Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
The only sure thing about the third line is Chris Kelly centering it. Daniel Paille saw some action on it during last year's Stanley Cup Final, but will most likely be sticking with his usual guys on the fourth unit. The wingers who will be joining Kelly are still up in the air, but they will most likely be either Carl Soderberg, Matt Fraser, Jordan Caron or Reilly Smith.
With Kelly being the only established player on the unit, the other two wingers—whomever they may be, will no doubt be trying to prove they belong in the NHL. As a result, they will be eager to make a name for themselves and will give more than 100 percent. This is not to say that veterans don't try their hardest and give it all they have—they obviously do. But there's no denying that the new youngsters will be battling for roster spots and will be looking to make it hard for the coaching staff to send them down to the minors make them healthy scratches.
They're going to give it their all. And without any experience, that might be all they have.
Weaknesses—Inexperience, lack of chemistry
The eagerness and effort are a plus of young. The downside is a lack of experience. The wingers have never been a regular on an NHL team yet, with the exception of Reilly Smith, who played the majority of last year with the Stars. But even that was a lockout-shortened season. How will these players acclimate to the demands of an 82-game schedule?
Soderberg is 27, but has only played in six regular season NHL games. Jordan Caron has only played in 88 games over three seasons. Matt Fraser has skated in 13 and the aforementioned Smith has played in 40. These guys, like a 16-year-old who just got a driver's license, are young and inexperienced. Can they take dad's car out for a spin without crashing it?
Besides the fact they lack NHL experience, this will be their first time playing on a line together. It will be an extremely difficult task to develop a rapport with their linemates in time for the season, especially when the line hasn't been finalized yet. There will be growing pains along the way, and Bruins fans should be prepared to deal with the issues that come with it.