Full of Beanpotters
Beanpot rivals find themselves on the same side at Development Camp
BostonBruins.com -- With the Bruins sixth annual Development Camp wrapped up, the prospects take their skills and experiences and begin to gear up for seasons with their respective clubs.
But a few camp attendees won’t have to take their talents too far from the B’s home base on Causeway.
In the Fall, 2012 third-round draft pick and Charlestown native Matt Grzelcyk will be a freshman at Boston University, joining the Terriers’ alternate captain, camp invite Justin Courtnall.
A quick trip down Commonwealth Avenue leads to defenseman Tommy Cross’ former mainstay, Boston College, where invite Parker Milner currently minds the Eagles’ net.
“I really couldn’t be happier to go over to Comm Ave.,” said Grzelcyk, on his commitment to BU.
“I was a big fan growing up, so it’s pretty much a dream come true as well.”
Grzelcyk and Courtnall may not have known each other too well prior to camp, but playing in the Black & Gold for a week certainly helped breed their camaraderie before playing together soon in BU’s Scarlet and White.
“He’s a great guy, we’ve had some fun, I’ve gotten to know him quite a bit here at camp,” said Courtnall. “I’m looking forward to having him on the team.”
Heading into his senior season, Courtnall has helped BU advance to the NCAA tournament and plans to take the Terriers to the Frozen Four, but the forward also has his mind set on some championships closer to home – including Boston’s famed Beanpot, held annually every year at TD Garden between Boston University, Boston College, Harvard and Northeastern.
“I’d really like to start winning some championships, both in Hockey East and going further into the Frozen Four and even a Beanpot,” said the Terrier.
But the other Beanpotters at the B’s Development Camp might have something to say about that. Though Courtnall and Grzelcyk won’t be facing former BC Eagle Tommy Cross this season, they will see camp invite Parker Milner between the pipes.
“We’ve had some fun with it,” said Courtnall, referring to the rivalry with Cross.
"You know, obviously there’s that rivalry there but [Tommy’s] not going to be there next year, so we’re able to have a little bit of a friendly conversation and kind of put it past us a little bit, but definitely still there.”
While the rivalry remains, neither side denies the prestige of having the opportunity to play each other on a Frozen Fenway, or vie for a Beanpot title on the Bruins’ home ice.
“Those are unbelievable,” Cross said of the experiences. “I was very lucky at Boston College to be able to play on those big stages. The Beanpot treated us pretty well, so the Garden was nice to us. Then Frozen Fenway – I won one and I lost one. They were both great stages to play on.”
Cross’ former teammate Milner agreed that the Beanpot and Frozen Fenway stages were “incredible. - something else, for sure, and I want to build on that with camp and into next year at BC.”
But even if the four prospects are on opposing ends of Comm. Ave., they know that someday, they could be suiting up for the same team on Causeway.
“You know, Tommy Cross and Parker Milner are both great guys,” said Grzelcyk, when asked if he had started to rival the Eagles at camp.
“Might have the chance to be future teammates, so they’ve kind of showed me the ropes, with be being a younger guy, so they’re great.”
Whether playing in Black & Gold, or in their schools’ respective colors, Bruins fans will have the opportunity to see firsthand how the Beanpot prospects develop – and who gets the locker room bragging rights.