- James Murphy, Bruins reporter, ESPNBoston.com
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WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Jared Knight will wrap up his second Bruins development camp on Monday, and the team’s 2010 second-round draft pick (32nd overall) found this year's camp to be a valuable experience. But Knight also believes the experience he had this past spring with his junior team, the London Knights, will be a big help over the course of his pro career.
Knight, along with fellow camper Seth Griffith, helped the Knights reach the Memorial Cup finals, where they fell to host Shawinigan 2-1 in overtime. While Knight obviously wished he and his teammates could have come away with the win, he figures the long playoff run will benefit him for years to come.
“I wish we could’ve won and not lost the way did -- that was heartbreaking and hard to swallow -- but it was a really valuable experience,” Knight said. “To play that deep into a season, with all the games and then all the practices on top of that really tests you mentally and physically. I’m lucky I got that test and learning experience at an early age and at that level. It’s only going to help me.”
The previous spring, Knight was able to watch the Bruins make their historic Stanley Cup run from home and as they went deeper into the playoffs, Knight wondered what it would be like to play that deep into the postseason.
“You watch that and you wonder what it must be like to go through that,” Knight said recalling the Bruins' 2011 Stanley Cup run. “You can just tell the passion and the intensity and everything that goes into it. It’s everything on the line and they leave everything out there on the ice.”
Bruins assistant general manager Don Sweeney believes Knight’s experience will only help as he matures into a pro player. As Sweeney pointed out recently, it’s all about winning, and when a young player learns what it takes to win, it can only benefit him.
“I think anytime you have an opportunity to play that long in a season means you’ve had a very successful year,” Sweeney said. “Obviously he’s disappointed not being able to finish what they had started but being in that environment, playoff hockey, you really can’t trade it. Our business is about winning and there’s no question that we want those kids that want to be in that environment with that competitive nature and we’re glad that he brings that to the table.”
Knight is looking forward to putting the lessons learned at camp and in the Memorial Cup playoffs to use.
“I’m really excited to play at the next level -- whether that’s Providence or Boston -- and take those lessons with me,” Knight said. “It’s such a different game in the NHL and then even more so in the Stanley Cup playoffs. So I think I got a small taste of that at a lower level and that’s great.”
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