The NHL Draft is tomorrow, and the Boston Bruins own two picks in the first round at #14 and #29 overall. If they do indeed make their picks, it will be their fourth and fifth 1st round picks in two years.
The Bruins are making it known they are open for business, but many reports suggest Don Sweeney is struggling to find a dance partner. He’ll be looking to add veteran Defensive help that the squad desperately needs but he’s in a long line. Assuming that he’ll suffer the same at this years draft that he did last year when he made three consecutive picks in the first round, here are some intriguing players that should be available when they pick at 14, and again at 29. The links below will be directed to thehockeywriters.com which featured an excellent series on these prospects entitled “The Next Ones”:
He’s a big 18 year old, and one of the few players taken tomorrow night who is physically mature enough to potentially make an NHL club, though by most accounts could use some more seasoning. He’s a big, speedy winger with a nice touch around the net. With Loui Eriksson likely leaving (currently eyeball to eyeball with Sweeney about term 6 years v. 4 years) and the lack of size on the wing in their system, Gauthier could be a nice fit. I’ve seen it mentioned in multiple player profiles that his NHL comparison points toward Rick Nash. Size, speed, skill at a position of need, sign me up. The Flyers pick at #12 however, and are linked to this specific player so we’ll see if he is even around at 14.
I don’t know if you’ve heard yet, but the Bruins need help on D. Sure they have some nice prospects in their organization with last year’s second round draft pick Brandon Carlo rocketing up the prospect rankings and Jeremy Lauzon impressing scouts this past season, but the more chances they have to hit on a D man the better. McAvoy is one of the few prospects I’ve spent time watching, as he is a BU guy and was active in the World Juniors. McAvoy looks like the new NHL D-man. He’s fast, he has a plus shot, he’s got great vision and on the other side of the coin loves the physical game. He’s at least two years away I’d say from NHL-ness but he’d be an intriguing investment and an exciting player in the middle of the draft.
He’s not as phsyical as McAvoy but speed is this player’s weapon. Be it skating out of trouble in his own end or activating himself into an attack he’s another in the line of “new” NHL d-men. The two gentlemen above are big, and mostly filled out physically already. Jake is relatively tall, 6’1, but he doesn’t have the phsyical maturity of the other two perhaps explaining why most of the knocks on him relate to a lack of physicality. Good news is, you don’t have to hit anybody when your team has the puck, and he controls play with his speed, passing, and creativity. Again, though, years away.
End of the first round players
Late in the draft you never really have an idea. A player could start to fall and the B’s could move up, or take a huge reach on a player like last year. Here are some late first round possibilities that would be good fits for Boston.
He’s a 6 foot 7 defenseman in the OHL. That’s eye opening size. Add in a heavy shot and not-so-clunky for a big man skating ability and he’s worth a look late. He’s very raw, and could use time learning the professional game, but he’ll draw some suitors in the first round for sure. A young, mammoth, physical stay at home D. The B’s could use it.
He’s Torey Krug insurance. Undersized, but very skilled.
Tomorrow will be fun. Currently the draft folks are messing with our emotions showing the Rangers in the 14th draft position, but it appears to be only a testing of the technology. I’d like to be on record though, by saying that if the B’s make both of their first round selections and re-sign Louie to a 6 by 6 deal, going to need a wellness check.