Throughout Bruins Development Camp, NEHJ's Kirk Luedeke and Jesse Connolly will be profiling the participants. Today, they're looking at Matt Grzelcyk. The Charlestown native, who's headed to Boston University in the fall, is in his first camp with the club after being selected at the 2012 NHL Draft last weekend.
Matt Grzelcyk, D, U.S. NTDP (USHL)
5-9, 170 Jan. 5, 1994 in Charlestown, Massachusetts
GP 56 G 2 A 20 PTS 22 PIM 10
Drafted: 3rd round, 85th overall, in 2012
Strengths: Excellent skater. Has superb first few steps and explodes from a standstill or glide in just a few, effortless strides. Has top gear and the lateral, four-way agility that is ideal for position. Changes direction quickly and able to prevent opponents from attacking his net with speed. Very good passer and puck-mover with a deft touch on the puck. Advances the biscuit confidently and has the stick skills to elude checkers and lug it out of the defensive zone on his own. Has superb offensive and defensive hockey sense; sees the ice beautifully and inherently understands when to attack and when to stay home. Very good in puck retrieval; will take a hit to make the play. Plays with tremendous passion and desire. Grew up in the shadow of the Boston Garden and FleetCenter/TD Garden dreaming of being a Boston Bruin, so he will exert the utmost effort to be a player even with the physical limitations. A respected and popular teammate.
Weaknesses: Size. When going to Ann Arbor from Belmont Hill two years ago, Grzelcyk weighed about 150 pounds, so he's added about 20 pounds of muscle since then. He will need to keep working with famous strength and conditioning coach Mike Boyle to continue to get as strong as he can, but but will never be someone who can physically match up with the top power forwards in pro hockey.
Projection: Third-pairing two-way character defender and special teamer. "Grizzy" plays a similar style to Andrew Ference, though is not as rugged a player because he did not come out of the WHL the way the veteran Ference did. BU will get an immediate impact from Grzelcyk and he appears destined to wear the 'C' for Jack Parker at some point. This player is living his dream, and brings everything to the table for Boston except size. That said, the argument coming out of the draft that Grzelcyk was drafted several rounds too early, so the pressure is on him to justify the B's faith in him.
On how he’s feeling through two days of camp…
I’m just really happy to be here. It’s nice to see what you have to work on.
On taking to the ice wearing the Bruins’ Spoked-B…
It was pretty indescribable. You always dream of putting the black and gold on. Now that I’ve finally had the chance to do it, I couldn’t be happier.
On if he went to Bruins’ practices at Ristuccia Arena growing up…
Yeah I always came to development camps here as a kid. I got to see a few of the BC and BU guys, so it’s nice to see that some of the schools are still represented here.
On how he feels he’s stacked up so far…
I’m pretty surprised. I don’t feel too out of place. I have some things to work on, and I have to put on a lot of weight. They’re all great guys and I think I’ve fit in pretty well.
On how he plans to add size during the summer…
I work out at Mike Boyle’s, and I’ll actually be over at BU this fall. I’m just trying to get in the weight room as much as I can.