This season’s first intersection of Boston Bruins prospects will occur Saturday night at Compuware Sports Arena, where forward Cody Payne’s Plymouth Whalers will host goaltender Malcolm Subban’s Belleville Bulls.
With no training camp in the NHL for the rest of this month, contrary to the original schedule, the Bruins will indefinitely have five draft choices playing in the Ontario Hockey League. The two most noteworthy are Subban, this past summer’s first-round pick, and Dougie Hamilton, whose Niagara Ice Dogs host the Erie Otters as part of Thursday’s OHL opening night.
Rounding out the pool of rising Bruins are Anthony Camara of the Barrie Colts and Seth Griffith of the London Knights. Barrie visits the Kingston Frontenacs to commence its regular season on Friday while the Knights will hoist their Robertson Cup championship banner at the Labatt Centre before engaging the Otters.
Camara, who turned 19 two weeks ago, enters his fourth major-junior season and his first full year with the Colts. His cumulative 33-point output with Barrie and Saginaw in 2011-12 eclipsed his total production of 29 points from the previous two years.
Griffith, Camara’s fellow winger, will be heavily leaned upon as he returns after posting a team-best 45 goals and 85 points as part of London’s banner campaign.
At least one noteworthy change in Griffith’s supporting cast is the departure of fellow Bruins farmhand Jared Knight. Knight posted a point per game in each of the last two years with London, but is now raring to commence his first full professional season in Providence.
Hamilton, whose Ice Dogs were the Knights’ final victim in the OHL playoffs, is similarly expected to stay along the ceiling as long as he is still an amateur. The offensive defenseman placed second on last year’s Niagara squad only to Ryan Strome with an average of 1.44 points per night.
Payne, like Camara, is embarking on his first full season with a new club after the Oshawa Generals dealt him to the Whalers early last fall. With Payne carrying a 6-23-29 transcript over 110 career games, the best-case scenario in his third major-junior season will have him breaking out the same way Camara did in 2011-12.