Torey Krug’s professional hockey career up until now has been anything but typical. The 5-foot-9 defenseman out of Michigan State went undrafted, only to be signed by the Bruins in March 2012.

After spending all of the following season in Providence, Krug made his way into the Bruins' NHL lineup on an emergency injury re-call basis during the playoffs, bursting onto the scene by scoring four goals in 15 games.

And that performance was enough to make Krug a regular on the blue line this past year, as he appeared in 79 games—the most among any of the Bruins defenseman—and obliged by scoring 14 goals, and tying a team-high for defensemen with 40 points.

The best part? Krug is only 23, and his accelerated development bodes well as he looks to become a staple on the Bruins' blue line.

With the likes of Krug, Dougie Hamilton, and a host of other young, talented defensemen, it’s easy to pigeonhole these burgeoning blue liners into future roles atop Boston’s depth chart. That’s probably putting the horse before the carriage, though.