Jeff LoVecchio, LW
August 26, 1985
Signed by Boston as a free agent; March, 2008
Signing status: Signed through 2011
Physical: Nice size and strength to go with a real fast set of wheels. Has a long, powerful stride and can accelerate quickly. Very good lateral/crossover mobility and ability to shake and bake in the open ice to elude defenders. Hands and shot are average; he doesn't have the stickhandling or finishing skills to complement his terrific speed. A very good checker/grinder whose feet never stop moving. Plays a solid defensive game and brings the kind of energy that you need from a bottom-line guy. Plays abrasively enough in the physical department, but is not what you would call "hard-nosed" or "tough" in that he doesn't drop the gloves (other than his one preseason donnybrook with Sergei Kostsitsyn last September) and may be averse to such things after suffering such a severe concussion two years ago. Works hard in the weight room and is a capable physical specimen even with the lack of pure skill.
Intangibles: Hard worker and leader who was captain at Western Michigan U. and wore an 'A' for Providence last year even though it was really only his rookie season after missing all of 08-09 with a concussion. Doesn't have the vision or hockey sense to be much more than a fourth-liner at the highest level if he gets there. His heart, desire and coachability are what will keep him in the mix for an NHL job, however, even with his drawbacks. He's a good guy who earns the trust and respect of coaches and teammates with a great attitude.
Boston Bruins 2010 Development Camp assessment
Did not attend.
It's fourth line or bust for LoVecchio, who has always been an extremely popular player wherever he's gone because he plays with such intensity and enthusiasm. That said, he's very limited in terms of his scoring ability/upside, so you're looking at another Nate Thompson-kind of guy in that LoVecchio will probably make his NHL debut sometime soon, but isn't going to play many minutes or generate much offense.
The Final Word
The size and speed are NHL-worthy, but the hands and offensive hockey sense are what will likely prevent LoVecchio from being the kind of player who enjoys a sustained run at an NHL career. Again, he's a popular guy because he hustles his tail off and always looks like he's doing something. But, at the end of the day, he's not much of a threat to put the puck in the net, so he'd have to do a great deal more than he basically brings to the table to beat out the guys ahead of him on the depth chart. Players like LoVecchio you don't want to count out completely however because they find ways to get it done. The offensive upside just isn't there, but he's going to push for time in Boston this season even if in a limited/fill-in role.