He’s big – imposing, really. His look has drawn comparisons to Dr. Evil of Austin Powers fame, and his size – 6 feet, 4 inches tall and 214 pounds – is enough to make any small forward think twice before trying to get by.

And he’s a future Boston Bruin.

But before Denis Reul gets to the Hub, he’ll be making a pit stop in Lewiston.

The Lewiston Maineiacs traded up three positions in the Canadian Hockey League’s Import Draft on Wednesday to snag Reul, an 18-year-old German defenseman whom the Bruins selected 130th overall in the NHL Entry Draft last week.

“The Ottawa 67s (of the Ontario Hockey League) would have taken him,” Lewiston’s acting General Manager Ed Harding said. “There were one or two other teams I was really worried about. I’d been inquiring about a few other things, obviously, but this was the guy that I particularly wanted. I think he’s a good fit for our team.”

Reul played among players older than he by the end of last season, playing up in the 3rd German League with the Heilbronn Falcons. He recorded one assist and 16 penalty minutes in 16 games to finish out the season.

For his junior club, Mannheimer Junior Adler of the German Young Prospects League, Reul played 34 games, had nine goals and 16 assists for 25 points and racked up 82 penalty minutes.

“The physical nature,” Reul replied when bostonbruins.com asked him last week which part of the game was his favorite.

It’s not hard to see why. When he arrives in training camp in mid-August, he will already be the Maineiacs’ biggest blue-liner.

“I’m extremely happy to have been in the position to draft him,” Harding said. “Now it’s time to go to work and develop him as a player for Boston.”

With the added depth on the blue line, the competition for a spot on the team come August is going to be fierce. Marc-Andre Crete will battle for a 20-year-old spot, Sebastien Piche and Tom Michalik return as 19-year-olds, and Reul joins Kevin Marshall, Patrick Cusack and Michael Ward as 18-year-olds.

Add in Eric Gelinas at 16, a defenseman the Maineiacs grabbed with their first pick at this year’s QMJHL midget draft, and there doesn’t appear to be much room for anyone new – for this year or for next.

“This gives us a solid base for the next two years,” Harding said. “That’s exactly what I was looking for. We have some very good defensemen.”

The Maineiacs had another pick – the final QMJHL pick in the first round at No. 54 – but traded that pick later in the day Wednesday to the Quebec Remparts for an eighth-round selection in next season’s QMJHL Midget Draft.

Lewiston’s training camp opens in 49 days, on Aug. 15. The team’s first preseason game is on Monday, Aug. 20, and the Maineiacs first home preseason game is on Friday, Aug. 24.

The regular season opens on Thursday, Sept. 13, against the Saint John Sea Dogs.


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