WILMINGTON, Mass. -- As the Bruins' two-day development camp was wrapping up, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said he tries to take everything with a grain of salt as he is watching his prospects.
Many of the players are coming off extremely busy hockey seasons that include not only full schedules for their current teams -- whether that be juniors, college or European leagues -- but also for their national and/or select teams. Additionally, a good portion of the development camp prospects won't even play for the Bruins in the preseason rookie tournament or in training camp.
"At this point, I try to stay away from evaluation," Chiarelli said. "It’s tempting. It registers as you watch enough of the sessions. In general when they’re in training camp you want to get everyone on the same playing field at some point when you’re evaluating and that may not happen until halfway through the year or a quarter of the way.
"They come from different places. Our rookie team for our rookie tournament, you’re not going to see half these guys there just because there’s college kids and European kids. You’d like to have them all under the same roof for a while before you start your evaluation, and sometimes you don't get that."
One thing Chiarelli did pay close attention to at development camp was the play of his European prospects, whom he doesn't get to see as much as his scouting staff does.
"It’s been a while since we’ve had that many European players in one draft, so I think I was watching them a little more closely just for that reason and I was happy with what I saw," Chiarelli said. "[Peter Cehlarik] -- he’s going to be a good player. He’s got to get a little stronger, but good release, good hands, knows where to go. [Linus Arnesson is a] tremendous skater, really good gap all the time, wants to defend, good size. And then [Anton Blidh], he’s got some intangibles that you are going to see in the lower-line players. I like his grit."
Chiarelli also praised his North American and local prospects.
"The older guys that have been around a little bit I thought were good," Chiarelli said, taking note of prospect Anthony Camara along with Brian Ferlin, Seth Griffith and Rob O'Gara. "[O'Gara is] getting stronger and more confident. He’s improving, sees the ice well, good range. So those are some of the guys that stood out.
"In fact, I thought the (Boston) area kids were good, including Robbie [O’Gara]. I thought [Ryan Fitzgerald] was good. I thought he played well today. [Matt Grzelcyk], all these guys, Wiley Sherman. He’s a project, but he’s big, rangy and he’s a real terrific athlete. So we’ve got him for a few years."