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Jakub Zboril hopes to make things difficult for Bruins management

September 7, 2018, 10:56 AM ET [5 Comments]
Anthony Travalgia
Boston Bruins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
When the Bruins veterans report to training camp next week, they will do so with eight NHL ready defensemen in the mix. 21-year old Jakub Zboril hopes to make it nine.

The Bruins selected Zboril with the 13th overall pick In the 2015 NHL entry draft. The native of the Czech Republic knows the Bruins blue line is very crowded with eight guys who played in the NHL last season.

Despite the logjam on defense, Zboril is not giving up on his hopes of starting the season in Boston.

“I don’t feel like it’s impossible,” Zboril said. “I know it’s going to be a lot of work and I feel like I can put in that work. When I saw Jake [DeBrusk] playing in Providence, his first year pro, then all of a sudden he just jumped to this NHL guy. Now I see him going in, and as a pro he was up here, then in the NHL, he was much higher. It’s real nice to see and I would say I want to do the same thing.”

After three seasons with the Saint John Sea Dogs of the QMJHL, Zboril completed his first professional season with the Providence Bruins last year. Zboril appeared in 68 games with four goals, 15 assists and finished the year a plus-12.

Leaving junior hockey and making the jump to the professional level often brings some learning curves with it. Last year for Zboril, the change in physicality was one of the biggest differences.

“I thought it would be like, you go in the corner, throw a hit, knock off a guy and take the puck and skate away,” said Zboril. “But I realized when I turned pro, it’s not really possible anymore for me. Even though I’d throw a hit, the guys are stronger now so he’d stand up and skate away. Now I just do what I can being light on my skates and being more positional.”

It's hard to see Zboril pushing for a spot on the opening night roster, but it's encouraging to see his name enter the conversation. It's also nice to see the confidence that Zboril has in his game.

Zboril's head coach in Providence Jay Leach saw exactly what Zboril brought to the table on a nightly basis and knows what he needs to do in order to make it to the NHL.

“He just needs to feel comfortable and confident,” said Leach. “He has a lot to his game that will translate. He can skate, he’s hard when he wants to be. He can shoot, he has a good shot, and he’s smart. I think it was really good for him to grow and season a year in Providence. I can see in the way that he talks to people now, he's got more of a presence, he's a man."

With a season of professional hockey under his belt, Zboril took the lessons learned a season ago and worked to better his game. Coming into camp 12 pounds less than he did last year, Zboril has gotten off to a good start in bettering his game.

“Last year I didn’t really need to be the heavy guy because I was so young. I didn’t really need to throw bigger hits or anything, I just need to be the guy in shape and move the puck," said Zboril. "I need to be stronger still, but I still need to be more of a skater. This year, I came in 12 pounds lighter than last year and it’s been good for me.”

Zboril will quickly have the opportunity to show his worth as he will skate in the Prospects Challenge in Buffalo this weekend. The Bruins rookies are scheduled for games against the rookies of the Penguins, the Sabres and the Devils.
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