Providence Bruins

Jun 20, 2018


Tommy Cross has always brought leadership to the Providence Bruins over his six full AHL seasons and entered his third year as P-Bruins captain in 2017-18. His offense really spiked a season ago in what was, at the time, a career season for Cross on the Providence blueline and after re-signing with the club looked to prove that was no fluke. That is just what the 28-year old did, surpassing his point total from last season while taking on more responsibility throughout the year.

The veteran was a mainstay on the team’s top defensive pairing and frequently played alongside Jakub Zboril or Connor Clifton to give the two rookies a reliable partner to lean on. Cross missed just three games all season and was head coach Jay Leach’s go-to defender in all situations. Cross rewarded him by posting a +30 rating on the season, tied for the fifth highest in all of the AHL.

Cross has had plenty of penalty killing experience over the years, but 2016-17 was the first time he really got a chance to prove himself on the power play. Alongside Alex Grant and Matt Grzelcyk, the P-Bruins defense produced some of the best offensive numbers in franchise history. With those two players out of the fold in 2017-18, however, Cross was relied upon to be the team’s primary puck-moving defender on the man-advantage and delivered in a big way. He easily led all P-Bruin blueliners with five goals and 14 assists for 19 power play points and overall on the season led Providence d-men in all scoring categories.

A majority of that production came in the second half of the season as he turned his offense on once January hit. After a respectable 11 points over his first 32 games, he finished off by scoring 25 points over his final 41 games. That included six multipoint games and a 10-point month of March. He also put up a goal and two assists in the 2018 Calder Cup Playoffs, scoring in three of the team’s four games with a rating of +1.

Once again an unrestricted free agent this offseason, where the Simsbury, Connecticut native plays in 2018-19 remains unknown. Providence would certainly love to have their leader back for another season, but after a year in which he continued to show improvement in his game Cross will likely see if there are any chances for him to crack an NHL lineup on the open market.

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The Providence Bruins are the American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Boston Bruins, playing their home games at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, RI. Spanning more than 25 years, the Boston/Providence affiliation is one of the longest and most successful player development partnerships in professional hockey history.

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