Matt Bartkowski, D
June 4, 1988
Acquired by Boston from Florida with Dennis Seidenberg for Byron Bitz, Craig Wellar and a 2010 2nd-round pick (Alex Petrovic); March 3, 2010
Signing status: Signed through 2012
Physical: Live, athletic frame with room to grow. Will need to add bulk, but is on the right track in his physical maturation process. Good skater; moves well in all directions. Isn't exceptionally fast or agile but is able to keep puck carriers in front of him and can crossover and pivot fluidly. Decent passer; can hit the long clearing pass and moves the puck out of his end quickly. Puckhandling is a bit rough; better at making the safe passing play than having to carry it out under pressure. Has an underrated shot that he gets off quickly from the point; heavy and accurate. Very good defensively; understands positioning and likes to take the body. An effective open-ice hitter and does well at pinning his man along the boards and clearing traffic from in front of his own net. Keeps things pretty safe and simple for the most part, but has the mobility and potential to play more of a two-way game if he can improve his puckhandling and overall confidence.
Intangibles: Thinks the game well, with a good, solid instinctive feel for the defensive flow. Does the little things well. A mature 23-year-old who spent two years away from home with the Lincoln Stars of the USHL (Played with fellow Bruins prospects Carter Camper and Colby Cohen there) before spending two seasons at Ohio State closer to his Pittsburgh home. Had a chance to raise the Stanley Cup in June as a member of Boston's "Black Aces" and even handed it off to hockey operations director Ryan Nadeau, who appropriately enough, had a hand in bringing him to the Bruins as one of the team's NCAA scouts.
Boston Bruins 2011 Development Camp assessment
Did not attend.
Bartkowski looks like a lower-pairing, stay-at-home defender who could end up working himself into a fourth spot with special teams time if he can improve his puck skills. He impressed in camp and was the final cut, going over to Ireland and the Czech Republic with the big club before being sent to the AHL. The demotion seemed to effect him as Bartkowski got off to a slow start in his rookie pro season, but recovered well. He saw NHL action (several games against his hometown Penguins) and was exposed as needing more seasoning. If he can develop an ability to fight he'll be even more appealing, because he skates pretty well even if he is more of a vanilla type of defender who isn't dynamic. He's pretty buried on the depth chart right now, but the best thing for him will be to go down to Providence, work hard and earn a lot of minutes in his second year.
Matt Bartkowski NHL debut pre-game video from Raw Penguin
Click here to watch clip on You Tube
"It was a hard decision to make (turning pro or staying in school) but in the end, I weighed my options with my family and we felt that signing with Boston was the best thing for me right now. I can finish my degree in the summers, but the situation was right for me to go ahead and take that next step, so I'm glad to be here."- Matt Bartkowski to B2010DW, Wilmington, Mass.; July 6-10, 2010.
"I consider myself a good defenseman who takes care of my own end first and sticks up for my teammates. I would say that's the biggest thing; just keeping things simple and making the right plays whenever I can."- Bartkowski to B201DW, Wilmington, Mass.; July 6-10, 2010
“‘Bart’ is a big, strong kid who got the highest accolades coming out of (Bruins) camp when he nearly made the team. He’s still learning and making a commitment on defense but is on the right track.”- former Providence head coach Rob Murray to New England Hockey Journal; December, 2010