By Grace Mello / USPHL.com
“It’s exactly how we want it,” head coach Mike Anderson says, as he talks about the 2022-2023 Boston Junior Bruins roster.
The Junior Bruins, who were Dineen Cup finalists last year, will have a core group of returners this season that possess a lot of potential for NCAA Division I and pro scouts to be on the lookout for.
These returners include Easton Ryan (’03) and Aaron Catron (’02) who will be the team’s captains, as well as Shane Baker (’04) who will be an assistant.
Anderson tells us that he is excited for them to lead the team this season.
“They lead by example. Great work ethic in practice and games. They know our identity and the way we want to play,” added Anderson.
Another key player for the Junior Bruins this year will be Julian Brown, an ’06 defensemen. Anderson compares him to the ’04 Jackson Dorrington (Northeastern University) who played for the Bruins a few years back – and who was an NHL Draft Pick this season by the Vancouver Canucks.
Anderson shares that this year’s training camp might just be the most competitive they’ve ever had.
“This will be a tough team to make,” he added.
There will be a lot of first-year guys with some junior experience that might be able to step up and surprise the coaches with what they have to offer.
“We go into every year just focused on getting the best balance of veteran players that we can help commit to college and lead our team and young high-end players that have high ceilings and can really benefit from playing junior hockey,” added Anderson.
The Junior Bruins work to consistently create a team that mimics the “tradition” and culture aspects of the organization as a whole. Players moving up through the organization have helped the Bruins to keep the consistency and tradition alive.
“We project to have as many as six to seven players from our 16U, 18U and Premier teams last year that will make our final NCDC roster,” said Anderson. “We develop them at those levels and prepare them for success at this level and ultimately committing to college programs.”
As all teams prepare for the season, Anderson tells us about the competition last year and how this year won’t be much different.
“Every game was a grind. These teams are prepared, well-coached,” said Anderson. “There’s not a lot of separation.”
The Bruins start the season next Thursday, Sept. 22, facing the Boston Advantage. Last season, the Bruins put together a very strong postseason, and are hopeful to find their way to the postseason again this year.
“Our guys can’t just show up and win just because,” he said. “If we want to have success, we need to work together as a group.”