by Lindsay Kramer || NHL.com
With all his travels through the Maritimes, Toronto, Peoria and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Andy Wozniewski hadn’t really had much of a chance to play in or investigate Providence.
But the new Bruins defenseman is making up for lost time.
"It’s a great American Hockey League city. It’s got to be in the top three," he raved. "There’re great restaurants. There’s a lot to do. The travel is light. Our longest trip is two hours."
As much as Wozniewski has taken to Providence, he’s been an even better match for the Bruins.
Six years into his pro career, Wozniewski has slipped into an offensive role like anyone else might pull on a new suit. In his first eight games with the Bruins, he posted five goals and nine assists.
The 14 points are seven shy of the total he came up with in 74 games combined with Peoria and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last season. The five goals are two short of his AHL career high, produced in 33 games with the Marlies in 2007-08.
"I think it’s a few things," Wozniewski said. "I came into this year in really good shape. I felt like I had a good NHL training camp. That carried right into Providence. The coaches have put me in a position to succeed, being on the power play, on the first unit. Things have been going my way."
That only highlights how close Wozniewski came to maybe taking a different direction as a free agent in the offseason. In what he described as a "strange" summer, potential options and teams’ interest in him changed almost on a daily basis. When he sat down to put all the pieces together, the puzzle that formed looked like the Bruins.
"It wasn’t an easy decision. Let’s put it that way," Wozniewski said. "It looked like the team was going in the right direction. Ever since training camp, I’ve had a good feel by the entire organization. Prior years, I’ve been in a situation where you almost don’t even speak to a coach through the entire preseason. This is a lot different."
Lindsay Kramer, the AHL correspondent for NHL.com, profiles an up-and-coming player each Monday during the season, and his AHL notebook appears each Thursday on NHL.com. Read today’s complete column here.