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Torey Krug Could Be a Perfect Fit for Bruins: Fan’s Take
Not long ago, Torey Krug told a gathering of Boston reporters following his first practice as a member of the Boston Bruins, he was sitting in Lansing, Michigan, studying for a test. Just days later, in what he described as a whirlwind, he was in Boston, skating alongside Stanley Cup champions. It was probably a big change for the Michigan State University defenseman and team captain, but he sounds ready to take on the challenge. Better yet, the Bruins and their fans have welcomed him into the fold.
Krug, a 20-year-old college junior, signed an entry-level contract with the Bruins on March 25 after a season studded with achievements. He had been elected captain by his teammates for the second straight year. He'd set career-best high-water marks in goals (12), assists (22) and points total (34). He had been named a candidate for the Hobey Baker Award, given to the top college hockey player, and also took the CCHA Player of the Year title. He led all blueliners in his conference in terms of scoring, was named the Best Offensive Defenseman for the second straight year and his point totals were good for the conference's scoring title, though he is sharing it with T.J. Tynan of Notre Dame.
So, his on-ice resume looks pretty good. But he's just as good off the ice, too. His Michigan State player profile, which has been updated to include his signing, extols his 4.02 high school grade point average, his father's status as his biggest hockey influence, his mother's sacrifices to get him where he is today and his brothers' heroics for shaping him into the man he is now. He also admires the way Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings plays the game.
Guess who else is a big fan of Datsyuk's style? Krug's new captain, Zdeno Chara. When drafting his teammates at the 2012 All-Star Game, Chara picked Datsyuk first and explained that it was because he loves how Datsyuk plays.
Krug told the reporters that he tries to model his play after a lot of different defensemen in the NHL. He named Chara, Nicklas Lidstrom and John-Michael Liles of the Toronto Maple Leafs (who also went to Michigan State and is a minority owner of the Indiana Ice, the USHL team Krug played for). In his first practice as a Bruin, he was actually paired up with Chara, creating a comical side-by-side photo because Chara is 6'9" and Krug is 5'9".
The way Krug talked about how he studies the game makes it sound like he's putting his book smarts (a 4.02 GPA!) to good use on the ice. That kind of dedication is something that I think the Bruins value. Plus, he probably did some studying before choosing to come to Boston. Yes, he was able to freely select which team he wanted—he was never picked in an NHL draft.
"I want to be part of a winning organization and that's what the Boston Bruins have here," he told reporters.
He said he feels ready to play in the NHL, but he has to wait his turn. His contract prohibits him from playing in the upcoming playoffs, plus his signing means the Bruins now have nine defensemen, so he may have to wait a while before seeing game-time action. He's okay with that.
"Right now I'm just trying to get my feet wet, get a little experience. At the same time, I hope I can push the guys in practice and do whatever I can do to help the team win," he said to the reporters.
He also needed a new number when he made his way to Massachusetts because 44, his college number, is in use by Dennis Seidenberg. So, he picked 47, which until recently was used by Steven Kampfer—a University of Michigan alum and fellow Michigander. Krug was aware of this, but had a different reason for going 47:
"I'd like to think a little bit of Bobby Orr and Ray Bourque," he told the reporters, smiling. Orr, of course, was number 4 for the Bruins and Bourque wore 7 and then 77 in black and gold.
Looks like Krug really has done his research. He'll be a good fit as a Bruin.
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