3rd Line Center

With Savard out for the foreseeable future, it raises the question what to do with the third line center opening. With the lose of Savard, Krejci and Bergeron get pumped up a line with Greg Campbell remaining as the fourth line center. The Bruins have multiple options, mainly due to versatility and the emergence of good, young talent. The options are Blake Wheeler, Tyler Seguin, Joe Colborne, Zach Hamill, and Ryan Spooner.

1. Blake Wheeler. Wheeler played center during his college days but has yet to see any time there in the NHL. Wheeler has the size and the speed to be an NHL center, but does he have the smarts? Wheeler is 24 years old but still hasn’t learned what offsides is. However, moving Wheeler to center opens up the possibility for Jordan Caron to make the team as a winger.

2. Tyler Seguin. Seguin is a natural center and will be a center in the NHL for years to come. Playing center in the NHL is physically demanding and requires a lot more skating than playing wing. For a player trying to learn the league without any AHL experience, a transition to wing may be the best place for an 18 year old.

3. Joe Colborne. Colborne has 2 years of college experience as well as a brief stint in Providence last season. However, his time at center has been limited because he has played mostly right wing the past two years. Colborne has impressed the coaches this camp, but it remains to be seen if he can handle himself at center after not playing the position much recently.

4. Zach Hamill. Being the 8th overall pick in the 2007 entry draft, big things are expected from Hamill. His development has been slower than the Bruins have hoped for. Hamill has played three seasons as a center in the AHL, giving him the most experience on this list. The only question is, will his size be an issue?

5. Ryan Spooner. Spooner has looked unbelievable in the preseason and in the rookie game so far. Spooner was a second round pick and has been praised by Julien for his smarts and ability to play a two-way game. Spooner is undersized at only 172 pounds and it makes you wonder if he can handle the wear and tear in the NHL so soon.

Choosing a third line center will be a difficult task for the coaching staff, especially with so many options. Jordan Caron is said (by Fluto, Haggs, Kirk, etc.) to have had the best camp of the young guys, meaning his strong play may force them to move Wheeler or Seguin to center in order for Caron to make the team as a winger.

UPDATE 1:35 PM : According to Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com, Ryan Spooner and Jamie Arniel have been released from camp. Spooner will return to his junior team and Arniel will report to Providence. Tonight’s game may determine who makes the team, whether it be Hamill or Caron, which would have a major impact on where Seguin and Wheeler line up to start the season.

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24 Responses to 3rd Line Center

  1. Bruins says:

    I don’t think there’s any arguing that Spooner has been the best prospect in camp. However, keeping him up may complicate things as he can’t be sent to the A when Savard is back. I’m still going with him though. He’s money.

  2. #4 says:

    I voted Wheeler I could rescind that but I kind of like the idea of mixing things up.. Its not like the B’s were an elite offense last season so maybes switchin it up on a bit could provide a spark.

    Lucic-Krejci-Horton
    Recchi-Bergy-Seguin
    Caron-Wheels-Ryder
    Paille-Camp-Thorny

    Chia allready denied the use of a trade to fill in savards spot so the offense will be some combo of those guys there.

  3. bruins4eva says:

    why not give hamill a try he has the most experience in the AHL…putting guys like wheels and spooner on his wing might work…i say give the guy a chance….the only reason krejchi got a chance was cuz bergy got hurt lets see what hes got

  4. Richardo says:

    I like Wheeler at center as well… Two new sparks on the wings will be good in my mind…

    My only issue is the fact that Wheeler doesnt do well when not on a line with Krejci…

    • #4 says:

      I guess the other major alternative to the lineup I proposed would be

      Lucic-Bergeron-Horton
      Wheels-Krejci-Seguin
      Recchi-Hamill-Ryder
      Paille-Camp-Thorny

      But then you leave out Caron I guess you could scratch thornton and play caron and hamil but I cant see julie doing that.

  5. Bruins says:

    Wheeler is under 43% for career faceoffs, although not in a very big sample size. Nobody has questions about his hockey sense to play the position? If you put him on a line with Ryder and Caron who is going to be the one to set things up?

  6. Dolo says:

    Anyone know if the game will be on tv tonight? Or at least online?

  7. Bruins says:

    Spooner sent back down to Juniors today. That sucks. He’ll dominate there though.

    Down to Caron, Colborne and Hamill for that last spot.

  8. Birdman2403 says:

    Why isn’t Thomas playing any games ?? Did I miss something ?? Is he hurt ??

  9. Bruins4life13 says:

    no thomas just sucks so they dont want to lose every game 8-2 so they decided to let rask play

  10. Andy says:

    Although I haven’t been able to listen or watch any of the games (live in Minny, only get XM, who only plays FUCKING LEAFS games right now), it sounds like Caron has been on fire (similar to Wheeler a couple years ago).

    I don’t see any reason not to put Seguin in his natural position. I know Hamill has been criticized for not having a lot of size and haven’t heard much about Colborne (except for the nose). Assuming Caron makes it, here’s my lineup :

    Lucic-Krecji-Horton
    Recchi-Bergeron-Caron*
    Wheeler-Seguin-Ryder*
    Paille-Campbell-Thornton

    *I’m just thinking that Wheeler & Ryder worked well w/ Krecji a couple years ago and I don’t think they got the chemistry going last yr w/ Krecji playing hurt. Maybe if you slide Seguin into Krecji’s spot, they can develop that chemistry again…

    Plus I think Recchi and Bergeron work really well together..

  11. Andy says:

    Isn’t TT still recovering from surgery in the offseason? I read a while back that he was hoping to start the season, but maybe he’s still hurt?

  12. WARD says:

    wow campbell looks awful.

  13. Kurt says:

    I was hoping Spooner would make the club. It certainly is a testament to who is scouting and making the calls now. I thought this years rookie camp had the most talent I have seen from bruins prospects ever. I thought Knight looked good in camp as well.

  14. Bruins says:

    Not a bad showing tonight considering the rosters both teams used.

  15. Mook says:

    Stephen Harris reports a source said contract talks between Bruins management and the agents for Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara continue to go well, to the point where new deals could be announced before their season opener in Prague.

    ps: you guys gotta give-up on all this hamill talk. not gonna happen.

  16. willisss says:

    bbtv to stream the game, sign up as a cyber member

    http://bbru.in/9g7OVJ will be the direct link

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