The Bear Cave

July 14, 2009 9:11 AM

Larman Adds his Name to Mix

On Monday, the Boston Bruins officially announced their signings of Trent Whitfield, Rob Kwiet, and Zach McKelvie. However, those weren't the only players in the press release. Forward Drew Larman has also been signed to a one-year contract, continuing to add to Boston's organizational depth.

24-year old Drew Larman began his journey toward professional hockey with three seasons in the Ontario Hockey League. Larman spent parts of three seasons with the Sarnia Sting, before being dealt to London, where he earned a Memorial Cup, as the Knights defeated the Rimouski Oceanic 4-0 in the 2005 championship game. Unfortunately, that success was overlooked, as the Canton, MI native was never drafted.

With time ticking away before the 2005-06 season, Larman finally found a suitor, signing on with the Florida Panthers. Drew only spent six games in the ECHL with the Florida Everblades, before earning a permanent spot in the AHL with the Rochester Americans. In 44 games with Rochester that season, Larman had seven goals, eight assists, and 15 points. The 6-foot-3 center returned to the Americans the following season, putting up career highs with 17 goals and 28 points in 54 games. That production earned him a trip to the NHL, where he played in 16 games with the Panthers, lighting the lamp twice. 2007-08 was also a split campaign for Larman, who had 22 points in another 54 games with Rochester, while dishing out one assist in six games with Florida. Drew spent all of this past season with the Americans, compiling ten goals and 13 assists in 61 contests.

Drew Larman's career totals show two goals and one assist in 22 NHL games, as well as 44 goals, 44 assists, and 88 points in 213 AHL tilts.

Despite his experience in the NHL, Larman will likely find himself in Providence for the majority of the 2009-10 season. The role most suitable for the 24-year old appears to be on the third line, but he could potentially earn some time on higher lines if he is able to produce offensively. Simply put, this is a depth signing for the Baby B's. Larman has experience in the AHL, he comes at an affordable price, and has the ability to play a strong two-way game up front at 6-foot-3, 195-pounds. For those looking to draw comparisons to other players within the organization, his numbers resemble those of Wacey Rabbit. Rabbit is currently a restricted free agent, who has posted 26 goals, 37 assists, and 63 points in 162 games with the P-Bruins. There is quite a difference in size between the two, which could put Larman into a similar category with Jordan Knackstedt.

The signings of Rob Kwiet and Zach McKelvie allowed us to view the defensive situation in Providence. With Trent Whitfield and Drew Larman now under contract, let's look at how the Baby B's are beginning to stack up on the offensive end.

Looking back to last year's team that reached the Eastern Conference Final, Vladimir Sobotka should be in line to be one of the few forwards that earns a permanent spot in Boston. The 22-year old played in 48 regular season games with the Bruins during the 2007-08 campaign, but lost out to a numbers game this past winter. With most of Boston's roster returning, there won't be many spots up for grabs. However, Sobotka should be one of the few players in contention for the remaining positions.

Assuming that Sobotka does in fact make the big club, that leaves nine other forwards under contract in the organization, potentially filling three lines in Providence. Brad Marchand, Mikko Lehtonen, Zach Hamill, Matt Marquardt, Jordan Knackstedt, and Levi Nelson are all set to return for their sophomore seasons in the AHL. Marchand, Lehtonen, and Hamill were all instrumental parts of the offense in 2008-09, while Marquardt, Knackstedt, and Nelson were solid two-way players that had the ability to provide a spark when needed. Jeff LoVecchio played in 14 regular season contests at the end of the 2007-08 season, tallying three goals and two assists. Unfortunately, the 23-year old missed all of last season with an injury. Newcomers Trent Whitfield and Drew Larman will add a veteran presence up the middle, while adding to the club's offensive production. Wacey Rabbit and Ned Lukacevic are the lone AHL free agents up front, and both are still on the market.

If Rabbit and Lukacevic do return to the organization, the work is almost done in terms of forwards. Phil Kessel's contract will still need to be figured out at the NHL level, while one or two more forwards would still need to be signed for Providence. One of those players would likely be someone familiar with dropping the gloves, as the Peebs don't have a true fighter on the team at the moment. Last season, that role belonged to Jonathan Tremblay, who picked up 63 penalty minutes in 41 games. If Rabbit and Lukacevic aren't re-signed, the Bruins' organization will likely hit the market again, in search of some more veteran talent for their AHL affiliate.

A Member Of