The Boston Bruins sent their top prospects to buffalo over the weekend to compete in the prospect challenge at the first Niagara Center.
The first game was played Sunday night against the New Jersey Devils, the Bruins won the game in overtime 4-3. Frank Vatrano scored twice in the game, including the overtime winner. The winning goal came just seconds into the 3-on-3 period, as Vatrano won a battle along the boards and was able to put it in for the win. Vatrano had a strong game and it didn’t take long for him to make a great first impression on his new team and the front office. The former UMass forward played on the first line for the Bruins along with Austin Czarnik and Justin Hickman. Czarnik added an assist on Vatrano’s second period goal.
The biggest story of the week had been that all three of the Bruins 2015 first round picks had all failed their condition tests. On Sunday, the young kids showed that even though they couldn’t do the conditioning, they could still play hockey. Jakub Zaboril picked up his first goal of the tournament assisted by Jake DeBrusk and Zach Senyshyn. The other goal came from former Providence College forward Noel Acciari.
The Bruins took on the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday to close out the prospect challenge, the Bruins dropped their final game to the Sabres 3-2 in overtime. Jack Eichel scored the game winning goal in overtime, and also set up the game tying goal in the third period of the game.
For the Bruins Austin Czarnik had two assists in the game, and four for the entire tournament. The biggest story for the Bruins during this prospect challenge was Frank Vatrano, he had three goals through the tournament and looked leaps and bounds ahead of some of the other prospects.
GM Don Sweeney said about the 5-foot-9-inch 160-pound center: “The kid makes plays, He’s got a lot of courage at his size. He acquitted himself very well in these two games.”
Although small in size, Czarnik made a giant impact on the Bruins during this latest prospect showcase. Out of the three Bruins first round picks Jakub Zaboril looked the most comfortable through out the entire tournament.
The Bruins will open up camp Thursday with their first preseason game on Sunday in Providence against the New Jersey Devils.