December 6, 2023


“He simply belongs.”

Matt Poitras is not going wherever up within the NHL ranks. (Photograph by Maddie Meyer/Getty Photos)

Matt Poitras is sticking round in Boston.

Talking on Tuesday morning, Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery introduced that the 19-year-old ahead is staying up with the NHL roster for the rest of the 2023-24 season.

“I believe his play — he earned it, proper? I believe we’re snug with him,” Montgomery mentioned of Poitras. “There’s nonetheless no ensures right here the remainder of the 12 months. However we really feel that the way in which he’s progressed — that in the meanwhile, he’s going to be a Bruin and he’s serving to us win hockey video games. That’s a very powerful factor, proper? He’s nonetheless 19, so we’re going to be cautious.”

Halloween was set to be judgment day for Poitras, who exceeded all expectations this fall after breaking camp with the NHL roster.

Boston had the chance to play him in 9 regular-season video games earlier than deciding to both preserve him within the NHL full-time (and burn the primary 12 months of his entry-level contract) or return him to his junior crew within the OHL’s Guelph Storm.

The 2022 second-round choose shortly entrenched himself as a key cog in Boston’s ahead corps — scoring three targets and posting 5 whole factors over his nine-game trial run.

After opening the brand new marketing campaign in a bottom-six position, Poitras has been slotted all around the Bruins’ revamped ahead corps, skating between David Pastrnak and Pavel Zacha throughout Monday’s OT win over the Panthers.

“I don’t know if there’s really been developments or strides,” Montgomery mentioned of Poitras’s development since Boston’s season opener on Oct. 11. “He’s performed quicker. He’s continued to get higher at each ends of the ice. However [what’s], I believe, interesting to us is each time the place you begin to suppose nicely, this is likely to be an excessive amount of — whether or not it was exhibition season or these 9 video games, he simply at all times finds a solution to be like, ‘He belongs, huh?’ He simply belongs.”

Poitras’s playmaking capabilities and willingness to hold the puck into Grade-A ice have led to common entries on the scoresheet.

However the rookie pivot has earned reward from his coach and teammates for his puck-protection habits, elusiveness and talent to trudge via the added physicality discovered within the NHL ranks. 

“I believe that’s the primary cause why he’s gonna play a tenth sport is due to that,” Montgomery mentioned of the grit and can that Poitras has displayed. “We see the hockey IQ, we see the talent, we see the imaginative and prescient.

“However when you don’t full, don’t have pure second and third effort, particularly at a younger age, it’s onerous to remain on this league and that’s been the standard that has been the very best quality as to why we predict he’s earned this.”

With Poitras in place, the Bruins now have the flexibility to fit a ahead in Charlie Coyle additional down the lineup to anchor their third-line grouping. Such a lineup building performs to Boston’s strengths up entrance, giving Boston a hefty bottom-six grouping able to handing daunting matchups, particularly if Trent Frederic is stapled to Coyle’s proper.

However for that lineup reshuffle to stay intact, Poitras might want to proceed to ship at a important juncture on Boston’s ahead corps.

To date, the teenager has achieved little to forged doubt about his means to thrive in such a spot.

“He’s positively made the most effective case doable for himself,” Brad Marchand mentioned after Poitras’s ninth sport with Boston on Monday. “He’s a heck of a participant. He’s gonna have a really lengthy profession. He does all the best issues on and off the ice to be a great professional and it’s very spectacular to see at his age. And he’s a terrific child. He’s numerous enjoyable to have round. At all times comfortable.

“I imply, how are you going to not be? Nineteen, you’re within the NHL. However he’s a lot enjoyable to observe with how poised he’s with the puck and the arrogance that he has, at his age and the way in which you possibly can form of see the sport already — his future may be very brilliant. So we’re very fortunate to have him within the group and he’s positively made a terrific case.”