The Boston Bruins sent a bunch of players to AHL camp Wednesday, and now just five cuts remain.
The team announced that they sent the following players down to the Providence Bruins, none of which are surprises:
Forwards: Samuel Asselin, Matt Filipe, Jesper Froden, Curtis Hall, Cam Hughes, Joona Koppanen, Jakub Lauko, Zach Senyshyn, Oskar Steen
Defensemen: Jack Ahcan, Tyler Lewington, Brady Lyle, Nick Wolff
Goalies: Kyle Keyser
Senyshyn had been waived earlier in the week but cleared. Hughes, Koppenen and Lewington also required waivers, but cleared Wednesday. As part of the flurry of transactions, Steven Fogarty also was put on waivers, so his status will be known Thursday.
That leaves Boston with 28 players on the roster, and it has to get down to 23 for the start of the regular season. The problem the Bruins could run into is how few waivers exempt players there are.
Jack Studnicka, Urho Vaakanainen and Jeremy Swayman are the only waivers-exempt players left on the roster. Vaakanainen was likely to go to the AHL anyways, but Studnicka has had a really good camp. He might end up getting sent down to no fault of his own, but simply because he doesn’t require waivers while other players do. It’s a decision the team will think long and hard about.
Players on the roster bubble who require waivers include John Moore, Jakub Zboril, Anton Blidh, Chris Wagner, Karson Kuhlman and Troy Grosenick. If the Bruins were to send down Vaakanainen and Studnicka, they would still have to expose three of the above players to waivers. If either prospect makes the roster, the Bruins have to add expose an additional player to waivers.
Grosenick is a near-certainty to go down to Providence since the Bruins have Swayman and Linus Ullmark.
What seems most likely is Studnicka and Vaakaninen go down, as well as Grosenick, Blidh and Kuhlman, with the latter three having to pass through waivers. That enables the Bruins to keep Wagner, Moore and Zboril in the NHL.
Time will tell, and as you might suspect, a lot is fluid at the moment. Nevertheless, the group of 23 is beginning to take shape.
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