The Boston Bruins have added another rookie to their ranks today, calling up Matt Grzelcyk from Providence. The 22-year old defenseman will join the team in Pittsburgh for tonight’s game, the first of a back-to-back. The team has placed Matt Beleskey on injured reserve to make room, after the winger was given a six-week diagnosis for his right knee injury.
Grzelcyk (pronounced Grizz-lick) was the Bruins third-round pick in 2012 but decided to attend Boston University for four seasons where he flourished as a smooth skating powerplay quarterback. At almost a point-per-game pace in his university years, he joined the Providence team this season and has fit right in. 12 points in 25 games has earned him a callup. It’s not clear where he’ll fit in on the back end as the Bruins were already carrying seven defensemen.
If he gets into a game, it’ll be another entry in the under-six-foot club this season for the NHL. As the game goes further away from bruising physical play, speed and puck skills have come to the forefront. While Grzelcyk is by no means tiny, his smaller frame would have been looked over in decades past. Now, we’ll see if his skating ability will let him transition to the NHL level well enough to stick around for a while. The Bruins have already turned a similarly sized Torey Krug into one of the best young defensemen in the league.