The Boston Bruins don’t play again until tomorrow night, but that hasn’t stopped them from using an emergency recall on two AHL forwards this morning. The team announced that forwards Noel Acciari and Sean Kuraly have been called up from the Providence Bruins. The pair arrived in Boston earlier today in time for practice and are expected to join the team in Toronto for tomorrow’s game.
Though it is unclear why, both Patrice Bergeron and Drew Stafford did not participate in practice this morning, in addition to Tim Schaller, who remains out, so the team was forced to take steps to fill the gaps that those top nine forwards would leave if they cannot play against the Maple Leafs. The Bruins already have rookies Peter Cehlarik and Austin Czarnik on the roster, though inactive for the past few games, but these call-ups provide coach Bruce Cassidy with options should he have to replace Bergeron and Stafford for an important division matc-up with playoff implications on Monday night.
Acciari, 25, was a regular in the Bruins lineup earlier this season after breaking in to the NHL in 2015-16, but an injury kept him sidelined in Boston and led to a demotion to the P-Bruins for recovery purposes, only he was never recalled after healing. The former Providence College star and Johnston native may feel right at home in Rhode Island, but his strong two-way play and hockey sense suggest that he should be playing a checking line role in Boston next year. So far the points have been few and far between in the NHL, where he had one assist in 19 games last year and two assists in 19 games this year. However, his AHL scoring pace has increased this season and he continues to be one of the more dependable defensive forwards in the minors.
Kuraly has not had the same opportunity to show his skill set in Boston, as he has played in just five NHL games in this, his first pro season, and has yet to record a point in limited minutes. However, Kuraly may have some more upside and versatility than Acciari. The former Miami University captain and a fifth-round pick of the San Jose Sharks in 2011, Kuraly too is a defense-first two-way forward, but also contributes on the offensive side of the ice. Kurlay has 13 goals and 11 assists in 50 games with Providence in 2016-17 and has played a major role for the talented AHL team.