Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand have become one of the top offensive pairings in the NHL.
Their success and longevity as linemates is impressive. They’ve had numerous right wings on their line in the past, but this season it’s possible a younger player could earn a permanent spot.
Danton Heinen and Anders Bjork are two prospects that will be given an opportunity in camp on Bergeron’s right side.
Bjork, who was selected in the fifth round (No. 146th overall) in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, decided to forego his senior season at Notre Dame and sign with the Bruins. Despite being a left-handed shot, the 5-foot-11, 183-pound forward can play both sides but is more comfortable on the right.
He entered the offseason with the proper attitude.
“I’ve got a lot of work to do this summer,” he said in May. “Obviously, there’s a ton of good prospects and young players in the organization, so it’s going to be tough to earn a spot on the Bruins in Boston. I know that I’m going to be training really hard. I plan to work a lot on my strength and just anything I can do to give myself a better shot at making the team.
“It’s going to take a lot of effort, but it’s a great opportunity. I’m excited about it and that’s definitely going to drive me this summer.”
In order to play with Bergeron and Marchand, a player must be willing to play the 200-foot game. Bjork has that potential.
After being selected in the fourth round (No. 116th overall) in 2014, Heinen has impressed since his first rookie camp. The former University of Denver standout has a high hockey IQ, which could fit well with the pair of veterans. Heinen spent the majority of last season with the P-Bruins and registered 14 goals and 30 assists for 44 points in 64 games. He did play eight scoreless games for the Bruins.
He’s also a left-handed shot but is comfortable on the right side.
David Pastrnak has played on Bergeron’s line in the past, but it’s better for the team if Pastrnak plays with David Krejci. Some NHL coaches look for consistent pairs, rather than lines. The trick is finding someone to complement that pair in the process.
Bjork or Heinen could be that player to find a home on Bergeron’s line this season.