Bruins Training Camp: Reilly Smith’s Absence An Opportunity For Seth Griffith – NESN.com
WILMINGTON, Mass. — Becoming an NHL player is all about seizing opportunities.
With Reilly Smith unsigned as a restricted free agent and absent from the first three days of training camp, forward prospect Seth Griffith has been given the chance to prove himself alongside the Boston Bruins’ veterans.
Griffith skated in Smith’s right wing spot alongside Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand during Friday’s practice drills at Ristuccia Arena — the first skate of camp.
“He’s a good player. Very smart with the puck, very skilled,” Marchand said of Griffith. “We didn’t get a lot of drills together out there, but you can tell he’s a talented player.”
Griffith netted 20 goals in 69 games for the Providence Bruins last season, tying him for the third-most on the team with Matt Fraser. He also added 30 assists to total 50 points, which ranked second behind Alexander Khokhlachev’s 57.
Bruins head coach Claude Julien stressed that the line combinations at Friday’s skate might not remain intact throughout camp and/or into the preseason, but he liked the development Griffith made in 2013-14.
“He’s a right winger, and he’s a guy who can score, so we put him on the right side,” Julien said after Friday’s sessions. “You also like to put players in positions where they can succeed. He’s definitely a guy last year in the little bit I saw of him he’s got good hockey sense, he’s got a great shot, he’s a good little player. I think last year’s progression for him was enough to make us feel confident that someday he can play with us. It’s going to be up to him to show us how good he can be.”
At 5-foot-11 and about 185 pounds, Griffith doesn’t have ideal NHL size, but he battles hard for puck possession …read more