Top Bruins prospects Jack Studnicka, Kyle Keyser joining AHL Providence
TAMPA — The Bruins, enjoying a day off in the sunshine on Monday prior to taking on the Lightning here Tuesday, will have their reserve corps bolstered this week when top junior prospects Jack Studnicka (center) and Kyle Keyser (goalie) begin their pro careers with AHL Providence.
Studnicka and Keyser, both of whom signed entry-level contracts with the Bruins last fall, wrapped up their junior season with OHL Oshawa over the weekend when the Generals — once home to Bobby Orr — were eliminated by Niagara in the opening around of the playoffs.
Studnicka, the Generals’ captain, led the club in scoring and finished with career highs in goals (22), assists (50), and points (72). The 6-foot-1-inch, 175-pound pivot was Boston’s second pick, No. 53 overall, in last June’s amateur entry draft in Chicago.
Keyser, who grew up in Florida, went undrafted. But he participated in Boston’s rookie camp in September, earned himself an entry-level contract, and was the Generals’ No. 1 goaltender this season with a 28-13-0 record and .904 save percentage. He went 1-4-0 with an .882 save percentage in the postseason.
Smart and poised with the puck, similar in style to Patrice Bergeron, the 19-year-old Studnicka is a righthanded shot and projects as a No. 1 or No. 2 center who could meld with some of the top-end rookies the Bruins have added up front this year, particularly Jake DeBrusk and Ryan Donato. He was among Boston’s top performers in the round-robin rookie camp in Buffalo this past September, a tournament that included Sabres and Devils prospects.
Studnicka’s father, Todd, played four years at forward for the Maine Black Bears, and for two of those years was a teammate of Bob Beers, the ex-Bruins blue liner who is now the part of the 98.5 Sports Hub radio crew, partnering with Judd Sirott for Bruins broadcasts.
Providence has seven games remaining in the regular season and its next home game is Friday at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
Studnicka and Keyser, because they are only 19, would not be eligible to play in the AHL next season. They would be eligible to make the varsity roster, but otherwise would be obligated to return to Oshawa.