(Photo: Alan Sullivan)
As the on-ice practices of training camp began in Boston on Friday, in addition to the absences of those playing in the World Cup of Hockey, it was also noticed that Frank Vatrano wasn’t on the ice in the Spoked-B practice sweater. Saturday, after both on-ice shifts Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced that the injury to Vatrano would result in surgery.
Unfortunately Vatrano tore some ligaments in his left foot while training just before camp was to begin. After evaluation it was determined that he would need to undergo surgical repair, which he will have done by Dr. George Theodore at Massachusetts General Hospital on Monday, September 26, 2016. The recovery time is expected to take three months.
This is certainly a hurdle that Vatrano would change if he could. The East Longmeadow, Massachusetts native appeared in 39 games with the Bruins during the 2015-16 season, where he scored eight goals and three assists for 11 points with 14 penalty minutes.
The 22-year-old was then assigned to the American Hockey League’s Providence Bruins, Boston’s AHL affiliate during the season. He would take the AHL by storm, averaging one goal per game with 36 goals in 36 games to lead the AHL during the season, despite playing half as many games as the others in the minor league.
While playing in Providence he potted the puck for three hat tricks and six multi-goal games. He was also able to add 19 assists for 55 total points. His point total put him fourth in line for the highest point totals on the Providence Bruins this past season.
He clearly was looking forward to pushing for a permanent spot with the Boston club, so this is a set back. However, the diminutive forward has shown throughout his career that nothing eventually gets in his way. The undrafted University of Massachusetts Minuteman, who signed with the Bruins during his sophomore year, was a product of the USHL that helped his development and where he represented the USA twice.