM believes he will bounce back, as he is still in his early 20s and has much seasoning to go through. He has some good offensive numbers to help out on the powerplay as well. And who better to help Hronek with those growing pains, than the Big Z. He has come home to Boston for one last season, before retiring, to help teach Filip how to be the defenseman he knows he can be.
Jack Campbell - Brian Elliott
Jack Campbell finally put together a successful, full season. And it was behind a team that, well, is just a laughingstock. With a change of scenery, GM Jay Roc sees Mr. Campbell as a franchise goalie for years to come. Coupled with Brian's leadership and wisdom to impart on Campbell, the tandem look to keep the rubber out of the goal crease as well as any others this season.