The Bruins get back to work this week, rookies hitting the ice for games at the Garden on Wednesday and Thursday. Take a good look at these guys, because you might be seeing a few of them quite a bit this year.

After two straight Game 7 losses in the conference semi-finals, the Bruins needed to add scoring punch. They finished last in the NHL in scoring during the 2009-10 season and could muster only five total goals in the last three games against the Flyers in the playoffs, as Philadelphia overcame a 3-0 series deficit to eliminate Boston.

Defense might win championships, but you’ve got to put the puck in the net once in awhile.

The Bruins think Tyler Seguin, the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft, can help. There’s no guarantee Seguin, 18, will make the roster, but it will be a surprise if he doesn’t. He was Boston’s highest draft pick since Joe Thornton was chosen No. 1 overall in 1997, and in many ways fell into the Bruins’ lap. Edmonton had a tough choice to make and took Taylor Hall ahead of Seguin. If that choice backfires, the Oilers will be forced to defend it for years to come.

The Bruins wound up with a young man who exudes confidence and put on a show at the NHL combine after starring in the Ontario Hockey League. Is he ready to put on a show at the game’s top level? We’ll soon find out.

Seguin isn’t the only rookie who could be in the mix for one of the 12 forward positions this winter. The Bruins are hoping to find help out of a group that includes first-rounders Jordan Caron (2009, 25th overall), Joe Colborne (2008, 16th overall), and Zach Hamill (2007, 8th overall.)

General Manager Peter Chiarelli made an offseason move to bring in veteran scoring punch. Nathan Horton, who has averaged more than 25 goals for the past five seasons, was acquired from Florida in exchange for defenseman Dennis Wideman and a draft pick.

The combination of Horton’s arrival and the struggling Wideman’s departure is the ultimate win-win situation for Bruins fans.

The Bruins are now very strong up the middle. With Marc Savard, David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron and Seguin, the Bruins have four players who could be top-line centers. Since they probably don’t want Seguin on the fourth line, he may move to wing. He’s played there before.

Usually, a player like Seguin lands on a brutal team that reaps the rewards of a lost season with a high draft pick. Instead, the Bruins got Seguin thanks to the trade that sent Phil Kessel to the Maple Leafs – the gift that keeps on giving. Boston has had a couple of deep runs into the playoffs that ran out of steam, and offense. The Bruins are hoping to find the solution to that scoring drought from the group coming together this week.

 

Tom Caron is the studio host for Red Sox broadcasts on the New England Sports Network. His column appears in the Press Herald on Tuesdays.