NHL teams hold a development camp annually to get a first look at their new draft picks, as well as get a look at the development at some of their other prospects.
The Bruins recently concluded their 2017 Rookie Development Camp. Here are the top takeaways from the 18 forwards, nine defensemen and three goalies in attendance.
Anders Bjork is miles ahead of all the other prospects
Bjork had a 52-point junior season at Notre Dame, and looks ready to take his talents to the NHL level.
At development camp, he showed off his raw talent and skating ability, but he also proved that his skill set is more fine tuned than the rest of the Bruins’ prospects.
Bjork skated with a chip on his shoulder. His presence on the ice suggests that he believes he is ready to go toe to toe with NHL defenseman and goal tenders.
Several attendants at development camp commented on him being the most gifted skater on the ice.
Expect the young left winger to compete for a roster spot at training camp.
Ryan Donato is closer to being in the NHL than you may think
Bjork is the hot-topic prospect for the Bruins right now, but he isn’t the only mid-round forward that turned heads at development camp.
The Bruins drafted Donato back in 2014 in hopes to find a winger that could score a decent amount of goals. If his time in the NCAA and Bruins development camp are any indication, they’ve found just that.
The young winger found the back of the net 21 times and recorded 40 points during his time with Harvard.
His string development during college seems to have carried over into development camp.
The young winger has beefed up while also getting a lot faster. The other players at camp struggled to push him off the puck.
Donato still has to play his Junior season with the Harvard Crimson, but his NHL debut is going to be sooner rather than later.
The Bruins got a surprising performance from a young goal tender
All eyes are on the Bruins top prospects and how they may be able to help the Bruins now, but the Bs got a glimpse of a young goal tender named James Corcoran who may fit into their plans down the line.
Corcoran recently graduated high school and was invited to participate in development camp at the last minute. During his senior year, he recorded 13 shutouts and a .970 save percentage.
After some early rough shots, Corcoran looked like he belonged. He faced several top NCAA and stood tall.
Corcoran has often been compared to Tuukka Rask, and might just be able to join him with the Bruins sometime down the road.
Early signs are good for the Bruins first-round pick
The Bruins recent first-round pick Urho Vaakenainen was drafted in hopes that he could help stabilize the Bruins blue line. It’s way too early to know if the Bruins made the right pick, but his development performance bodes well.
Vaakenainen looked very poised and ready for whatever challenge he may face.
His vision was excellent, he processed situations very well, and never seemed to panic. Hockey is a fast-moving sport, so his awareness and composure are bright signs.
His skating was smooth and his passing was for the most part solid. He often continually succeeded at moving pucks out of the zone.
There are still questions, but the Bruins seem to have a new wave of talent on the rise.