Friday, August 6, 2010

Boston Bruins Prospects Series: #33 Zach Trotman

Zach Trotman, D
6-4, 200
August 26, 1990
Shoots: Right
Boston's 8th choice, 210 overall (seventh round) in 2010 Draft
Signing status: Unsigned

Talent Analysis

Physical: Big frame but lean with much more room to add muscle mass and strength (he'll probably play in the 220s when he reaches his physical maturity). Good mobility; above average straight line speed and lateral agility and crossovers. Moves well in all directions and has pretty good footwork for a big man but is still growing into his body and could stand to improve balance and strength on his skates. Solid passer who can make the first pass but hasn't translated his ability into production at the junior and NCAA level. Average shot; the point slap shot is not particularly powerful, but he does a good job of mixing up the shot variety and can get the puck on net effectively from the blue line. Defense and positional play is a work in progess. Shows a willingness to play a physical game and uses his size effectively along the boards and in front of the net. A good solid shutdown 'D' prospect based on his one year in the NCAA with Lake Superior State, but could spend the next three years in school before he's ready for the pro ranks.

Intangibles: Quiet, but confident player who has a good grasp of his strengths and shortcomings. Needs work in his decision making, and will get that with increased playing time and experience with the Lakers. Offensive hockey sense tough to gauge; has the physical tools to provide more of an offensive contribution, but has not done much to date. Is a long-term project who appears to have the physical and mental chops to develop into a pro prospect eventually.

Boston Bruins 2010 Development Camp assessment
Trotman is not very dynamic, but showed some flashes of being an interesting option on the blue line in time (a long time, that is). He played a mostly conservative, safe, simple game, but also demonstrated an ability to get the puck in on net from the point with a quick wrist/snap shot. It looks like his confidence was steadily improving over the course of the week, although he did miss the final Saturday on-ice session for what was an undisclosed injury.

Projection
Bottom-pairing shutdown defender does have some modest upside, but is extremely raw and has a tough row to hoe in order to someday win an NHL job. As the very last draft pick in the 2010 class, the B's surrendered their seventh-round pick to Chicago next year to get Trotman, so it was about the value the team saw in the Novi, Michigan resident. Time will tell whether he continues to develop the offensive side of things which will determine if he has an NHL future. Trotman is a bit of a late-bloomer who actually grew up in Indiana and didn't play high-level hockey until he moved to Michigan as a teenager.

Quotable
"I'm looking to improve on my overall game. I've got to get faster at making decisions on the ice and I'm working on doing more offensively. I'm looking forward to this season and trying to become more of a two-way player and hopefully getting more points."- Zach Trotman to B2010DW, Wilmington, Mass.; July 6-10, 2010

"It's been a good time; I've enjoyed getting to know all of the players here and the coaches and learning about the Bruins' system and how they do things. I'm just trying to learn what I can and take it back to school with me."- Zach Trotman, Wilmington, Mass.; July 6-10, 2010

The Final Word
Like most of the prospects after 20 on Boston's prospect depth chart, he's a longshot to become a regular NHL contributor. That said, he has the size and mobility to eventually make a run. He's going to need a lot of time and patience, but with three more years of school and another few more likely in the minors, Trotman is a low-risk, moderate-reward kind of player. While he's not the high-level prospect you might find from some internet sources out there who were touting him as a second-round pick, this defenseman did not look at all out of place in Wilmington and could make some noise down the road. He has the tools and the attitude to make himself into something in time.

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