WILMINGTON, Mass. -- After watching Boston College goaltender Parker Milner basically put his Eagles teammates on his back and lead them to a national championship this past April, the Bruins -- who already had five goalies coming to their 2012 development camp as they attempt to build depth between the pipes -- decided to add Milner to the mix and get a closer look at the unrestricted free agent who is garnering loads of interest as he prepares for his senior season at the Heights.
“Well, he’s won,” Sweeney said bluntly earlier in camp when asked what prompted the invite of Milner. “You can throw out all the statistics that you want, if your team doesn’t win, the chances are your goalie’s been a part of that.
“We’ve also had Tommy Cross at Boston College for four years and watched him develop and they’ve had a lot of success over there. I think their goaltending has been a big part of it, and watching Parker play, the bigger the game was, it seemed, the better he played. I think everybody likes that and it piques everybody’s interest.
"He’s local and he was around this summer. We felt like, even with a crowded camp in the goaltending position, we and he still felt strongly to have him come in and be a part of our group, which again speaks to his confidence and what he thinks of his own abilities, and I like that.”
Cross isn’t surprised the Bruins wanted to give the Pittsburgh native a closer look.
“He’s proved his worth this past season and he would be a great pickup for any NHL team,” said Cross, the Bruins’ second pick (35th overall) in 2007. “He was absolutely not human this past season, especially in the Hockey East playoffs and the NCAAs. We don’t even come close to winning the title without him.”
Milner was excited to get a look from the team he has learned more about playing in Boston the last three seasons.
“It’s great being here and I’m honored that the Bruins invited me,” Milner said. “Obviously I watch a lot of them here playing at BC and got to see the Cup run and the buzz that created. I grew up a Penguins fan, but over the years I’ve enjoyed watching the Bruins and obviously they had great goaltending with [Tuukka] Rask and [Tim] Thomas. If I got the chance to be a goalie here too that would be quite the honor.”
While Milner is getting plenty of attention from NHL teams after going 29-5-0 with a 1.66 GAA and .937 save percentage this past season, he is not resting on his laurels. He saw development camp as a chance to continue to prove himself to the Bruins and other NHL teams and aims to do the same in his senior season at BC.
“Whenever you’re in a position of free agency, you want to prove yourself to everyone and play your best,” Milner said. “So this was a good chance to do that and then I have to continue it with another year at BC.”