In the third part of their series on NHL team prospects, NHL.com is reviewing the Boston Bruins. Both Halifax Mooseheads' defenceman Andrew Bodnarchuk and centreman Brad Marchand (formerly with Moncton and Val d'Or) have signed NHL entry contracts with the Bruins this past season.
Here is what the prospects report had to say about these Halifax natives, BFFs and short little men.
Brad Marchand -- Win. Win. Win. All this little, dynamic center from the Halifax suburbs does is win. City championship. Provincial championship. Two World Junior Championships. A Quebec league championship and a run at the Memorial Cup with Moncton. Leading playoff scorer for Val D'Or. A trip to the QMJHL semifinals with Halifax.
In the title game against Sweden in the 2008 World Juniors, Marchand scored just over a minute into the game and then assisted on Claude Giroux's second goal. Canada won 3-2 in overtime.
Marchand, selected by Boston in the third round (No. 71) in 2006, grew up with Providence defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk. He also played with Martins Karsums on that winning Moncton team, along with 6-foot-2, 222-pound defenseman Matt Marquardt, acquired in May from Columbus for defenseman Jonathan Sigalet.
"Marchand is a competitive kid," Sweeney said. "He's not the biggest guy in the world and nobody can tell him anything but what he believes. He's feisty, he competes and he puts up numbers everywhere he has gone.
"Brad bounced around between teams and played an awful lot of hockey last year. He was in the Canada-Russia series and the World Juniors and he got traded from Val d'Or to Halifax. I think he will benefit from a stable environment in Providence with Scott Gordon and Rob Murray. He just needs to continue the maturation process. I think hearing the same voice all year will be a grounding thing for him.”
Andrew Bodnarchuk -- Bodnarchuk moved to Halifax from Winnipeg and played minor hockey with Bruins' prospect Brad Marchand. After winning the provincial midget title, he attended St. Paul's Prep in New Hampshire to retain his NCAA eligibility. But he returned to Halifax to play three seasons for the Mooseheads. He was the Bruins' fifth-round pick (No. 128) in 2006 after making the QMJHL All-Rookie Team. Bodnarchuk had 16 goals and 57 points the next season and slipped to 10 goals and 43 points on a weaker team in 2007-08.
"I saw him a couple of years ago at St. Paul's, where I went for a year before Harvard," Sweeney said. "His coach called me and asked me to look him. Andrew was thinking about going back to Canada to play juniors, which he did. He's a small defenseman, really competitive and he has good agility. He's going to need strength, as all smaller players do.
"He came to training camp two years ago and played a little with Providence, prior to signing. Andrew was disappointed this past season because the Halifax Mooseheads had a pretty good team and didn't get the job done in the Memorial Cup run. He's ready to move on and challenge himself to progress. He's looking forward to the AHL challenge this season and continuing on his path to the NHL."
I would love to throw my opinion in there but it would be all worlds of bitchy. May I just point out the following line re Bodnarchuk:
"Bodnarchuk had 16 goals and 57 points the next season and slipped to 10 goals and 43 points on a weaker team in 2007-08" . 2007 -2008 was last year right? - the year the Mooseheads were predicted to be the superpower team, the team that had everybody in the CHL and Jr hockey media saying "they will take it all".
They said this because we had 2 first round NHL draftees, 2 second round draftees (one of whom was released without contract at the June 1st deadline), 2 third round draftees, and a 5th rounder. That 'weaker' team with 7 NHL drafted players - was technically not a weaker team. It was a team composed of units that thought they were so special that "nobody can tell (them) anything but what (they) believe"; things such as how to play hockey like a team.
Wait...that was a bitchy rant! I couldn't help myself.