Only a short time after the Boston Bruins seasons ended, it was time to for the organization and fans to brace themselves for a busy offseason. Needless to say the early offseason has been everything everyone expected, rumors flying around and players deciding to part ways. Late this past week, the Bruins got word that Nathan Horton would not return, along with rumors that the team was shopping young Tyler Seguin. Going into the draft, the biggest concern was getting scoring defenseman because the lack of scoring in the post-season ended up leading to their downfall in the Stanley Cup Finals. Let’s take a close look at each player the Bruins drafted, and how much impact they will have in the near future.
Round: 2, Pick: 60
This prospect has some offensive upside, as he will not hesitate to join a rush. What makes him standout though is his sound defense game, as he is pretty solid on that end of the ice. With the Bruins being a defensive minded team, there is no question they will always be pursuing strong defensemen, but they need to go out and get a player like this who can also score. Arnesson could be the answer in the future, but for now he will probably be in the minors for a little while.
Round 3, Pick:90
Cehlarik played with Boston’s Carl Soderberg in the Swedish league, and is still under contract through the 2015-16 season. He is only 17, and stands 6’2, 192 pounds of pure muscle but has been criticized at times for not being as physical as most think he should be. Hockey News wrote that “he is a big with nice hockey sense and good hands.” Those are great things, but as most know if you’re not physical chances are you won’t be in Boston very long. Bruins will be the “wait and see” game hoping that he will pan out.
Round 4, Pick: 120
Ryan Fitzgerald, C/RW
The Bruins went local with this pick, as Fitzgerald is from the New England area. It’s been reported that he is the highest-ranked prospect to come out of New England, and has amazing vision while on the ice. He competes hard everytime he is on the ice, and his competitive nature should fit right in with the Bruins culture. Some experts that Fitzgerald could be seeing ice time for the B’s in the near future.
Round 5, Pick:150
Wiley Sherman, D
The biggest reason the Bruins drafted this young prospect is simple; he stands tall at 6’6. He is a physical player, a good skater, but he is still a very raw talent. The Bruins are hoping that he can develop into a great “stay at home” type defender, and hopefully can contribute later on down the road. Sherman will have to work extremely hard at his craft because if he doesn’t he might not see playing time for the B’s anytime soon.
Round 6, Pick: 180
Anton Blidh, LW/RW
Experts stated that there was no surprise why the Bruins drafted Blidh, he plays a Boston style of game, and is hard-nosed. He skates extremely well, while being most known for how well he kills penalties. This past year he scored an impressive 27 points in 43 games, which is fantastic especially since he is only 17. The Bruins could see the fruits of his labor at some point, as long as he can bring his intangibles with him to the next level.
Round 7, Pick: 210
Mitchell Dempsey, LW
The Bruins have had their share of injured players over the years, so this pick to some was a bit of a head scratcher. Dempsey has had injury problems in the past (ankle sprains), and a mediocre year this past season, but the Bruins hope that he will have a comeback season this upcoming year. The attitude fans should take about this pick is this; if Dempsey doesn’t pan out, then the Bruins aren’t very heartbroken as he after all a 7th round pick.
Overall, the Bruins feel that they did a decent job in getting top quality talent. They went out and got some home cooking with a couple of players, while also digging into the Swedish league. With young talent on the horizon for the Bruins, and an already stellar line-up, don’t be surprised if none of these players see playing time for the B’s in the near future. If the Bruins have misfortune again with injuries, at least they will have some talented players in reserve just waiting for their number to be called.