Agostino relishes ‘real opportunity’
Big numbers in the AHL don’t always translate to NHL success. But when you put up the stats that Kenny Agostino has produced, you’ll get some offers.
And so it was that Agostino, who led the AHL with 24-59-83 totals in 65 games last year for the St. Louis-affiliated Chicago Wolves, sifted through about 10 NHL offers. The New Jersey native and Yale graduate saw the paucity of veterans up front on the Bruins roster and landed here.
Yesterday, Agostino skated left wing on a line with center Austin Czarnik and Zach Senyshyn, two players that may start the season here. But despite the presence of highly regarded prospects like Anders Bjork, Jake DeBrusk and Danton Heinen, Agostino believes he’s going to get a fair shot.
“I can only think about what (general manager) Don (Sweeney) has been saying and preaching all summer, that there’s competition for spots here and as a player, you’ve got to invite competition for opportunity,” said Agostino. “I think I’ve proven myself in the minors and I feel like I’m right on the cusp of getting a real opportunity and that needs to be earned. I don’t know what better situation you have when an organization is preach- ing that you’ll get a real oppor- tunity. That’s all I’m looking for and I’ve got to earn it.”
Agostino was drafted in the fifth round by the Penguins but was sent to Calgary in 2013 in the Jarome Iginla deal. Despite notching 38-62-100 totals in 132 AHL games in the Flames organization, Agostino was not tendered a qualifying offer two years ago. He signed with St. Louis and had a goal and two assists in seven games with the Blues, but couldn’t stick in St. Louis.
“It’s tough to get your foot in the door and get yourself established. I’ve had moments in the Calgary organization, it was tough to get my foot in the door,” said Agostino. “But last year I really thought I played well when I got my opportunity in St. Louis and, for whatever reason, it didn’t work out with me staying there. But this is my fourth-year pro now, so I understand how it works. It’s all about controlling what you can control. That’s all I’m looking to do.”
The B’s gave Agostino a oneway contract at $875,000.
Wanted: First line RW
Since 2011, Patrice Bergeron has enjoyed the company of Brad Marchand on his left wing, but the right wing has been everchanging. So far, though, he’s giving a thumbs-up to Bjork.
“He’s got the speed of Segs (Tyler Seguin) and Pasta (David Pastrnak) and he’s got the skills as well,” said Bergeron of two players who have skated on his line. “He’s a lefty so I’ve got to get used to that. I had Reilly Smith and Mark Recchi as lefties on the right side. It’s just going back to making passes on the forehand. It’s the opposite hand as last year. Little things here and there.
“But he’s been a great player. I don’t want to compare to anyone though. He’s got his own style and he’s been playing great so far. He’s got to keep going that way.”
Cehlarik easing back
Peter Cehlarik, who underwent shoulder surgery in the offseason, is skating but being held out of contact drills . . . .
Goalie Zane McIntyre, expected to push backup goalie Anton Khudobin, hasn’t looked great stopping the puck in drills so far.