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.

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