Skip to main content

Draft Preview: Boston Bruins – The band's still together

Why break up a good thing, especially with homegrown reinforcements?

Not only have the Bruins become one of the top teams under GM Don Sweeney, but they’ve done so on the fly. In 2017-18, Boston integrated five full-time rookies, three of whom were Sweeney’s picks. And although the pipeline ran a little dry this season, there is help on the way in the future. And they’ll need it since the Bruins had just five picks in 2018 and another five in 2019. By comparison, Montreal had 11 picks in 2018.

IMMEDIATE NEEDS: Wingers Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak had almost as many goals as all the team’s other wingers combined. The Bruins are especially barren on the right side, where the wingers behind Pastrnak barely made it into double-digits in goals.

LONG-TERM NEEDS: Boston hasn’t had to worry about goaltending for the past decade, but starter Tuukka Rask and backup Jaroslav Halak are well into their 30s. The B’s do have a prospect in Maine stopper Jeremy Swayman, but even the most promising young goalies tend to be long-term projects with lots of uncertainty. There’s also concern about age on defense, particularly the left side.

CAP SITUATION: The Bruins are in reasonably good shape thanks to their long-term deals and the fact Zdeno Chara is coming back at a bargain-basement cap hit of just $2 million. They have about $9 million in cap space with two RFA defensemen in Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo.

IN THE SYSTEM 2019-20: Boston expected Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson to seize the No. 3 center spot, but he needed work on the offensive side of the puck, which is usually not the case with young players. He’ll get another chance next season. The Bruins will also take a look at Urho Vaakanainen, a left-shot defenseman who won a gold medal with Finland at the world juniors and played in the AHL this season.

DID YOU KNOW: The OHL’s Niagara IceDogs were so desperate to get Bruins prospect Jack Studnicka for their playoff run that they gave up a roster player and six draft picks in order to secure him and Vancouver defense prospect Matt Brassard.

LATE-ROUND GEMS:
(2000-2018 drafts)
Brad Marchand, 71st, ’06
Kris Versteeg, 134th, ’04
Vladimir Sobotka, 106th, ’05
Nate Thompson, 183rd, ’03
Matt Hunwick, 224th, ’04
Andrew Alberts, 179th, ’01
Milan Jurcina, 241st, ’01
Matt Benning, 175th, ’12
Danton Heinen, 116th, ’14
Matt Grzelcyk, 85th, ’12

PICKS AFTER SECOND ROUND: 90
100+ NHL GAMES: 12
PERCENT SUCCESS: 13.3%
NHL RANK: 13th

TOP HEADLINES

USATSI_18103034
Play

NHL Hot Seat Radar: Carolina Hurricanes

The Carolina Hurricanes have a deep team, but injuries in the crease plagued them last year. If the Hurricanes are going far this year, they'll need Frederik Andersen to stay healthy, at the very least.

Screenshot_1
Play

From the Archives: The Post-War Return of Pre-War NHL Aces

World War 2 had ended and pre-war aces returned to their respective NHL teams. One of them was left wing Lynn Patrick whose father, Lester, managed the Rangers, who said Lynn's "legs were done." Turns out, he wasn't far off.

Sonny Milano
Play

NHL Free Agency: Top 5 Best Bargains Still Available

In a league with very little cap space left to work with, it's peculiar to see so many names without homes this deep into the summer. Here's a look at five players who could bring nice bang for your team's buck.