KRUG: Defenseman out with ankle injury.
PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

The Bruins did not escape training camp unscathed.

As was feared on Saturday when Torey Krug left the final preseason game in the first period, the defenseman will miss significant time with a left ankle injury. He will be in a boot for three weeks and then be re-evaluated.

It is the same ankle that he broke in Game 4 of the B’s series against the Lightning last May, but both the team and the player said this new injury is not related to the old one. Not that that’s much consolation for the B’s, who’ll be without one of their key power-play men for as much as a month, if not more.

“Obviously, it’s unfortunate to have to go through something like this again but I’ve said it before, it’s a tough part of our job,” said Krug. “We’ll re-evaluate in a few weeks here. I’ll just have to go through the grind of working through another injury.”

The dynamic defenseman suffered a broken jaw in last season’s training camp, missed the playoffs in 2017 with a knee injury and had shoulder surgery after the 2015-16 season.

“You work really hard throughout the summer to feel comfortable and put yourself in position to get back in the lineup,” he said. “Obviously, it felt like I was just starting to work through timing issues and getting my gap back and things like that and then all of a sudden to have another setback is frustrating. It’s unfortunate, very unlucky and kind of a freak thing but it’s part of it, but you have to work through it and try to have the right attitude.”

Krug said he got hit at the same time his skate got caught in a rut. He continued to play but couldn’t finish the period.

Despite a slow start last year, Krug had a career-high 59 points, 24 of those came on the power play.

“It’s a big loss,” said center Patrice Bergeron. “He’s a huge part of our defense, power play as well. He’s the quarterback up there. We’re going to miss him. That being said, it’s an opportunity for someone else to step up and be good for us.”

Bergeron declared himself ready to go for tomorrow night’s opener. He practiced and felt no problem with the bad back that kept him out of all the preseason games.

Filling the gap

The identity of Krug’s replacement is not yet known. The first option is Matt Grzelcyk, who missed time in camp with a lower body injury. He returned yesterday, though he skated in a red non-contact injury.

If Grzelcyk can’t go, then 19-year-old rookie Urho Vaakanainen, the surprise of the camp, will get the nod. The Finn skated with Kevan Miller during practice.

“He did play against men (in Finland) so we figured he’d be a little bit ahead in that regard, in terms of him not being intimidated in that environment,” said coach Bruce Cassidy. “But I just think his ability to get back on pucks, his composure and poise in a smaller rink and a physical game has been very good. We’ve used him in a few offensive situations and he’s made good decisions with the puck, so maybe there’s a little bit more to his game than what he was able to show overseas.”

Off to Providence

The Bruins sent center Trent Frederic and winger Peter Cehlarik to Providence. GM Don Sweeney believes Cehlarik is close.

“Peter had a very good camp. He was productive, made a lot of high end plays in the offensive zone, which he’s very capable of doing. We covet the size he has, the ability to play both sides of the ice. There are some details when he doesn’t have the puck that need to continue to be cleaned up,” said Sweeney. “He missed a lot of time last year with injuries, but he’s knocking on the door.”

For Cassidy, another pleasant surprise from camp was 18-year-old defenseman Axel Andersson, taken in the second round last June.

“I walked into the room ­— I’d been in China — and I thought someone had brought their son to the rink that day. He looks like he’s about 13 years old,” said Cassidy. “But he was out on the ice playing that night, gets a bloody nose, cuts his wrist but gets sewn up, goes back out and scores a goal. He wants to practice the next day. He’s a hockey player.”

Lining things up

Danton Heinen was the right winger on the second line with David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk. Ryan Donato was the left winger on the third line with center Sean Kuraly and David Backes. . . .

Sweeney said Daniel Winnik, who was in camp on a pro tryout, is exploring other opportunities, as is Lee Stempniak. Sweeney didn’t rule out Stempniak remaining with the team as it sorts out its roster.

Rosters must be submitted by 5 p.m. today. With Krug on injured reserve, the B’s are at the 23-man limit with Anders Bjork the 13th forward and Vaakanainen and Steve Kampfer giving the B’s depth on defense.