Claude Julien has some tough roster decisions to make in the coming days. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Bruins Trim Roster In First Pre-Season Cuts

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Claude Julien has some tough roster decisions to make in the coming days. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
Photo Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

After four preseason games, the Bruins have sent 2015 draft picks Zach Senyshyn, Jeremy Lauzon, and Jakub Zboril back to their junior teams in the team’s first round of training camp roster cuts. Other notable players cut were forwards Peter Cehlarik and Peter Mueller, as well as goaltender Zane McIntyre and defensemen Matt Grzlecyk.

There are few surprises in the first round of cuts in training camp. Though highly followed prospects, neither Senyshyn, Lauzon, nor Zboril were expected to push for NHL roster spots this season. There was talk of Cehlarik opening eyes on Boston’s coaching staff after a strong preseason rookie tournament, yet he will remain in Providence for the time being.

With only three preseason games remaining, roster spot battles will really heat up as Claude Julien and the coaching staff identify what prospects look best aside their NHL regulars. Tomorrow night’s roster features Austin Czarnik, Jake DeBrusk, Tim Schaller, Rob O’Gara, and new training camp invite Christian Ehrhoff amongst what is largely the team’s full NHL roster.

The race for the final few forward spots on the roster will be the most hotly contested. Boston has a lot of NHL ready prospects ready to step in to those positions- Danton Heinen, Austin Czarnik, and Jake DeBrusk in particular have impressed so far. There’s also Noel Acciari, who fit in well as the fourth line center in a 19 game stint last season. With only three or four forward spots really open, it’s unlikely all four will be on the opening night roster, but they may surpass Seth Griffith, who has been in the system for multiple years now, for example.

Rob O’Gara may be the breakthrough defenseman of training camp. The 23 year old Yale graduate is entering his first professional season, but at 6’4 and 207 pounds, he may be better primed to make an immediate impact on the Bruins blue line than, say, Brandon Carlo. Carlo has been primed to be one of Boston’s top defensemen in the future, but he’s still only 19. There is no need for the Bruins to rush his development, especially with seven other defensemen from last year’s NHL roster already returning.

Christian Ehrhoff was just signed to a professional tryout contract over the weekend after a successful stint with Team Europe at the World Cup of Hockey. At one point in his career, Ehrhoff was a capable top four defenseman, but injuries and a poor run with the Los Angeles Kings last season left his stock low. If Ehrhoff impresses the Bruins in the coming days, he could be a low risk, high reward signing for the Bruins.

Boston’s next preseason game is Tuesday night against Montreal. The roster for the game is available on the team’s website.


Follow Tommy McArdle on Twitter @tmcardle27


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