Boston Bruins: Touted Prospect Jared Knight Returning to Game Action Soon?

Al DanielCorrespondent IIDecember 18, 2012

UNIONDALE, NY - SEPTEMBER 12:  Jared Knight #50 of the Boston Bruins skates against the New York Islanders during a rookie game exhibition at Nassau Coliseum on September 12, 2011 in Uniondale, New York. The Bruins defeated the Islanders 8-5.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Joe Haggerty of hinted in a weekend notebook that Providence Bruins rookie forward Jared Knight is starting to make his way back into the lineup, where he has been missing for two months.

In the “injury update” section of his column, Haggerty wrote that “Knight is skating while recovering from a hamstring injury, but also might be out until after the Christmas break.”

Reading between those lines, odds are that Knight will sit out a pair of games this coming weekend before returning as early as next Thursday, Dec. 27, when the Baby Bs visit Portland. Although, it seems this weekend’s home date with the Worcester Sharks and visit to the Connecticut Whale have not been ruled out just yet.

Recent eight-game unbeaten streak and 10-3-1 tear since mid-November aside, the touted rookie’s return and impact would be nothing short of a welcome development for Bruce Cassidy’s pupils.

Entering this season, Knight and fellow fresh OHL graduate Ryan Spooner were supposed to be a dynamic duo of sorts in the Bruins farm system. They were to be the two topmost challengers for a spare roster spot in Boston when and if normal business resumes for a 2012-13 NHL campaign.

Knight, however, hit a pothole in early October and has not played since opening weekend, when he and the team went pointless. A nagging hamstring has barred him from the last 23 contests and kept him off the ice altogether until two weeks ago―that according to the Providence Journal’s Mark Divver.

While the absence of Knight, among others, has been easy to overlook of late, the P-Bruins could still stand to summon new faces in order to sustain enough of their recent hot streak.

Under the most ideal circumstances for the organization, Knight and Spooner would have been among those pushing the likes of Jordan Caron in Boston this season.

As it happens, Caron is combating a frightful bout of frostbite in the AHL, as are a handful of other P-Bruins forwards. The longer Caron, Craig Cunningham, Christian Hanson, Bobby Robins and Max Sauve stall, the more they will need an attention-getter for their own sakes and for the team’s.

The reemergence and revival of one of the franchise’s more touted offensive prospects could be the key to sparking those struggling skaters. In turn, Providence should expect better backup when their more reliable strikers are stymied the way they were in Sunday’s streak-stopping 4-0 loss to the St. John’s IceCaps.

Once Knight has enough of his old form to give, he will finally bring one particularly enticing asset in the form of a winning background. He capped his major junior career with an OHL playoff championship run with the London Knights and averaged precisely a point per game in 52 regular season appearances.

The P-Bruins have already been reaping rewards from an external offseason import, Chris Bourque, who is rich with winning experience at the AHL level. If Knight, an internal summer import, can step back in and start translating his OHL aptitude to the professional ranks, he will constitute another coat of mail in the Baby Bs’ push for a renaissance after three straight Calder Cup playoff no-shows.