There are some fresh faces — and plenty of familiar ones — on the roster as the Bruins prepare their follow-up act to the best regular season in NHL history.
A look at those who will don the Black and Gold in 2023-24.
Brad Marchand, 5 feet 9 inches, 176 pounds, Age: 35
He’s the captain now ... The heart, soul, and plasma of this team, Marchand will set the pace and the attitude ... Still an incredibly crafty and creative playmaker, Marchand’s ability to change directions and speeds is remarkable; he’s like Barry Sanders on skates ... He backs down from no man and his teammates love him for it ... Opponents? Not so much.
David Pastrnak, 6-0, 196, Age: 27
All those years riding with Patrice Bergeron and Marchand have transformed this gifted offensive threat into an all-around player ... He’s more responsible in all three zones than any 60-goal scorer has a right to be ... His one-timer is, dare we say, Alexander Ovechkin-like ... Will serve as alternate captain.
Pavel Zacha, 6-4, 207, Age: 26
Will make the switch from wing to center and it likely will be a seamless one, with Pastrnak manning the right wing ... Showed flashes of things to come when he subbed for Bergeron last season ... His envious combination of size, strength, and vision will allow him to thrive.
James van Riemsdyk, 6-3, 208, Age: 34
Bruins fans will finally get to cheer for the ex-University of New Hampshire star after jeering him for years during his Flyers and Maple Leafs tenures ... A net-front menace, he has excellent hands, allowing him to collect the garbage and put it in its rightful spot ... Can snipe from the dots as well.
Charlie Coyle, 6-3, 218, Age: 31
Just a tough guy to play against ... Uses his frame and reach to protect the puck and keep defenders at bay ... Can absorb hits without losing his stride ... An excellent passer, he is adept at placing the puck on linemates’ tape from impossible angles ... Obligated to say he cut his hockey teeth in Weymouth and polished them at Boston University. (Yes, we know you knew.)
Jake DeBrusk, 6-1, 198, Age: 26
Could be poised for a breakout season ... Uses his acceleration to gain separation and get to the net ... Gets his shots off quickly and excels at picking corners in an era when too many aim for the belly ... Settled in nicely after rescinding his trade request ... He’ll get big bucks soon, but will it be from the Bruins?
Trent Frederic, 6-3, 220, Age: 25
A natural center growing up, he has morphed into a dependable and rugged winger and that’s where the coaching staff likes him ... He’s not afraid to get physical and will drop the gloves on occasion ... Put up 17 goals and 31 points in 79 games last season, but his plus-28 is the real eye-popper.
Milan Lucic, 6-3, 236, Age: 35
Act 2 in Boston will be a bit different for fan favorite Lucic, who likely will be a bottom-six physical force ... His ability to rattle cages — and the occasional filling — will be counted on to get his teammates stirred up and deter opponents (hello, Matthew Tkachuk) from taking liberties ... Any offensive punch (pun intended) is gravy.
Jakub Lauko, 6-1, 193, Age: 23
An energy guy, Lauko provides pep with his skating and relentlessness ... Will need to get on the score sheet with more regularity (four goals, 7 points in 23 games) to keep his spot.
Danton Heinen, 6-2, 195, Age: 28
A solid and savvy pro, he made the most of his camp tryout by consistently being around the puck ... Responsible player in all three zones ... Can plug into any line and fit right in.
Matt Poitras, 5-11, 180, Age: 19
A slippery little bugger who has seemingly gotten better and better with every camp practice and exhibition game ... The bullets fly for real beginning Wednesday, and the kid will need to show he can compete with the bigger boys during what amounts to a 10-game audition before a decision on whether he stays or goes back to his junior club.
John Beecher, 6-3, 216, Age: 22
Similar to Poitras, Beecher seized his summer opportunity by flashing speed, creativity, and physicality ... Could start as the fourth-line center between Lucic and Lauko.
Morgan Geekie, 6-3, 202, Age: 25
Savvy veteran has surged over the final week of camp ... Can play center or wing ... Strong on faceoffs and specializes in knifing through tight openings and getting to the crease.
