Inspired by the Black and Gold Hockey Blog post, and with snow keeping me from family this Christmas morning, thought I’d make a Providence-themed naughty/nice list. You may see some players you’re not familiar with unless you’ve been to Providence a few times. Check out the P-Bruins roster for these guys.
Zach Senyshyn: Despite people bemoaning Don Sweeney passing on Barzal for him in the draft, Zach is not only putting up points in Providence (6g, 9a, 15 pts. total), but also developing into a well-rounded two way forward. He has earned the trust of Coach Jay Leach, starting off on the 4th line and working his way up onto the top two lines in less than half a season. He is also featured heavily on Providence’s special teams (PP1 and the PK), as well as during opponents pulling their goalie for a 6-on-5 situation. Been one of my favorite storylines this season.
JFK: Jackob Forsbacka Karlsson needs no introduction. He’s not flashy, but is devastating if you don’t take him seriously. For example, in a game against Hershey, he intercepted Pheonix Copley’s outlet pass and scored off a hard drive to the net. He’s an extremely heads up, responsible player. People often compare him to Patrice Bergeron, and lately, I’m understanding the similarities. His faceoff % seems to be quite high (though I can’t find official AHL statistics to back it up); I’ve often heard announcers on AHL Live declaring him the winner of the draw. Hoping he makes the NHL Bruins roster at 3C next year.
Austin Czarnik started the season with the injury riddled NHL Bruins for a time, and has been in and out of Boston’s roster. He was returned to Providence at the end of October. He has played in 23 of 29 games this season, and amassed the most points of any Providence player despite missing 6 games due to his callup. His best work seems to come on the powerplay, and embodies a bit of Ryan Spooner in his game, though I’d anoint Czarnik as better at the dot. I’d really like to see him stick in the show, but the depth at center isn’t in Austin’s favor.
Ryan Fitzgerald & Colby Cave: Neither possess a lot of high end talent, but Colby earned his first call-up to the Show, and both work hard every shift. If work ethic was a measurable statistic, they would both be ranked high. Providence’s roster isn’t the same without them; combined they have a respectable 25 points, despite Fitzgeral’s injury that’s sidelined him since December 2nd. I could see both as reliable bottom 6 forwards in the NHL someday.
Colton Hargrove is no longer in the NHL Bruins organization (was a 7th round pick back in 2012) but the AHL Bruins liked him enough to pick him up on a minor league contract. He was the AHL player of the week recently and has provided several clutch goals (mostly in November/ early December).
Jordan Binnington: His SV%/GAA, win record speak for themselves. Brick wall between the pipes.
Jakub Zboril: Originally I was very critical of him, however of late he’s picked up his play significantly. Definitely not ready for the Show yet, but since late November has looked more engaged and confident. Trending upward for sure.
Honorable mentions: Jeremy Lauzon, been injured for a while (Nov. 22nd) but love his game when he’s on the ice. Absolute stud. Jordan Szwarz: Point-getting machine, plain and simple. Rob O’Gara, brings his energy to every shift, quite a warrior blocking shots too. Emil Johansson has battled injuries but has a ton of upside to his game.
Chris Porter and Adam Payerl: Both received suspensions during games against the Belleville Senators, however Chris Porter is a great glue guy and veteran presence to mentor the prospects in the NHL Bruins system; only here because of that Chargin major and suspension he received. Adam Payerl is usually a healthy scratch when the team ices it’s full roster (i.e. no injuries to key players), and for good reason. You can tell he’s an AHL lifer.
Sena Acolatse’s habit of taking dumb penalties has often cost the PBruins (most recently against Springfield December 23rd where his minor penalty cost the Bruins a PPG against). His 6 points aren’t enough to offset his wild tendencies including a couple game misconducts.
Zane McIntyre hasn’t played up to his previous all-star season last year with a 2.97 GAA and 0.899 SV% to date. His stats aren’t entirely at fault: at times he deals with a revolving door of defense in front of him, though he has his fair share of jimbos too. Case in point, I shuddered watching Peter Holland snap this shot past McIntyre from a sharp angle.
All I want for Christmas is for McIntyre to stop giving up softies like this. 🤨🙃 pic.twitter.com/Aygp0D4gAw
— ShippingUpToCauseway (@ToCauseway) December 25, 2017
Connor Clifton had a rough start to the season, and only very recently has his shaky play picked up (relatively speaking). He is one of only a couple defensemen without a positive +/-. Often gets out-muscled for the puck, and his outlet passes have a habit of being intercepted.
Honorable mentions: Jessie Gabrielle gives more effort than most players, but continues to be handicapped by poor decision making and puck management. He has the toolbox, now needs to be taught how to use it effectively. Hopefully with Beleskey down, he can mentor Gabrielle a bit. Chris Breen despite his size and intimidating frame has occasionally been a turnover machine in his own end.