Providence Bruins

Aug 18, 2017


The Providence Bruins season is just 50 days away and the 2017-18 P-Bruins roster is beginning to take shape. While some familiar faces have headed elsewhere, plenty of others have resigned for the upcoming season. While there is still time before camp starts up and the final rosters are announced, this is how the offseason has shaped up so far.

Goaltending was a major strength in 2016-17 for the P-Bruins and the same crop of net-minders will be between the pipes this season. Zane McIntyre and Malcolm Subban were both restricted free agents but each signed a two-year, two-way contract with Boston. With Matt Ginn also under contract with Atlanta of the ECHL and Dan Vladar still on his entry level deal, the Providence depth chart in goal will likely remain unchanged from last year.

In addition to McIntyre and Subban, three other players inked two-way contracts with Boston for the upcoming season. Tommy Cross, Jordan Szwarz and Austin Czarnik each signed one-year deals after strong campaigns for Providence a season ago and will serve as solid depth pieces at the NHL level if called upon. Four other veterans who skated for the P-Bruins last season also re-signed for 2017 on AHL deals: Chris Breen, Chris Porter, Colton Hargrove and Taylor Doherty. Noel Acciari stays in the organization, though likely won’t see time in Providence as he signed a two-year, one-way deal with Boston. Anton Khudobin, Frank Vatrano and Charlie McAvoy each spent limited time with the P-Bruins in 2016-17 and will begin the year at the NHL level.

While they will be fighting for jobs at the NHL level, the following players are all under contract with the Bruins for 2017-18. Forwards Sean Kuraly, Danton Heinen, Justin Hickman, Ryan Fitzgerald, Jesse Gabrielle, Anton Blidh, Peter Cehlarik, Colby Cave, Jake DeBrusk and Zach Senyshyn all spent time with the P-Bruins last year and they should all get an extended look to prove they are NHL ready. On defense, Matt Grzelcyk, Jeremy Lauzon, Rob O’Gara and Emil Johansson all skated as rookies for Providence last season and will be fighting for a spot on the bottom pairing of Boston’s blue line. The organization didn’t acquire many guys from outside the organization, but one player they did sign was Connor Clifton. After he became an unrestricted free agent when he failed to sign with the Coyotes who drafted him, Clifton signed an AHL deal with Providence and will look to show his NHL potential as a rookie in 2017-18.

As is the case in the AHL, many players who were Bruins last season are continuing their careers elsewhere. Six players inked one-year, two-way deals that will give them a chance to reach the NHL during the season. Alex Grant signed with Minnesota, Chris Casto with Vegas, Tyler Randell with Ottawa, Wayne Simpson with Washington, Brian Ferlin with Edmonton and Zac Rinaldo with Arizona. Joe Morrow signed a one-way deal with Montreal after not being given a qualifying offer while Mark Naclerio signed with the Reading Royals of the ECHL.

Other players elected to play hockey overseas as four former Bruins headed out of North America. Linus Arnesson signed in his hometown of Sweden with Orebro HK, a move that happened almost as soon as the season ended. Spencer Asuchak will play for HKM Zvolen in Slovakia, Shane Bakker will play for the Manchester Storm of the EIHL and Brock Higgs will skate with the Graz 99ers of the EBEL.

Prior to the start of camp there will likely be several players who sign professional tryout agreements and the roster will take shape closer to the start of the season, so keep it tuned to for roster updates. Opening Night in Providence is October 7 at 7:05pm as the Bruins welcome in the Springfield Thunderbirds for the first of 14 matchups between the clubs this year.

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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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