The Bear Cave

July 7, 2009 8:22 AM

25 Youngsters Ready for 2009 Development Camp

A little more than one week has passed since the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, and for most of the draftees, that time has been spent somewhere around Cloud Nine. On Tuesday, those rookies will join a group of other young players, as the Boston Bruins begin their third annual Development Camp at Wilmington's Ristuccia Memorial Arena. The camp runs from Tuesday through Saturday, and is filled with drills both on and off of the ice. There will also be a segment featuring player appearances, so that fans can meet and learn about their future Bruins.

25 players are listed on the 2009 Development Camp Roster, with 13 forwards, nine defensemen, and three goaltenders. One forward and two defensemen are currently injured, meaning that a total of 22 will be participating in the camp. The three injured players are Tommy Cross, Zach McKelvie, and Yannick Riendeau. Despite not being on the ice, all three will be present with their future teammates.

Looking at the roster, the first position is goaltending. The three players manning the crease this week will be Adam Courchaine, Matt Dalton, and Michael Hutchinson. Although there is always pressure to perform well, Hutchinson is the one with the least amount of pressure, as his 2009-10 fate is already known. The 19-year old isn't polished enough to join the NHL, while he is still too young to play in the AHL. Providence could be in Hutchinson's future for 2010-11 if he impresses the staff. For Courchaine and Dalton, the development camp could serve as the beginning of a battle for the backup job with the P-Bruins. Assuming he re-signs, Kevin Regan will be the starter in Providence, leaving one open slot on the roster. Dalton's options are narrowed down to the AHL and ECHL, while Courchaine could return to the OHL for one final season. Courchaine does have four professional games on his resume, going 2-1-0 in four appearances with the Baby B's.

The defensive group features an interesting mix of players, as only four of the nine players were drafted by the Bruins. Yuri Alexandrov was a second-round selection in 2006, and could be ready for his first season in North America after spending the past three in his native country of Russia. Tommy Cross and Alain Goulet were each taken in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. After recovering from his current knee injury, Cross will return for his sophomore season at Boston College. Goulet should be in line to begin his first season in Providence. Ryan Button is the lone blueliner from this summer's draft, and will be looking to make a strong first impression, despite a guaranteed return to the WHL in the fall.

Now, for the names fans might not be so familiar with. Mark Isherwood is a 20-year old from Abbotsford, BC, who has spent each of the last four seasons with the WHL's Medicine Hat Tigers. Isherwood is an offensive defenseman, coming off of a season in which he led all Medicine Hat blueliners with 19 goals, 23 assists, and 42 points. 20-year old Rob Kwiet has a fancy new piece of jewelery on the way, as he was a member of the Memorial Cup Champion Windsor Spitfires. In 66 regular season games with Windsor, Kwiet was a passing machine, dishing out assists for 55 of his 67 points. The Toronto, ON native kept his production up in the playoffs, registering 15 points in 20 contests. Brady Lamb just completed his freshman season at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, and is likely three years away from breaking into the professional ranks. In 21 games with the Bulldogs, Lamb had one goal and one assist. At age 24, Tyler Ludwig is preparing to enter his senior season at Western Michigan University. In three prior seasons, Ludwig has recorded 13 goals, 43 assists, and 56 points in 116 games. The native of Colleyville, TX could be on Providence's radar screen at some point during the spring. 24-year old Zach McKelvie just completed his senior year with Army, and will need a strong showing during training camp, as he is currently out with a shoulder injury. In 134 career games with the Cadets, McKelvie had 14 goals, 42 assists, and 56 points.

Up front, the Bruins forwards can be broken down into four groups. The first group features two players who are all but guaranteed a spot in Rhode Island for the upcoming season. The second group includes the four players who were drafted last summer. The third group is a list of four players who were selected in this year's draft. The fourth and final group has two players that Boston fans have seen in the area, but without a tie to the organization.

