Last year was a washout of a hockey season for Jared Knight that he clearly wanted to forget as soon as it was over.

The 21-year-old was limited to 10 games during the AHL regular season and six playoff games for the Providence Bruins due to hamstring issues in his first full pro hockey season. The injury grabbed at him before the season was even underway and he suffered a series of setbacks as the anxious youngster tried to return to action too early. Knight started last year off with eager anticipation at showing himself off to the Bruins brass during the lockout but ended wondering exactly what the hell had just happened.

There were a number of low points to choose from for Knight: the two-game rehab stint in the ECHL with the South Carolina Stingrays after missing the whole first half of the season or the lonely days in Providence while roommates Ryan Spooner and Torey Krug were on road trips with the P-Bruins.

Pretty much all of it was a bummer.

“It got pretty lonely actually” admitted Knight a second round pick (32 overall) in the 2010 NHL draft that also netted Boston Tyler Seguin and Spooner among others. “When Spooner and Krug were on the road it was just me and my dog. My girlfriend would come down for a visit sometimes but it was tough.

“I really learned a lot about myself but even more I learned how much I love playing hockey. Sometimes when things are going well you can take things for granted but I realized that I never want to take hockey for granted. It pushed me to work that much harder this summer.”

While last year essentially felt like a wasted year for the gritty skilled winger and the Bruins organization Knight didn’t waste any time looking to correct the problems surrounding his hamstring issues. The injury in part cropped up from Knight training for bulk and strength in a football-style workout program throughout his career. The workout program worked during his time for the London Knights and had him at a solid block of muscle well over 200 pounds when AHL training camp began last year.

As the kids would say these days Knight looked “swole” headed into last year and it ended up costing him big time.

But Knight made a mistake common to young hockey players: he chose bulk and strength over the flexibility and lean muscle needed at the highest levels of professional hockey. It’s a common mistake that many former NHL players have seen young players make coming out the college or junior ranks.

“Young guys learn that junior/college shape is different than pro shape. You have to be lean and strong. Bulk hurts” said former Bruins/Boston College defenseman Bobby Allen. “I was the same way out of school. You need to build the body a certain way. That can withstand 80-82 games: lean wiry strength.”