The NEFHL Bruins are poorly represented at the WJHC with their lone representative, Joe Veleno, having been eliminated from medal contention after a come-from-behind win by the Finns over Canada in the quarterfinals. As far as we’re concerned, Veleno wasn’t used to his potential. In his limited play, he accumulated 2 assists in the 5 contests he played in and was a +3. So, in spite of that, the Bruins are looking ahead to the NEFHL All-Star festivities, scheduled to take place on January 26th 2019 at a secret location.
The NEFHL All-Star game, unlike the NHL, rewards the top point-per-game scorers in the league. Although it is still a flawed process, it is much more understandable to have a top 10 scorer participate in the game, whose team already has multiple representatives, as opposed to a top 50 player who is only there because he’s the lone representative for his team. I think most people would agree. Would it suck to host the game in a city that has no representatives? Sure, but the NHL underestimates that fans from across North America, and some overseas, make the trek to the game. It’ll sell out anyways.
Now, down to business.
In 2018, the Bruins sent both Brayden Schenn and Corey Crawford to Carolina for the big game, while Josh Anderson was their representative for the Young Stars festivities.
This year, David Perron is currently the only Bruin who would crack the All-Star team lineup, having registered 43 points in his 41 games played. He has played consistently well throughout the season and should continue to produce on the team’s top line. Henrik Zetterberg is the next Bruin in line, however there is no shortage of depth up the middle in the NEFHL so his chances of sliding into the league’s top 4 are slim.
The Bruins are poised to be well represented for the Young Stars game, however, having 4 players currently slotted in: Kasperi Kapanen, Brandon Carlo, Matt Grzelcyk and Madison Bowey.
Kapanen, 22, has been a victim of the waiver game. He has accumulated 11 points in the 16 games he has played this season and although he has played well, he is poised to make a greater impact next season. Carlo, also 22, has been a surprise for the Bruins. He is second on the team with a +13 rating and has netted 6 goals to go along with 7 assists. Grzelcyk, 24, has a goal and 12 assists on the year. Both Grzelcyk and Carlo were acquired together from the New York Rangers this past off-season. Bowey, 23, was part of a package that saw Craig Anderson go to the Buffalo Sabres. In his 10 games with Boston, the young defender is a +1. He has put up 10 points in 32 games overall.
Although their place in the standings are not favorable, the Bruins are nonetheless looking forward to All-Star weekend!
But not the NHL one.