Heading into this years draft many of us were expecting the Bruins to make some sort of cap saving moves which would allow them to resign key free agents like Iginla. The Bruins however had other plans which included not making any major trades and drafting several forwards and one defenseman. Let's take a closer look at the newest members of the Boston Bruins.
With their first pick at number 25 the Bruins selected David Pastrnak a versatile winger who can play on both the left and right sides. Pastrnak is from the Czech Republic like David Krejci and shares a similar skill set. Both players posses deceptive speed along with great vision and passing ability. Pastrnak moved to Sweden's Sodertalje SK for the 2012-13 season where he scored 3 points in 11 games. This helped him gain the attention of KHL scouts so much so that he was drafted in the first round of their 2013 junior draft but he continued to play awaiting the NHL draft. Pastrnak was also a part of the Czech Bronze medal team at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. Pastrnak scored the most points by any U18 player in the SHL-2 since 1971. In 36 SHL-2 games Pastrnak had 24 points at the same age and in the same league Filip Forsberg the 11th overall pick in the 2012 draft had 17 points in 43 games. Clearly there is some offensive upside to Pastrnak now all he has to do is build up his frame which I have seen listed from 5'9 150 to 6ft 165 either way he needs to add some size if he wants to be successful in the NHL.
The Bruins next pick was Ryan Donato a local kid from Dexter High school. He already has an NHL ready frame standing 6'1 180 and is praised for his high hockey IQ and his two way abilities. Donato was ranked the 58th North American forward on Central Scoutings pre draft rankings. In his 30 games for Dexter in 2013-14 Donato put up an impressive 78 points with 30 goals. Donato is expected to play for Harvard so he won't be making an impact on the Bruins in the near future but with plenty of talent at the center position already the Bruins can afford to wait. The next pick by the Bruins was another college bound player Danton Heinen who will be playing for the University of Denver. Another versatile player who can play both the left wing and center he played in the BCHL and was named rookie of the year. Heinen was the captain of the Surrey Eagles and scored 29 goals and 33 assists for 62 points in 57 games. Heinen has good hands and hockey sense but could improve his skating ability. With 4 years to improve his game at the collegiate level he should be able to become a more complete player.
The Bruins 5th round pick was yet another forward Anders Bjork who will be playing for Notre Dame this fall. He is mainly an offensive player who is not very concerned with the defensive aspects of the game. Unfortunately that doesn't fit will with the Bruins system but given his offensive upside they seem willing to be the will grow in the NCAA and in Providence where the coaching staff does a great job of making their forwards more complete two way players. Bjork played on both the U17 and U18 NTDP where he won a bronze and Gold medal. The final pick of the Bruins draft was the lone defenseman taken by the team Emil Johansson. Johansson is a Swedish born player who has good size and can make good passes out of his zone. Johansson was ranked 12th among international skaters according to Central Scoutings mid-term rankings so getting him all the way in the seventh round seems like a huge steal. Johansson is still playing in Sweden's junior leagues and is looking to take the next step to the SHL once he has played some time there his role In the NHL will become much more clear.
The Bruins looked to reload on forwards this draft but all of their picks still have some growing to do so no immediate impact will be felt from this draft. First round pick Pastrnak will still need a few years to get accustomed to the North American ice and style. While the other picks have 4 years of college hockey ahead if them to develop their games. The Bruins are not know for drafting star players in the first round but are very good at developing players with Bergeron Krejci Lucic and Marchand all drafted by the Bruins in the second or third round. Now we move on from the draft to the biggest part of the offseason free agency. With key players from last years team like Krug Smith and Iginla all looking for new contracts it's going to be a busy first few days of July.