The two players in the first group are Zach Hamill and Jeff LoVecchio. Hamill spent all of last season with the Peebs, scoring 13 goals, 13 assists, and 26 points in 65 games after starting the year off with a minor injury. The 20-year old was Boston's top pick in 2007, and should be one of Providence's top players this year. LoVecchio would have been in Providence last year, but missed the entire season with an injury. The 23-year old played in 14 games at the AHL level during the 2007-08 campaign, netting three goals and assisting on two others. Two of LoVecchio's three tallies were shorthanded.

Group two is the 2008 draft class for Boston. With the 16th overall selection, the Bruins took Joe Colborne, who just completed his freshman season at the University of Denver. In 40 games, the 19-year old had ten goals, 21 assists, and 31 points. As a former first-round pick, Colborne will earn a lot of attention this week. However, he is still 1-3 years away from turning pro. Maxime Sauve was the club's second draftee in 2008, as he was taken 47th overall. Sauve spent this past season in the QMJHL with the Val-d'Or Foreurs, recording 27 goals, 49 assists, and 76 points in 64 games. Assuming that Val-d'Or improves, it will be exciting to see what types of numbers the 19-year old can put up in 2009-10. After switching to the crease to select Michael Hutchinson, the B's returned up front, drafting Jamie Arniel at number 97. Arniel is the lone player from the 2008 class with AHL experience, as he battled his way into eight playoff games the the Baby B's this past spring. In that time, the 19-year old found the back of the net once, scoring in Providence's game six victory against Worcester in round two. Three draft rounds later, the Bruins took their first American, finishing the day with Mark Goggin. At 18 years old, Goggin will be starting his college career at Dartmouth in the fall.

The third set of forwards are the players who heard their names called less than two weeks ago in Montreal as 2009 NHL draft picks. Sayabec, QC's Jordan Caron leads the group, as he got to walk on stage as the 25the overall selection. Caron spent each of the past three seasons with the QMJHL's Rimouski Oceanic, registering 74 goals, 76 assists, and 150 points in 161 regular season matches. Lane MacDermid will join Rob Kwiet at the development camp as the two players with jewelery from the 2009 Mastercard Memorial Cup. The 19-year old was dealt to the Windsor Spitfires midway through the season, and combined to pick up 15 goals and 20 assists with Windsor, as well as the Owen Sound Attack. Tyler Randell came up just short in his bid for a championship in 2008, as the Belleville Bulls fell in the semi-final round against the Kitchener Rangers. The 18-year old ended up splitting the 2008-09 campaign between Belleville and Kitchener, putting up 24 goals, 13 assists, and 37 points in 73 regular season games. Ben Sexton rounds out the group, as he prepares to begin his collegiate career at Clarkson University in the fall.

Before moving onto the two new faces, mention has to be given to Yannick Riendeau. Riendeau will miss the development camp with a shoulder injury, but should be in line to play with the P-Bruins during 2009-10. The 21-year old was a lethal weapon with the Drummondville Voltigeurs this past season, filling up the scoreheet with 58 goals, 68 assists, and 126 points in 64 regular season games. Riendeau's success continued into the playoffs, where he led the QMJHL with 29 goals, 23 assists, and 52 points in just 19 games.

Now, onto the two new forwards. Scott Campbell is a somewhat local player, who has spent each of the past two seasons in New England with the University of Massachusetts-Lowell Riverhawks. In 75 career games with Lowell, the 23-year old has compiled 21 goals, 27 assists, and 48 points. The second new player is a local native, who was born in Saugus, MA, before completing a four-year career at Boston University. That is 22-year old Jason Lawrence. In 158 career games under Jack Parker at BU, Lawrence had 46 goals, 51 assists, 97 points, and one national championship. Both will ultimately be looking to continue their local successes in the Boston organization.

2009 Development Camp begins on Tuesday, as the players will undergo medical and physical testing. The fans will get their first look at the future Bruins on Wednesday, when the squad hits the ice bright and early at 9:30 in Wilmington.

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