Beleskey knew it was time to be ‘more than just a grinder’

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Prior to last season, Matt Beleskey had never scored more than 11 goals in a single NHL season.

For financial reasons, he picked a great year to double that output when he potted 22 in 2014-15 for Anaheim.

Beleskey cashed in as an unrestricted free agent with a five-year, $19 million deal with the Bruins.

How does he explain his career year?

“Coach Bruce Boudreau put me in good situations,” Beleskey said, per NHL.com. “I played on the power play. I played a lot with Ryan Kesler, who works extremely hard and he’s a great player to work with and play with. And I think I took some confidence strides in my game. I knew it was time that I needed to be more than just a grinder that’s going to help out and be a guy that’s able to lead in situations. And I think I took those steps.”

Now the pressure’s on to keep it up. Especially after the Bruins traded away Milan Lucic, a guy who scored 139 goals during his time in Boston. Not to mention all the hits he delivered.

With Lucic in Los Angeles, and after GM Don Sweeney had vowed to return the B’s to their aggressive ways, Beleskey sees Boston as a good fit.

“The big, bad Bruins play that physical style, and they’ve always been a team that I’ve liked watching,” Beleskey said, per CSN New England.

“They’ve always been a team I’ve been drawn to.”

Related: Bruins sign Beleskey for five years, despite some warning signs