Bruins 2017 NHL Draft Primer

Your TSP founder posted this on the Boston Bruins Reddit yesterday, so it might as well go up here:

What: 2017 NHL Entry Draft

When: Round 1- Friday June 23 (6 pm EST), Rounds 2-7 Saturday June 24 (beginning at 9 a.m. EST) Televised on NBCSN

Where: United Center; Chicago, IL

Bruins selections: (6 total- R1, R2, R4, R6 R7x2)

1st round- 18

2nd round- 53 (from Edmonton for Peter Chiarelli; Boston’s own selection [49] to NJ for Lee Stempniak)

3rd round- no pick (to Philadelphia for Zac Rinaldo)

4th round- 111

5th round- no pick (to Carolina for J-M Liles)

6th round- 173

7th round- 195 (from Florida for 2016 7th), 204

Good fits (1st & 2nd rounds):

C

Lias Andersson- Versatile, skilled 2-way C with jam. Built like a bowling ball and has NHL bloodlines/can do a bit of everything.

Nick Suzuki- Undersized but dangerous offensive talent with high compete, creativity. A winner.

Robert Thomas- Playmaking heart-and-soul guy who needs to shoot the puck more often than he does; good skater. Classic more than the sum of his parts player who leaves it all out on the ice, but lacks a sexy wow factor.

Filip Chytil- Tall, lanky, speedy Czech who is a late riser gaining traction as a potential 1st rounder- might be a tad overvalued at 18, though.

Morgan Frost- Better option if B’s trade out of 18 and have an early pick, but smart, energetic and not yet hitting his full offensive stride. Could be one of those players who takes the next big step but not currently projected inside the top-20 on public lists.

Morgan Geekie- 2nd-year eligible stepped up when Michael Rasmussen was lost for the season in January for Tri-City of the WHL. He’s a smart, hard-working pivot who brings the attributes and maturity the B’s respect.

Jaret Anderson-Dolan- Spokane Chiefs star piled up points with RW Kailer Yamamoto; average size, but high-end hockey sense and compete factor- all things that tend to be on the priority list for NHL clubs.

LW

Kristian Vesalainen- Big, powerful and offensively savvy. Struggled to score and value took a hit, but had a great U18 showing & might have played way into top-15. Total Bruins type power winger if he’s there at 18, though.

Jason Robertson- Skating concerns are overblown IMO- you don’t score 42 goals in the OHL by accident. Smart, talented and competitive.

Isaac Ratcliffe- Huge Guelph winger can skate and score but is raw and might not have a higher-end ceiling. Still- with his size, skills- pretty safe bet to reach the NHL in some capacity.

Ryan Poehling- Don’t expect him to be on the board at 18, but a very good fit for Boston if he is. Heavy, talented, hard-working.

RW

Elias Petterssen- Probably not going to be there at 18, but he’d be hard to pass on if he is- pure shooter with some real wiggle to his game.

Kole Lind- Tall, skinny scoring winger out of Kelowna has to get a lot stronger, but could exceed draft projections if he continues to get better.

Kailer Yamamoto- *Not a good fit based on how the B’s typically approach it, but just love this guy’s high-end hockey sense and gritty compete factor. He’s always around the puck and making things happen. Big man trapped in a little man’s body.

MacKenzie Entwistle- Big power forward can skate and has adequate (if not high-end) skills, but you can’t help but think that he’s just hitting his developmental stride and major things could be in store for the 6-3 winger with the Hamilton Bulldogs of the OHL.

 

LD

Erik Brannstrom- Love this guy. Small, but a blazing skater who can push the pace offensively reminiscent of some other Swedish D named Erik (not that I’m comparing the two). He’ll naturally get banged on b/c of the lack of size, but if you like Cale Makar as a top-5 prospect, you should like Brannstrom just as much for top value closer to 20. They’re essentially the same guy.

Juuso Valimaki- Smooth, steady two-way defender has the size, skills and sense to be a PP contributor. Grew up in Finland cheering for the Bruins. Not an elite talent, but represents solid value at 18 as a LD. His footwork needs to get more fluid, but he’s an all-around solid prospect.

Nic Hague- 6-5 toolsy D can really skate and shoot the puck but a gongshow in his own end. Some say he has fine hockey IQ, but I haven’t seen that I could also be very, very wrong about him. He is a good fit as a Bruins type of D, but with Brandon Carlo on board,  not sure Hague would represent BPA or need at 18.

Pierre-Olivier Joseph- What a skater! He virtually never gets mentioned as a Boston draft option, but if you’re into upside picks, give this guy a look. He’s the type of player who could really bust out in the next couple of years and become a prospect darling.

RD

Timothy Liljegren- Easily one of the purest skaters in the entire draft at any position. Looked so good a year ago, but a bad season and major questions about the CPU have him falling. I don’t think he drops to 18. The B’s love defensemen who can skate and move the puck like he does, but he’s not an ideal fit- they’ll be leery of the questionable decision making.

Cal Foote- Falling! Not a bad prospect at all, but more of a plain vanilla type who is big and mobile and puts up points in a good system at Kelowna. On the downside- he’s not the nasty, vicious to play against D his dad was, and ultimately- is more of a safe but limited ceiling option if you’re going to go with a D in the 1st.

Conor Timmins- So smart and well-rounded. He’s not expected to put up big points in the NHL, but he has the tools and brain to chip in and be a consistent player who can expertly round out your top 3/4 and play in any situation. As a right-shot guy, that’s valuable to have.

G

Jake Oettinger- If the B’s traded out of 18 and dropped back to the late 1st, he’s not a bad option to consider as the best of the bunch in my not so humble opinion. He’ll not drop out of the 1st round, IMO.

Keith Petruzzelli- Another big, athletic goalie like Oettinger. Western Mass kid going to Quinnipiac. Can’t imagine he’ll be on the board at 53- B’s could deal the 18th for another 2nd-rounder and if it’s early enough (32-45), they might have a shot at him. Tremendous upside.

Michael DiPietro- Before the Memorial Cup, I would have said there’s a very good chance he’ll be there at 53, but now? Not so much. Even with the size bias against goalies under 6-2, this kid is just so talented and fluid- someone will jump on him. If he’s on the board at 53, I’d have a hard time letting him slip by- potential game-changer, but not without risk.

All of this aside- there may be a better than average chance that the Bruins could trade the 18th overall pick as part of a package for NHL talent. We won’t post the rumors here because that’s what they are, but think left-shot D and forward. Don’t get too attached to the draft options at 18…

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