OSHAWA– When Oshawa Generals fans gather to Tribute Communities Centre to watch their team play, there is a consistent reality that is evident. Whenever Boston Bruins prospect and Generals captain Jack Studnicka is on the ice, he makes his presence known. With his breathtaking speed to his playmaking ability, it is no surprise why Studnicka is the leading scorer for the Generals this season with 30 points.
“I don’t like to focus on personal statistics,” admits Studnicka. “Our team got off to a slow start and have been able to turn it around. Team success leads to personal success so it has been an above average start to the season so far.”
Jack Studnicka Shines and Impresses in Oshawa
As a Tecumseh Ontario native, Studnicka got his start playing Triple AAA with the Belle Tire hockey club in Detroit. In his 2014-2015 midget season, the young centre put up 31 goals and 58 assists. This impressed the Oshawa Generals, who drafted him in 2015.
The young centre has never left Oshawa, growing from the rookie in 2015 to the role of captain the past two seasons. Every shift, Studnicka can be found in the opposing team’s crease wreaking havoc. His craftiness with the puck and ability to create scoring opportunities for his linemates makes him one of the best centres in the OHL. It was not a surprise why the then Generals head coach Greg Nemisz made the young forward captain.
“Jack Studnicka exemplifies what it means to be a General on and off the ice. His passion for the game, care for his teammates and desire to win are traits that have made his personality infectious amongst our group,” said Nemisz.
Studnicka Learns From His Boston Bruins Counterparts
In the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, the Boston Bruins selected Studnicka in the second round. The plan was clear from the Bruins management team; send Studnicka back to the Generals and let him evolve as a player.
Last season was Studnicka’s best with the Generals, generating 22 goals and 50 assists. This got him the opportunity to appear in a brief stint with the Boston’s AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins, where he had one goal and four assists in five games. Before the start of this NHL season, Studnicka was invited to participate in the Bruins training camp, hoping to impress the coaches and make the team. While training with Boston, the young forward had a chance to showcase his playmaking ability while playing on the same line as David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand.
“It was awesome, they’re fast, you’ve got to keep up with them,” Studnicka said. “I think of myself as fast, but it really helped me to kind of be fast 24-7 and keep moving because those two are obviously two of the most skilled wingers in the game, but they’re also two of the hardest workers.”
Studnicka Ready to Build Off Of NHL Training Camp
Unfortunately for young Jack, the dream of playing full-time in the NHL will have to wait another year. The Boston Bruins elected to send their prospect back to Oshawa, where he could captain the Generals to another promising season. The Bruins prospect is continuing to shine at centre, evidenced by his role in setting up linemate Serron Noel for his team-leading 16th goal against the Sarnia Sting on Sunday. One of the major things that Studnicka needs to work on is his shot. Seen as an effective passer, the Bruins coaching personnel are eager to see Studnicka utilize his shot to generate more offence.
“He can score, maybe not blowing them back from the top of the circle, per se,” Bruins development coordinator Jamie Langenbrunner said. “He gets himself into spots — right now I’d say in that 15-foot area, 10-foot area is where he needs to be. He’s still a skinny kid (6-foot-1, 171 pounds). He’s going to put on some strength, and as you go, the shot will get better.”
Studnicka agrees with Langenbrunner that working on his shot has been a big priority for the young forward.
“They focused on keeping the high pace. If you take two seconds off in the NHL, there is a guy behind you stripping the puck,” said Studnicka. “I have been consistently working on keeping my feet moving and ensuring I am playing at a high tempo all times.”
With the season two months complete, the Generals captain is right where he wants to be. He is improving daily and is showcasing his hockey-IQ every time he goes out on the ice. On the young prospect’s radar is trying to make Canada’s World Junior team, a goal that he has had since joining the OHL in 2015. With selection camp taking place December 11-14 in Victoria, British Columbia, Studnicka is working tirelessly to ensure he gets an opportunity to be selected to represent his country.
“It would be a huge honour to play for Team Canada,” said Studnicka. “I have watched the World Juniors with my family every Christmas so it has been a dream of mine as long as I can remember. To wear the red and white would be very special to me.”
Main Photo: ST CATHARINES, ON – OCTOBER 15: Jack Studnicka #23 of the Oshawa Generals skates during an OHL game against the Niagara IceDogs at the Meridian Centre on October 15, 2016 in St Catharines, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)