Bruins

Jack Studnicka is at best playing center, but sacrifices might have to be made if B’s gets shot in the NHL

(Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

Speed. Skill. Competitiveness.

It can be hard to size up a prospect and compile years of development and growth into a single word or short spurt of scouting-report buzzwords, but Jamie Langenbrunner and Jay Leach have done their best to fulfill such requests over the last two days when fielding questions from inquiring minds at Bruins Development Camp. 

Some skillsets are rather obvious upon taking a quick glance out on the sheet at Warrior Ice Arena. 

John Beecher has put many fellow skaters in the rearview mirror during 2-on-1 drills and basic agility tests. Nick Wolff (6-foot-4, 209 pounds) hasn’t budged on the blue line. Casey Dornbach has had netminders ducking for cover when he’s uncorked his heavy shot.

But when it comes to condensing a talent like Jack Studnicka into a word or two, Langenbrunner was at a loss.

Langenbrunner, the Bruins’ player development coordinator, instead opted for an anecdote involving the 20-year-old forward. But he didn’t focus much attention on Studnicka’s wheels, sneaky (but accurate) wrister or soft hands. 

In fact, it had little to do with Studnicka’s play out on the ice. But it certainly spoke volumes about his standing off of it.

“I think a testament to that kid, he gets traded to Niagara (OHL) and he’s wearing a letter on a team he was traded to in a month. That’s impressive,” Langenbrunner said of Studnicka.  “That means you’re stepping right in and doing the things that coaches see as leaders, but also the players around him.”

A two-year captain during his tenure with the Oshawa Generals before earning an “A” with the IceDogs, Studnicka’s stock as the Bruins’ top prospect has only continued to rise since Boston tabbed him with the 53rd overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft.

That leadership that he first displayed as an 18-year-old captain of a junior hockey club stands as a byproduct of a competitive drive that has been a hallmark of Studnicka’s game since joining the Bruins’ organization.

So far, the Windsor, Ontario native has passed just about every challenge that Boston has thrown his way.

Need to spend another year in junior? He racked up 83 points over 60 games with Oshawa and Niagara in 2018-19.

Want to get extra reps? Just three days after Studnicka and the IceDogs fell in the OHL semifinals, the youngster was in the lineup with Providence, jumping right into the fray that was the Baby B’s Calder Cup playoff round against the Charlotte Checkers. 

But this fall, Studnicka could very well face his toughest test yet — with a spot up in the NHL ranks potentially hanging in the balance.