Boston Bruins: Weekend Preview for Their College, Junior Prospects

Al DanielCorrespondent IINovember 21, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 22: Malcolm Subban, 24th overall pick by the Boston Bruins, poses during Round One of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft at Consol Energy Center on June 22, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Boston Bruins’ two most recent first-round draft choices will cross paths in Niagara, Ont. this Friday when Dougie Hamilton’s Ice Dogs host Malcolm Subban and the Belleville Bulls.

Hamilton continues to lead all OHL defensemen with 23 assists and 29 points on the year. Subban ranks fourth among netminders in the way of goals-against average (2.29) and third with a .928 save percentage.

The Bulls, who will first drop in on the Erie Otters on Thursday, enter this week’s action in a virtual tie for first place in the East Division. The Ice Dogs boast the better record, though they trail Barrie and Mississauga in the ultra-competitive Central Division.

Niagara will stay home Saturday for a divisional bout with Sudbury, then wrap up its weekend in Oshawa on Sunday. Meanwhile, Anthony Camara and the Barrie Colts will seek to keep a few strides ahead of them in the standings and extend their three-game winning streak amidst their Wednesday night visit to Owen Sound and their home dates with Brampton and Sault Ste. Marie.

No OHL club, however, is hotter than Seth Griffith’s London Knights. They will try to extend an eight-game winning streak over a three-in-three itinerary that has them visiting Sarnia on Thursday, hosting Peterborough Friday and venturing to Owen Sound on Saturday.

Both Camara and Griffith―who are tied with three others for fourth on the league’s goal-getting leaderboard―will face one of their stingier adversaries in the Owen Sound Attack. The Attack’s go-to goaltender, Jordan Binnington, is one of the few boasting better numbers than Subban.

Cody Payne has a smaller slate, and likely simpler aspirations, as he tries to snap out of a cold spell over a brief homestand. The Plymouth Whalers host their border rivals from Windsor on Wednesday, followed by the Kingston Frontenacs on Saturday.

Only five of the Bruins’ NCAA-based prospects―four of whom are with nationally-ranked programs―are in action over the U.S. Thanksgiving weekend, as is Matt Benning of the USHL’s Dubuque Fighting Saints. Like the Whalers, the Saints are home for a pair, welcoming Muskegon Wednesday and Lincoln Saturday.

In the Bruins' neighborhood, Matt Grzelcyk’s No. 10-ranked BU Terriers are also home for one non-conference clash with St. Lawrence on Saturday.

Brian Ferlin will partake in his program’s Thanksgiving tradition when the Cornell Big Red play at Madison Square Garden on Saturday. Cornell will conduct a rematch of last year’s NCAA first-round overtime bout with Michigan.

Rob O’Gara’s Yale Bulldogs and Zane Gothberg’s North Dakota team are both out of state for a two-night business engagement. Yale visits No. 2-ranked Denver Friday and Colorado College Saturday while North Dakota is in a battle of top 10 UNDs with Notre Dame providing the hospitality.

Among those still learning to run, Ben Sexton and Clarkson look to build on their first win of the 2012-13 campaign with a single nonconference clash at the Rochester Institute of Technology on Friday.