Boston Bruins Prospect Report: Jared Knight
(October 21, 2011 — Source: Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
By Benjamin Woodward (@_BWoodward)
Player: Jared Knight
2011-’12 Team: London Knights (OHL)
Drafted: Second Round (32nd Overall), 2010
Vitals: 5’11”, 200 lbs., Age 20
Hometown: Battle Creek, Michigan
Camp Observations: Lost amongst the crazy hoopla surrounding former top-ten draft picks Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton, Jared Knight has been the least-publicized piece to come to Boston as part of the infamous Phil Kessel trade back in September of 2009. The Battle Creek, Michigan native appeared in his third consecutive rookie development camp this summer after completing a successful four-year career with the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights. Now, analysis of a rookie camp must obviously be taken with a grain of salt, as NHL success isn’t determined in scrimmages against a group of unproven youngsters. However, Jared Knight was without a doubt one of the handful of skaters that appeared to be ready for the professional game.
Future: Back in the spring of 2011, Knight was assigned to the Boston Bruins’ American Hockey League affiliate in Providence, Rhode Island after his junior team was eliminated in the first round of the OHL playoffs. This was of course during the B’s run to their first Stanley Cup championship in 39 years, and making room on the roster for a 19-year-old rookie wouldn’t have been an easy task. However, Knight believes that if called upon, he’d of been ready for the NHL two seasons ago.
“I played in Providence two years ago and I felt that I could have played (in the NHL) then. I felt I was strong enough, big enough and could really compete. Whatever chance I’m given this year, I’ll make the best of it.” – Jared Knight
Despite his desire to skate at the highest level, Knight happily accepted the chance to play with the P-Bruins for the final two weeks of their schedule. The hard-working rookie certainly made the most of his opportunity, picking up two assists in three games while learning some invaluable tricks of the trade from a few of the Providence vets.
“Just how consistent you have to be day in and day out. In junior you can maybe take a game off or two, but in the pros you can’t do that. You have to be on your game every single night. You have to be working out, recovering the right way and eating the right things. That all comes with growing up and becoming a pro.” – Jared Knight
This past season, Knight did not make a late-season cameo appearance in Providence as his junior club was still competing in the Canadian Hockey League playoffs. Unfortunately for the blue-chip prospect from southwest Michigan, his London Knights squad would fall 2-1 in overtime to the Shawinigan Cataractes (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League) in the final game of the Memorial Cup. If there is anything positive to come out of such a heartbreaking setback, it is the experience a player gains through enduring the hardships of defeat.
“It (his team’s lengthy playoff run) was really important. It sucked that we lost in OT, which was not how I envisioned the whole series panning out. But you learn from it and it will make me a stronger player in the end.” – Jared Knight
Potential: Despite his small stature — standing at just five-feet, eleven inches — Knight was one of, if not the most, powerful forwards on the ice at Boston’s sixth annual rookie camp in Wilmington, Massachusetts. Throughout his junior career, one of Knight’s greatest strengths was his ability to use that power to impose his will on opponents both in the corners and in front of the net. Perhaps the biggest challenge Knight will face in his transition to the NHL will be the extraordinary difference in the size and strength of opposing players. Being as intelligent and talented as Knight seems to be, I would expect him to quickly adjust to these differences.
“I’m just a guy who goes hard to the net. A guy who can shoot the puck from anywhere and has a good shot. A guy who’s not afraid to throw the body around and is willing to go to the dirty areas. A guy whose willing to give it his all.” – Jared Knight
His playing style reminds me a lot of Dallas Stars’ captain Brenden Morrow, in the sense that he doesn’t have the size of a true power forward, but isn’t afraid to throw the body around. He’s a player who will make a name for himself through net-front battles, physicality and an insanely high compete level. If he can stay healthy, Jared Knight has every tool necessary to one day become a 30-goal scorer and legitimate top-six forward at the NHL level.
Please check out the rest of my Boston Bruins prospect reports, published earlier this summer.
D Dougie Hamilton
D Tommy Cross
F Ryan Spooner
D Torey Krug