John Beecher made a triumphant return from injury on Friday with a goal and a helper as Michigan Wolverines easily handled Michigan State Spartans 7-2. Beecher looked in mid-season form in his first game and the adrenaline was pumping. He had 4 shots on goal and was 8 for 10 on the dot. In Saturday’s rematch, the game was much closer as the Wolverines took it again, this time by a 3-2 score. While I don’t have TOI stats, it appeared Beecher played less than he did in his return. He finished with a minus-2 with no shots on goal. On a positive note, he was one of two Wolverines (five in total) to finish on the plus side on the dot at 5-3.
But enough about Beecher. Today, I want to talk about Trevor Kuntar, the Bruins third round pick in 2020 – 89th overall. The Bruins selected Kuntar after a 2019-2020 season in which he put up 53 points in 44 games with Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL.
During the COVID year of 2020-2021, Kuntar began his NCAA career with a respectable 6 goals and 4 assists in 23 games – pretty good as a freshman for Boston College.
This summer, Kuntar attending the Bruins development camp and by most accounts from those I respect very much, had an excellent showing with the other Bruins prospects. Some went as far as to say they were surprised.
Taking on an expanded role for Boston College this season, Kuntar is off to a decent start with 3 goals and 4 helpers in 10 games. But it’s not always about the goals and assists. Kuntar is getting valuable time on both the powerplay and penalty kill with the latter being key to a player’s overall development.
Kuntar has shown that he can think the game at a high level. He has some good quickness but more importantly, he can handle the puck with relative ease when in full flight. He’s not shy about trying to beat defenders to the outside and then take the back to the inside and drive for the net. He can play a gritty game or a skilled game and make the adjustment when necessary. He racked up penalty minutes throughout his time in the USHL and even had 33 PIMS with Boston College last season.
Defensively Kuntar shows a willingness to work hard coming back to his own zone to defend. He’s always aware of his responsibilities and usually in the right spot. He can be seen directing traffic as well. I’ve been told he is always willing to learn, is very coachable and is not afraid to ask questions. Those are very good qualities in a young player wanting to take the next step.
His skill set is intriguing and has shown flashes of top-6 potential but will probably be a pretty good middle sixer which is why I have him fourth among prospects for chances on making the Boston Bruins.
If you are a fan of the Bruins or a prospect junkie, I suggest keeping a close eye on Kuntar if you have access to the games. You won’t be disappointed.
Providence Bruins Player Stats
Providence Bruins Goalie Stats
Maine Mariners Stats
It is a quiet week for European Leagues as there are 2 tournaments happening from November 11 through November 14: Karjala Cup and the Deutschland Cup. The two are part of the European Hockey Tour to allow nations to prepare for the Olympics and/or the World Championships.
Coming up this week:
|GASSEAU||Vs SUX||Vs SUX|
|LANGENBRUNNER||Vs SUX||Vs SUX|
|KUNTAR||Vs CT||Vs MA-L|
|LOHREI||Vs MIN||Vs MIN|
|BECKER||Vs QUI||Vs QUI|
|SCHMALTZ||Vs MIA||Vs MIA|
|DURAN||Vs AMR||Vs CT|
|OLSON||Vs COL||Vs COL|
|MCFAUL||Vs HAR||Vs DAR|
|GALLAGHER||Vs MAS||Vs MAS|
|HARRISON||Vs KGN||Vs NIA||Vs OTT|
|MAST||Vs WSR||Vs SAG|
|LYSELL||Vs PG||Vs PG||Vs KAM||Vs KAM|
AROUND THE GLOBE
Oskar Jellvik missed Thursday’s game versus Mora IK and is still riding an 11-game points streak with 8 goals and 7 assists.
Philip Svedeback remains unbeaten in regulation with a 5-0-2 record and a 2.55 goals-against-average (eighth in the USHL) and .910 save percentage (eleventh in the USHL). His 423 minutes ranks ninth in the league. He has been a wall in the crease for the Dubuque Fighting Saints and has given his team a chance to win each time he has manned the net.
Brett Harrison extended his point streak to 5 games on Friday. Made a couple of ill-advised decisions defensively, but the offense is where it should be. On Sunday, he extended it to 6 games with a goal. He was back playing in the middle and looked much, much better in his all-around game. He now has 6 goals and 4 assists during his 6-game point streak.
Ryan Mast had his 2-game goal streak come to an end on Friday and despite a bad giveaway on the game winning goal displayed some impressive tools. Bounced back in the rematch on Saturday with 2 helpers. But Sunday he would once again pointless versus the Erie Otters. Mast now has 2 goals and 3 assists in his last 7 games.
Mason Langenbrunner ended a 7-game pointless streak with 2 assists on Saturday and played his best game of the season.
I must sound like a broken record but, Roman Bychkov played his first game since October 19 (1:47 TOI) and just his third game since October 1. He registered his first point of the season – an assist – with 9:55 TOI. It ended a 10-game pointless draught.
Dustyn McFaul of the Clarkson Golden Knights is pointless in 9 games. He’s still getting top pair time in a shut down role.