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Krug is hungry for more after appetizer

By Alex Prewitt
Globe Correspondent / July 1, 2012
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WILMINGTON — Torey Krug is all about motivation.

The desire to understand the process of human impulse inspired him to major in political science at Michigan State.

But the Bruins defenseman needs little to summon the internal drive necessary to turn last season’s ephemeral stint with Boston into a permanent position.

Krug played in two games with the Bruins in 2011-12, recording an assist on April 5 at Ottawa after his debut against Pittsburgh two days before. The only participant at Boston’s development camp at Ristuccia Arena with NHL experience, Krug likely will be in the mix for a roster spot this season. On the other hand, he could very well wind up in Providence.

“He’s made his impression, he did very well, and now he’s got to go out and push someone out of the way and earn that spot, and I think he’s excited to try and do that,” assistant general manager Don Sweeney said Friday. “He’s got some things that we’re going to try and build into his game — as all of them — he’s not a ready-made guy but he’s got a lot of attributes that certainly separate him from some of the other younger kids.

“That experience thing, you have to go through at the NHL level in order to make sure you’re going to be able to play there. That being said, the bar kind of resets for Torey and he realizes that and he knows what’s in front of him.”

The bar may reset on the ice for Krug, but not in the classroom. Over the summer, he must balance his NHL aspirations with wrapping up a college degree. He has 40 credits left after departing East Lansing in March to sign with the Bruins. Monday, he will start taking “History of College Athletics” to fulfill a history requirement.

“You get a little taste of the NHL, and obviously this is what you want to do for your living, making your dreams come true,” Krug said. “And the second you live your life like that, it’s hard to go back, do the grind work, go to school. But it’s something I’ve had my eyes on my whole life. So I just have to stay focused and take a lot of summer classes.

“You don’t want to be worrying about finishing an essay when you’re on the way home from a road trip.”

That appetizer of professional hockey did little to quell his appetite.

“It makes you hungrier,” Krug said. “It’s been my dream my whole life, as a little kid. You change, you grow, you become a better person and you work toward your goals. My goal is to play in the NHL. I played two games there, but now I want to make a career out of it and be an impact player. It gives me a lot of incentive to come back.”

Krug entered Michigan State wanting to become a business major, but learning about finance never sparked his interest.

He always enjoyed history and politics. He once wrote a 20-page paper about tax policies in international business, and took an introductory religion class on the Bible, which he counts as his favorite college course.

“I’m fascinated why people do what they do,” Krug said. “I guess it comes a little bit more into the psychology of everything, why past presidents made decisions what they made, why President Obama is making the decisions he’s making. It’s something I like to keep my eye on. It just catches my eye, keeps my attention.”

Though undersized at 5 feet 9 inches and 180 pounds, Krug was twice named the CCHA’s best offensive defenseman at Michigan State, recording 34 points his junior season. After he inked a free agent deal March 25, his family made the trip from Livonia, Mich., to TD Garden for Krug’s NHL debut.

“We’re a very competitive group, four boys, my dad, and my mom,” Krug said. “You can imagine what that’s like. Three hockey players and a hockey coach.

“The conversations get interesting. Just typical brother stuff. One minute you’re fighting, the next minute you’re best friends.

“But I have three brothers who will be my best friends forever, no matter what happens.”

Alex Prewitt can be reached at aprewitt@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @alex_prewitt.

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