First Liners: Krug Dreams Big, Plays Bigger

By: 
Nick Salen

Torey Krug always dreamed of playing college hockey in Boston. While that dream never came true, wearing the Spoked B on the front of his Bruins jersey is the next best thing.

Krug exploded on the scene during the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs when he scored four goals in five games, the first rookie defenseman in league history to do so.

He followed that up with a 40-point campaign last season when his name was mentioned in the same sentence as “Calder Memorial Trophy,” as a strong candidate for Rookie of the Year honors.

Position: Defense

Shoots: Left

Height: 5- foot-9

Birth Date: April 12, 1991

Hometown: Livonia, Mich.

Junior Hockey: Indiana Ice (USHL)

College Hockey: Michigan State University

USA Hockey History: Participated in five USA Hockey National Championships and
won the 12 & Under Tier I title in 2003 with Honeybaked and the 16 & Under Tier I title in 2007 with Belle Tire. Earned an invitation to the 2004 USA Hockey Select 14 Player Development Camp and the 2008 Select 17 Camp.

Regardless of how the future plays out, the 23-year-old defenseman is a shining product of the U.S. hockey system, something he takes great pride in.

After suiting up for homegrown youth hockey organizations Honey Baked and Belle Tire, the Livonia, Mich., native moved up to the Indiana Ice of the United States Hockey League where he was named to the All-Rookie Team and helped the Ice win the Clark Cup during the 2008-09 season.

“That was the journey of a lifetime, the way you go through the ups and downs of a season,” Krug recalled. “I was able to develop under Jeff Blashill and really become the player I am today.”

It was always his intention to go to college and repay his parents for their years of sacrifice by earning a scholarship. Growing up a ‘Sparty’ fan, Michigan State seemed to be the perfect fit for him, especially with his desire to stay close to home.

“The main reason why I chose college over Major Junior was that I had more time to develop,” said Krug, who quickly took to college life in East Lansing. “I played two games each week, you get to practice so much that I had the potential to grow as a player.

“That’s the majority of it…the time that you’re spending with your coach. It’s really an intimate time because they are able to pull you aside at practice and develop you and allow you to learn the game better.”

Krug proved to be an immediate impact player, according to head coach Rick Comley. Named team captain his sophomore year, Krug earned a plethora of honors in his three years as a Spartan, including being named a two-time member of the All-CCHA team and CCHA Player of the Year in 2012.

According to Comley, Krug was a willing student of the game with a competitive spirit and inner drive that cannot be coached.

“The thing I liked about him and respected so much is his passion for the game, his understanding of the game, what he could do and what his strength was,” Comley said. “He came and played hard every night. [He was] a real positive guy to have at the [Michigan State] program.”

That attitude helped Krug become one of the most sought after free agents out of college, before ultimately signing an entry-level contract with the Bruins in 2012.

The rest, as they say, is history now that Krug is a key member on Boston’s defense and power-play units. Still, he knows that getting to The Show is one thing, staying there can be a completely different story.

“One piece of advice I’ve always said from the moment I made it was make yourself special,” said the 5-foot-9 blue-liner. “I’m a smaller guy, if I just played defense and do the run-of-the-mill stuff I’m not going to be in the league.

“They will find bigger guys to replace me … so what I did was make myself special by being a more dynamic player that can run the power play, but also be accountable in my own end.”

So far that seems to be working out well.

 


 

   YOUTH STAR

    Griffin Bouchard
    Age: 11
    South Hamilton, Mass.

    What started as a class project turned into something more for  Griffin Bouchard. 
    After having surgery on both his feet at Boston Children’s Hospital in the summer of 2014, the sixth grader from Miles River Middle School in Hamilton, Mass., wanted to say “thanks” by raising nearly $1,500 for the hospital’s Concussion Prevention Center.
    With ice time donated from his Agawam Youth Hockey team, Bouchard charged $5 for admission for the hourlong skate on Dec. 26, which included a raffle, refreshments and an appearance by Boston Bruins’ great Rick Middleton.
    “He likes helping charities so we were happy he came to help spread awareness,” Griffin said.
    Middleton donated additional raffle items and interacted with the crowd, and by the end of the night, Griffin had surpassed his goal by raising $1,450 for the Children’s Hospital.

 

Issue: 
2015-03

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