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2015 Draft Preview – Boston Bruins shift focus to cubs

This season, Boston had the youngest player in the AHL and the NHL. They both just happened to be the same player.
The Hockey News

The Hockey News

This season, Boston had the youngest player in the AHL and the NHL. They both just happened to be the same player. When the Bruins took David Pastrnak 25th overall in 2014, they didn’t envision him having the season he had for them. He played so well in the AHL and was such a standout at the world juniors that the Bruins had no choice but to call him up when they ran into injury trouble. Pastrnak thrived on a line with fellow prospect Ryan Spooner and veteran Milan Lucic. The Bruins pick in the first half of the first round for the first time since doing so in 2010 and 2011.

PICKS

Round 1, pick 14

Round 2, pick 37

Round 3, pick 75

Round 4, pick 105

Round 5, pick 135

Round 6, pick 165

Round 7, pick 195

SHORT-TERM NEEDS

This team is aging quickly and not all that beautifully. An injection of youth is needed to shake up a group that looked rather lethargic in 2014-15. With the announcement Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell won’t return, the Bruins will need fourth-liners of the quality they’ve had in the past.

LONG-TERM NEEDS

The Bruins’ top scorer had 55 points, and they haven’t had a 70-point man in six seasons. This group needs a game-breaker, preferably one with speed.

CAP SITUATION

The Bruins seem to find themselves perpetually in a cap crunch, and next season will be no exception. They have about $63 million committed in salaries but have two big RFAs to sign in center Spooner and Dougie Hamilton, the best defenseman on the roster.

IN THE SYSTEM 2015-16

Malcolm Subban looks ready to make the jump as Tuukka Rask’s understudy, but it’s doubtful they’ll want him spectating 60-plus games rather than developing in the AHL. Watch for Alexander Khokhlachev to be given a real good test in training camp. Same goes for third-year pro defenseman Joe Morrow.

DID YOU KNOW

The Bruins have two prospects who are sons of Massachusetts-born NHL players. Ryan Donato, taken in 2014, will be at Harvard, where his father Ted, a former Bruin, is coaching. And 2013 fourth-rounder Ryan Fitzgerald of Boston College is the son of former NHLer and current Pittsburgh assistant GM Tom Fitzgerald.

THN will be releasing its Team Reports from Draft Preview for each of the 30 NHL franchises in the week leading up to the NHL Draft. Read them in our “Draft” channel.

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