Charlie McAvoy, 6-1, 209, Age: 25
A puck-lugging workhorse, McAvoy is among a handful of blue liners who should be in the Norris Trophy conversation for the foreseeable future ... Plays in all situations and his power-play minutes (and thus his point production) likely will increase this season ... Respect continues to grow among his peers and teammates; he’ll wear an “A” this season ... A confident and crunching open-ice hitter, opponents have learned they need to have eyes in the back of their head when Chucking Charlie is roaring down the tracks.
Hampus Lindholm, 6-4, 224, Age: 29
Another elite defender, he’s No. 1A to McAvoy’s No. 1 ... Not a lot of teams can roll out two world-class defenders ... He’s exceptionally poised with the puck on his stick; there’s no panic in his game ... Could envision Lindholm and McAvoy pairing up in the postseason (think Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg circa 2011) ... It wouldn’t be a stretch to see him in the Norris discussion at season’s end ... Slowed by a broken foot during last season’s playoff ouster, he gutted through because, well, he’s a hockey guy.
Brandon Carlo, 6-5, 217, Age: 26
How on earth is this Carlo’s eighth season? Wasn’t this towering defender with the baby face a rookie about a week ago? ... He’s a strong and fluid skater who uses his reach to break up plays and frustrate opponents ... Doesn’t consistently deliver the punishment like McAvoy and Lindholm, but will clean out the net front on the penalty kill ... Could be the anchor of the third pairing, which tells you a lot about the defensive depth on this club.
Matt Grzelcyk, 5-10, 180, Age: 29
One of the fastest skaters on the roster, his ability to transition from forward to backward without losing any speed is remarkable ... The Bruins want their D to jump into the offensive flow and that should suit Grzelcyk’s style ... Seems to be at his best when paired with fellow BU product McAvoy ... Can get physically overmatched at times, but his toughness is unquestioned. (Hey, he’s from Charlestown.)
Derek Forbort, 6-4, 216, Age: 31
Can be a one-man wrecking crew on the PK ... Has a long reach and will use his stick to break up passes and possibly lay it into an opponent’s lower back if said opponent gets too comfy and cozy at the net front ... Plays with some bite ... Fittingly, Forbort’s dog, Darla, is a bit of a star in her own right and spent some time on the bench during the “Da Beauty” league playoffs this summer.
Kevin Shattenkirk, 6-0, 203, Age: 34
The third BU Terrier in the group, Shattenkirk returns to Boston to provide some veteran leadership and offensive punch to the rearguard corps ... An excellent all-around skater and puck mover, Shattenkirk could be plugged into any pairing and excel ... Possesses excellent vision and creativity.
Mason Lohrei, 6-5, 211, Age: 22
Showed he belonged with an excellent camp and some head-turning performances in the preseason ... Has excellent hockey sense (it runs in the family) and an obvious offensive flair, the Baton Rouge, La., native skates with calmness and confidence ... Will need to add some meat to his bones to withstand the rigors of NHL play.
Ian Mitchell, 6-0, 192, Age: 24
Acquired as part of the Taylor Hall-Nick Foligno deal, Mitchell had a nice camp and turned some heads with his willingness to jump into the offensive flow ... Played for Jim Montgomery at the University of Denver ... There are a lot of guys in front of him, but having Mitchell nearby in Providence provides depth and a level of comfort for the varsity.
Linus Ullmark, 6-4, 213, Age: 30
Sinewy and smooth, Ullmark was superb during last season’s record-breaking regular season that culminated with a Vezina Trophy ... He’ll have snipers shaking their heads in disbelief at least once a game ... He moves well laterally and is generally a safe puck-handler ... His blue line returns mostly intact (minus Connor Clifton), and that familiarity should lead to more W’s.
Jeremy Swayman, 6-3, 195, Age: 24
The other half of the Jennings Trophy-winning duo, Swayman would be a clear-cut No. 1 on most of the other 31 rosters ... It wouldn’t be a surprise if these two work an almost 50-50 split this season ... Athletic with a quick glove ... Usually makes the routine saves and throws in some crazy ones for good measure.
The roster tweaking continued Sunday. The Bruins waived forwards A.J. Greer and Patrick Brown. The three players who were waived Saturday — forwards Jesper Boqvist and Oskar Steen, and defenseman Jakub Zboril — cleared and were assigned to Providence. Greer and Brown also could be bound for the Baby B’s if they clear waivers Monday.