Novi resident played in the U18 World Championships for Team Canada
And the Novi resident got a little closer to that dream on June 24 when he was selected in the second round of the NHL Entry Draft (53rd overall) by the Boston Bruins.
The 6-foot, 171-pound Studnicka, who finished with 18 goals and 34 assists in 64 regular season games for the Ontario Hockey League's Ottawa Generals, drew attention from NHL scouts with his standout play as a two-way center.
"I'd be honored to play anywhere in the NHL, but I think Boston is a great city and has great fans," said the Ontario native. "It's a tremendous organization that I'd love to play with. And to play alongside Torey (Krug) would be pretty cool."
Krug, a Livonia native and former Michigan State standout, just completed his fourth full season with the Bruins. The defenseman has logged a total of 322 games and played in the Stanley Cup Finals his first season.
And it was there where Krug made quite an impact on Studnicka.
"Kyle really developed my defensive game," Studnicka said. "He was kind of telling me, 'I won't tell you how to play offense because it will take care of itself,' but as long as I'm taking pride in the defensive zone that the offense will come. He really got it through my head that the defensive zone is important."
After his season with Belle Tire, Studnicka was selected by the Generals in April of 2015 in the first round (21st overall) of the OHL Draft.
"A lot of times you're set on college and a lot of times you're set on the OHL, but I'm fortunate enough that Oshawa organization took me and they made the decision easy at the end of the day," Studnicka said.
In his first OHL season with Generals, Studnicka posted modest offensive numbers with four goals and 22 assists in 62 games before blossoming during his second OHL campaign.
"As a team we had a successful season," Studnicka said. "I think we did a lot more than people had expected us to, which was huge. And with team success is going to come individual success, so as long as the team was doing good I knew it was good things for me."
And that good thing was hearing his name called at the United Center on the second day of the NHL Draft.
"On the personal side, being in my second season in the OHL, I was able to contribute and relied on consistently by the coaches," Studnicka said. "And obviously it paid off with Boston picking me in the draft this year."
"It was a unique experience," Studnicka said. "They were already two games into the tournament when I had flown over, but all my teammates and coaches, and hockey Canada management were very welcoming. For them to have the trust to bring me over mid-term, it gave me confidence, which I think played a huge part in me being able to contribute offensively to be there. I think with the confidence I had coming off the playoffs and being trusted to be brought in mid-term really helped."
"I just kind of stayed with what my older brother did," Jack said. "The Maple Leafs, Toronto, were his favorite team, so I guess you could say they were mine, too,"
Studnicka tries to emulate a number of different NHL players, but two stand out.
"I like to take different pieces from a lot of two-way centers in the game," he said. "Offensively, Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks) is fun to watch and learn from him. And Tyler Bozak on Toronto, because of the way he takes pride in the defensive zone and still be an offensive player is something I strive to do as well."
"it wasn't really hockey related," said Studnicka, who was born in Tecumseh, Ontario. "I wanted to be with my dad during the OHL Draft and everything. Obviously it worked out well. Compuware and Belle Tire took me for two years and developed me great, so . . . "
Studnicka reports to the Bruins' development camp on July 5 in Boston. He will also play for the Bruins this summer in a rookie showcase tournament.
"After that just getting stronger and skating a lot and preparing for my season with Oshawa for a week (Aug. 21-25)," Studnicka said.
The Bruins draftee does admit have one hobby during the off season.
"I'm a big golfer in the summer," he said. "Me, my dad and my brother like to get out and play a lot. But it's kind of a strict schedule, I say. I wouldn't say I don't do any other things, but I primarily focus on training and hockey."
Spoken like a true two-way center.
Source : http://www.hometownlife.com/story/sports/2017/06/29/nhls-bruins-make-studnicka-high-draft-priority/438308001/