This piece is an editorial by Bruins Broadcaster TJ Chillot.
Hi everyone, I hope you’re enjoying the post holiday downtime and getting set for a brand new year right around the corner. With the 2019 calendar year down to it’s final day, I wanted to take a moment to reset the Bruins roster and keep you, the fans, clued in to all the movement that’s taken place with the Bruins as of late. With all the recent additions and departures coming around the holidays, plus the added commitments, it’s hard for me to keep it all straight at times. Here are some of the recent transactions, plus a little bit about each player, all so you can go into 2020 with a solid understanding of the state of the Bruins.
Let’s start off with the departures.
TRADE: Adam Szubert, D, to Kenai River Brown Bears
Adam Szubert was traded last week just before the Bruins took off for Cloquet. The second-year Bruin is off to Kenai River (NAHL) where he will continue his junior career. In exchange for the defenseman, the Bruins received considerations from Kenai River in lieu of a player. In his 74 games in a Bruins sweater, Szubert logged 10 total points and and was a career +2.
COLLEGE DEPARTURE: Ben Almquist, F, to University of Minnesota Duluth (NCAA DI)
Ben Alqmuist started the season as a commit to the University of Wisconsin. After decommiting in late October, the Victoria, MN, native had his best month in Bruins sweater in November, earning the NAHL Central Division Player of the Month Award with thirteen total points and a league-high nine goals. As a collegiate “free agent”, so-to-speak, Almquist drew the attention of many big-name DI schools including UMD. Over the Holiday Break, not only did Almquist commit to UMD, but the two-time defending National Champions wanted him so badly that they signed him to suit up immediately for the second half of their season. At the time of his departure, Almquist led the Bruins in scoring and after playing in 51 total games, the forward amassed 50 points for the black-and-gold.
TIER 3 DEPARTURE: Andrew Maynard, F, to New Jersey 87’s (EHL)
After just two games with this Bruins this past weekend, Andrew Maynard has opted to return to the EHL and continue play for the New Jersey 87’s. Maynard logged his first NAHL point in his very first game, an assist.
SEASON ENDING IR: Oskar Stahl, F
After suffering an upper-body injury back in September, Oskar Stahl returned to the ice in late November after missing more than a month. Unfortunately for the Swedish-born forward, Oskar reaggravated his upper-body injury forcing him to get season-ending surgery. For Stahl, it’s a sad way to end his final year of junior hockey eligibility but he was a crucial part of both the Bruins and Grizzlies organizations for the past two seasons.
And now, some of recent additions to the Bruins.
RETURN FROM USHL: Chase Pilawski, D
Bruins fans from a couple years ago certainly remember Chase Pilawski. A native Floridian, Pilawski played 40 games for the Bruins during the 2017-18 NAHL season. Following his strong performance that season, he returned to the USHL where he played all of last year with Green Bay and opened this season with Lincoln. After the holiday break, Pilawski landed back in Austin and brings even more experience to the Bruins blueline which already has veterans Jed Pietila, Jaden Shields, and Josef Mysak. Pilawski made his 2019-20 Bruins debut on Friday, December 27 in the Bruins 3-2 shootout loss over the Wilderness. The following night he did not play due to illness but figures to be a key cog in the Bruins back-end.
PLAYER ADD: Connor Crawford, F, Little Caesars U18
The Bruins brought in some youth to their forward group by adding 17-year-old Connor Crawford from Little Caesars U18. Crawford is not a tender but instead a straight addition to the Bruins roster. He will see his first action with the Bruins once the calendar flips over to 2020.
In addition, while it’s not an added or subtracted player, I felt this was worth mentioning again.
COLLEGE COMMITMENT: Josef Mysak, D, to Niagara University (NCAA DI)
He’s one of the longest tenured Bruins of all-time and the longest tenured Bruin on the current roster, so it’ll be hard to say goodbye to Josef when the time comes, but Mysak will be yet another former Austin Bruin playing in Division-I hockey. Mysak committed to Niagara University and will begin play for the Purple Eagles in 2020-21.
That’s the current state of the Bruins roster, which by the way you can always checkout by visiting the NAHL.com website. With the trade deadline coming in early 2020, the roster may go through a couple more shifts as Head Coach/GM Steve Howard looks to put the best team on the ice that he can. In addition, you might see a few other new names playing for the Bruins over the next couple months, guys who have been tendered by the Bruins and are getting in their first few games in the NAHL before they join the team full-time next season, or like in the case of Andrew Maynard, guys from Tier-3 hockey who are getting the chance to show off their skills. We know that better than anyone else with such a successful Tier-3 affiliate team right down the road in the form of the Rochester Grizzlies.
2020 is right around the corner and the Bruins have a playoff spot to secure and Robertson Cup to chase!