Torey Krug, 20, signed with the Bruins as a free agent March 25 after completing his junior season at Michigan State University.
“Right now I’m just trying to get my feet wet and get a little bit of experience,” Krug said. “At the same time, I hope I can push the guys in practice and do whatever I can do to help the team win.”
The Livonia, Mich., native served as team captain for the Spartans the past two seasons. The defenseman posted 12 goals and 22 assists for 34 points in 38 games this season, while being named the CCHA player of the year. He is also a Hobey Baker award finalist.
Now he’s a member of the defending Stanley Cup champions.
“I’ve watched these guys on TV and it can be intimidating walking into this locker room, but this group of guys have been very welcoming,” Krug said.
During the brief skate Tuesday morning, Krug was working with Bruins captain Zdeno Chara.
“He was one of the first guys I talked to when I got here, and he was very welcoming,” Krug said. “We were trying to work on the X’s and O’s and get a feeling for each other out there, so it was good to be on the ice.”
Krug is generously listed at 5-foot-9. Seeing him next to the 6-9 Chara is amusing.
“I’m looking up pretty high,” Krug said with a laugh. “I don’t know if they built these lockers for him but I can barely reach my helmet up top. It’s pretty funny, but I’m looking forward to learning a lot from him.”
Bruins coach Claude Julien wanted the rookie to experience everything that goes into a normal game day for the Bruins. Krug arrived at the Garden early and had a “really good chat” with the coach before attending team meetings.
“He’s a really good individual,” Julien said. “You can tell right away. The rest of his pedigree, I guess, explains a lot. He was the team captain, and he produced and played at the collegiate ranks.”
Krug is eligible to play for the remainder of the regular season (seven games) but since he signed after the trade deadline, he’s not available for the playoffs.
During the morning skate, it was evident Krug possesses quick hands and a strong shot.
“I’ve heard a lot of good things about this player,” Julien said. “I haven’t had a chance to see him play but we can get a pretty good idea by watching him in practice. [On Wednesday] he’ll have a chance to get in a full practice with us, and we’ll see where we go from there. I’m certainly not going to tell you right now that he’s not going to play. We may give him an opportunity. It depends on how everything goes, but the one thing that he gets a chance to do is experience the level of competition in the NHL.”
Bruins veteran blueliner Dennis Seidenberg was also working with Krug on Tuesday morning.
“Right now is a tough time to come in, and he knows it,” Seidenberg said. “Everyone is trying to get ready and focused [on the playoffs] but it’s a good experience for him and maybe he’ll get a game, so it’ll be good for him."
When asked whether he thought he was ready to play in the NHL, Krug said: “Yeah.”