Today marked the end of this years NHL Draft. The Bruins made five picks in seven rounds. The Bruins first pick, 25th over all was David Pastrnak. an 18 year old Czech, that played this past year in the Swedish U-18 leagues. He was ranked as the 5th overall European player. He was listed on draft at 6'0" 174 lbs on draft day, but I feel that's being generous. His favorite player is countryman David Krejci and he is very excited to be drafted by the Bruins. He's known for his blazing speed and soft hands and has been a threat in shootouts and tournaments with upping his game. The dish on Pastrnak, is upper body strength and can be manhandled in front of nets. He suffered a concussion this previous season and missed about 1/3 of the games during the season.
A legacy pick in the second round was Scituate, Mass native Ryan Donato. If his name sounds familiar, he's former Bruin and current Harvard hockey headcoach Ted Donato's son. He hasn't committed this year, but is expected to either return to Dexter Prep School or join a USA U-18 Junior team and is expected to attend Harvard University under his father starting the 2015-16 season. Known for his High Hockey IQ and slick moves in the crease, he also gets rated high for his two way game. His down side is upper body strength and skating which should improve with coaching and conditioning training. He was rated as the 58th overall amongst North American skaters and was drafted with the 56th overall pick.
The Bruins had traded their 3rd round pick to the Flyers in exchange for Andre Mezsaros and drafted the in the 4th round, 116th pick Danton Heinen. listed at 6'0" and 165lbs, he was a not rated player. He plans to attend University of Denver Pioneers next season as a freshman. Anders Bjork was drafted In the 5th round, 146th overall; he played last season in the USA U-18 USHL. He known for his two way game, hard shot and fighting to the net. Also detracted by the upper body strength common in 18 year old draftees. He is committed to Notre Dame as a freshman this coming season. The Bruins sixth round pick was committed to the Blues from last season and they picked up Emil Johansson in the seventh round, 206th overall pick; from the Swedish U-18 program. He was rated in the European skaters list as the 12th overall pick and is known for overall game to play in all situations. He is considered smart and has potential to make the jump to the AHL after another season in Sweden.
The Bruins addressed needs and perhaps with an eye to holes to be created in Providence in the next two to four years as current P-Bruins make the jump to the bigs. It was clear that Keith Greztsky and Ryan Nadeau and new addition John Ferguson Jr. had impacts to the Bruins draft in replacing Jim Benning. The European Swedish connection seems to indicate P J Axelsson has been working hard as he was added to the scouting staff last summer.
Announced just prior to the start of the draft, the new Salary Cap at $69 million. This news was perhaps a bit underwhelming and Bad news for the Bruins, making fitting a roster under the Cap more difficult. The Bruins currently have 18 players under contract, including Marc Savard and his $4.007 million. That leaves the Bruins with less space than hoped and either eliminates the idea of signing Jerome Iginla or forcing the Bruins to trade a roster player with significant salary to allow for his signing. In other news, the Bruins offered qualifying offers to Matt Bartkowski, Torey Krug and Reilly Smith from this years roster. They also offered qualifying contracts to P-Bruins David Warsofsky, Matt Fraser, Craig Cunningham, Zach Trotman, Justin Florek, Tyler Randell and Tommy Cross.
On Tuesday, Free Agency starts and there are big questions for the Bruins. They obviously want Iginla back. They are right up against the cap with seven rosters spots to fill. Even committed to the top of the cap, they could be one serous injury away from crippling roster freeze and unable to make moves during the season or at the 2015 trade deadline. I predict we will know which direction the team intends to pursue by next Friday, July 4th. I'll be interested to follow and see where they are and report it to you as it happens.
Until Next Time!