The Bruins are soon to trim down their roster, with first cuts coming as early as Sunday. Here’s one reporter’s view of who will make the opening night roster, who is battling for a spot, and who is unlikely to stay with the varsity once Providence opens camp Monday. Educated opinion and observations are my own, unless noted:



Brad Marchand, LW

Patrice Bergeron, C

David Pastrnak, RW

David Krejci, C

Jake DeBrusk, LW

Charlie Coyle, C

Danton Heinen, LW/RW

Sean Kuraly, C

Chris Wagner, RW

Joakim Nordstrom, LW

Chances looking good

■  Karson Kuhlman, RW: In the playoffs, hard-charging winger looked like a capable fit on Krejci’s right. Started camp there. Not eager to give up spot. Hungry forechecker who can beat NHL goalies with his shot.


■  Brett Ritchie, RW: Big winger could fit somewhere in the bottom nine. Adds physicality for team that lost reliable plugger Noel Acciari. Is he quick enough to be a full-timer for this team?

■  Par Lindholm, C/LW: Second-year NHLer hoping to recapture some of offensive touch he showed in Swedish league. Steady as a fourth-line center and penalty-killer. Quality depth piece.

Should get a longer look

■  Anders Bjork, LW/RW: Third-year winger hit several marks in comeback from two shoulder surgeries. Not shy when it gets rough. Has made a few plays. Great wheels. Backchecking in OT on Saturday at Chicago, he caught Patrick Kane on a breakaway and foiled his shot attempt. But on the Hawks’ winning goal, he got lost and left Connor Murphy open for a clean shot that led to Kane’s tap-in.

■  David Backes, RW: Giving it all he’s got, but mobility is an issue. Still smart and strong, and highly respected. But he’s often behind the play. Tough decision ahead.

■  Paul Carey, RW: Very good AHLer who can play in an NHL top six in stretches. Average speed, but good at making subtle, short-area plays.


■  Peter Cehlárik, LW: Will he get a real run with Krejci this preseason? Inconsistent showings thus far: scored a goal and was noticeable in Philadelphia; team-low 11:19 and zero shots in Chicago.

■  Zach Senyshyn, RW: Held back by an injury, so yet to use his top-six-caliber wheels to great effect.

■  Oskar Steen, RW/C: Likely headed to Providence, but B’s intrigued. Could be a call-up to play with Krejci. In Cassidy’s words: sees the ice well, shoots well, skates well, can make NHL-level plays. Still adjusting to NHL-sized rinks.

■  Jack Studnicka, C: Long odds to unseat Bergeron, Krejci or Coyle, and Bruins don’t want to deploy skilled prospect as a No. 4 center. Cassidy also nixed the possibility the 20-year-old could play his first year as an NHL right wing, a la Bergeron in 2003-04. “Great hockey instincts, great will,” Cassidy said, “but he hasn’t grown into his body yet, strength-wise. It is what it is. We like how he’s playing.”

■  Trent Frederic, C: Pushing Kuraly and Lindholm for No. 4 center role, but again: uphill climb. Inconsistent motor, but puck possession and offensive game is solid. Could break in as a wing, should need arise.

Soon headed to Providence

■  Jakub Lauko, LW: One of fastest skaters in the organization. Rest of game needs to catch up.

■  Pavel Shen, C: Hasn’t shown much in first three preseason games.

■  Anton Blidh, LW: B’s familiar with agitator’s game. Suffered upper-body injury at Philadelphia.

■  Ryan Fitzgerald, RW: On the outside looking in, but showed well at Chicago (penalty shot goal). Will be third-year player in Providence.


■  Brendan Gaunce, C/LW: “I think he does everything OK,” Cassidy said of the former Vancouver Canuck. Pace at the NHL level is a concern, but positionally sound.

■  Samuel Asselin, LW: Undersized winger in need of AHL seasoning.

■  Cameron Hughes, LW: Has not played after face was cut by a skate in Buffalo rookie tournament.

■  Róbert Lantosi, RW: Point-per-game player in Slovakia adjusting to North American game.

■  Joona Koppanen: Lanky (6-5, 192) third-year pro has not stood out.



Zdeno Chara, LD

Torey Krug, LD

Charlie McAvoy, RD

Brandon Carlo, RD

Matt Grzelcyk, LD

*Kevan Miller, RD

*John Moore, LD

*injured to start the year

Chances looking good

■  Connor Clifton, RD: Miller’s injury makes it all the more likely “Cliffy Hockey” makes the team.

■  Steven Kampfer, RD. Versatile veteran comfortable with role as depth D.

Should get a longer look

■  Urho Vaakanainen, LD: Smooth skater, intelligent defender, heady passer, minute-muncher. B’s have a good one.

■  Jeremy Lauzon, LD: Puck skills lacking, but physical and hard-edged as a defender.

■  Jakub Zboril, LD: Third in line among left-shot prospects. Has offensive tools but hasn’t flashed yet.

■  Alex Petrovic, RD: Deserves an NHL contract. Not sure he’ll get it here.

Soon headed to Providence

■  Cooper Zech, LD: Small, offensively gifted and a habitual disruptor of plays at his own blue line. Doubt him at your own peril.

■  Axel Andersson, RD: Needs to bake in Providence, but a bright future. Hurt in New Jersey game. Must get stronger.

■  Josiah Didier, RD: A few nice plays in the Philly game. Will be solid player for P-B’s.


■  Chris Breen, LD: Decent mobility for big man (6-7).

■  Wiley Sherman, LD: Hard shot when he catches it. Also huge (6-6).



Tuukka Rask

Jaroslav Halak

Should get a longer look

■  Kyle Keyser: Sometimes too athletic for his own good, but a dynamic prospect. Has looked sharp in nearly three full periods of preseason action (37 of 38 shots). Only goal allowed came in OT Saturday, on an unlucky bounce. Exploded into Connor Murphy one-timer from the high slot, but puck ricocheted off Patrick Kane for an easy tap-in. Cassidy remains impressed with Keyser, who is making a case to start for Providence. “He battles,” Cassidy said, noting his work against ‘A’ squads at New Jersey and Chicago. “This was a pretty good lineup. The shots he seemed to face in the third were power play, overtime, top-end skill. He looks like he’s going to be a good one.”

Soon headed to Providence

■  Maxime Lagacé: Showed well against tough preseason lineups in Philly and Chicago. Rebound control an issue.

■  Dan Vladar: Big and athletic but hasn’t looked totally comfortable this camp. Clear third among B’s prospects.

Matt Porter can be reached at matthew.porter@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mattyports