Urho Vaakanainen was billed as a smooth-skating, solid defenseman when the Bruins selected him in the middle of the first round in last month’s draft. That’s exactly what the 18-year-old D-man put on display at his first chance to participate in Bruins Development Camp earlier this month as one of the younger players taking his first paces with the B’s organization. Vaakanainen skated with ease and smoothness and didn’t have much in the way of panic when he was breaking the puck out of the zone during workouts. To be sure, it was clear that many of the tools are there for the Finnish prospect. Bruins assistant GM Scott Bradley had likened him to Hall of Famer Paul Coffey for his skating ability
–The Hockey News continues their “2020 Vision” series with the Boston Bruins. –It was five years ago this week that Shea Weber signed that huge offer sheet with the Philadelphia Flyers. If Nashville doesn’t match the offer, there’s probably no P.K. Subban in Smashville, maybe Peter Laviolette keeps his job in Philadelphia, and maybe the Flyers don’t miss the playoffs as often.
It has been three weeks since John Tavares became eligible to sign a contract extension with the Islanders, and yet he still remains without a long-term commitment to the team. The 26-year-old has one year left on his contract at a club-friendly $5.5 million salary-cap hit, and general manager Garth Snow likely knows it would be prudent to trade him sooner rather than later instead of letting him walk away next summer for nothing. It also has been considered not out of the realm of possibility that Tavares could play this year out with Snow listening to all the calls that come in. If no deal is made, then Snow will hold out hope to still re-sign Tavares before he can reach unrestricted free agency next July 1.