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
August is nearing, and the Pittsburgh Penguins haven’t made a trade or signing to replace Nick Bonino, their outstanding (but former) third-line center. On the bright side, the Penguins have remarkable breathing room considering their status as repeat Stanley Cup champions. “I do feel confident that, by the start of the season, we’re going to have a third-line center that we’re comfortable with,” Rutherford said.
The St. Louis Blues signed defenseman Colton Parayko to a $27.5 million, five-year contract just before the sides were set to go to arbitration on Thursday. Only sharpshooting winger Vladimir Tarasenko is signed longer as the Blues have captain Alex Pietrangelo, Jay Bouwmeester and Parayko locked up as their top three on defense. "Colton coming on the scene the last couple of years gives us a real good right side now obviously with Alex and Colton for a number of years moving forward," general manager Doug Armstrong said. Armstrong said if Parayko had gone to arbitration, the contract would have been for two years and the Blues could have worked something out in 2019 before he hit unrestricted free agency.