Cehlarik Shows His Hand
BostonBruins.com - For Peter Cehlarik, being selected by the Boston Bruins in the 2013 NHL Draft was an experience he will never forget.
The left winger was the Bruin’s second pick in the draft this past June, going in the third round, 90th overall. He was back home in Slovakia, waiting round after round for his name to be called.
“I remember watching the draft, and I was just waiting for them to call out my name. When I heard, it was just an amazing feeling to get drafted for a team like the Bruins," said Cehlarik, who recently flew over to join the B's for their seventh annual Development Camp.
"I got a lot of calls from friends, and it feels great.”
The Zilina, Slovakia native, whose father taught him how to play the game at a young age, hasn't been to the United States except to play hockey, and the week for camp with Boston was no different.
Previously, he had played international tournaments in the U.S. with the Slovakian Under-17 and Under-18 national teams. The smaller rink size is a difference, but Cehlarik also enjoyed another slight difference from overseas.
“The fans here are a big difference,” Cehlarik said with a smile, on having the Boston fans packing the rink every day during Development Camp. “It’s great to see them up there.”
Cehlarik, labeled by Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli, as "hands and a little bit of Handzus," not only enjoyed camp - he used it to showcase his soft hands and vision to the B's staff.
The 17-year-old, who will celebrate his 18th birthday next month on August 2, is now the youngest prospect in the B's system. He has plenty of time to develop.
During the 2012-13 season with Lulea in Sweden, the forward had a trajectory that saw him start out with their U18 team, before being moved up to the U20 team (where he put up 17 goals and 20 assists for 37 points n 38 games), and then the men's team to finish out the season in the Swedish Elite League (now known as the Swedish Hockey League).
As an 18-year-old this season, it should benefit him to be playing in the men's league, against faster, stronger opponents.
The 6’2”, 192-pound forward says it's tough to name just one player whose style he emulates, but he relates his game closely to LA King’s forward Anze Kopitar - and Bruins' Head European Scout Jukka Holtari would agree.
“I try to play also good defense like Kopitar, but try to be strong on the puck. I work on those things and play my game," said Cehlarik.
Now moving forward, Cehlarik is taking everything in to try and improve, knowing that being a part of the Bruins organization is one step closer to where he wants to be.
“It means a lot. It’s a great feeling. I see the fans, I see everybody here. It’s professional. Just great conditions here," he said of the organization.
“I try to watch what all the guys do on the ice and try to learn from them."
“Just go step by step and try to learn how to be a Bruin. Learn from everything.”
---Written by Kayleigh Hodgdon
Caryn Switaj contributed to this report