The Bruins enter Friday’s NHL draft with one of the deepest prospect pools in the league.
Trent Frederic, Jack Studnicka, Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson and Ryan Fitzgerald give them talented depth down the middle. The wing prospects are already renowned locally with some potential star power provided by Jake DeBrusk, Anders Bjork, Ryan Donato and Zach Senyshyn.
The blue line already has future Norris Trophy candidate Charlie McAvoy on the big club’s top pair while Brandon Carlo mans a Top 4 spot right behind him. The future looks bright on the left side of the blue line as well. Matt Grzelcyk just re-signed for 2 more years after stepping up in 2017-18 while Urho Vaakanainen, Jakob Zboril and Jeremy Lauzon will be pushing for NHL promotions this fall.
Unlike their rivals in Montreal, the Bruins don’t have a lot of organizational needs to fill. This type of depth is why Don Sweeney could be viewed as one of the more active general managers at the draft this weekend.
This is the first time in 5 years the Bruins don’t have a first round selection which has many speculating that Sweeney will push hard to get his team back in that first round. The Bruins don’t have a first round pick in this draft after sending their pick to the NY Rangers as part of the Rick Nash trade last February.
Despite the lack of a first rounder, the Bruins have some talented players to pick from starting in the second round.
Let’s take a look at some players they may be keen on. Full disclosure: I am not a scout. The notes on each player below comes from reading several scouting reports and watching tourneys and highlight videos. If you’re looking to invest in a draft guide, I recommend checking out @TheDraftAnalyst on Twitter.
Second Round, Pick 57
Jay O’Brien, Center– Thayer Academy : O’Brien is a 5’11, 176 pound center who was named the top high school player in New England. The right shot pivot possesses elite speed along with a fiery competitive edge. He’s been learning under the tutelage of Tony Amonte at Thayer Academy. O’Brien combines a lethal shot with quick feet and a bevy of dekes and dangles. He is committed to play in Hockey East at Providence College for the near future.
Kevin Bahl, Left Defenseman–Ottawa 67’s (OHL) : Bahl has impressive size and reach at an impressive 6’6, 220 lbs. He is a prototypical shutdown defender but he does have above-average skating ability for a player his size. Bahl has shown poise against opposing forecheckers with smart passes but he doesn’t have the type of offensive ability that would land him on any power play units.
Adam Ginning, Left Defenseman–Linkoping J20 (Swedish Superelit): Ginning is another blue liner with size and physicality. He’s 6’4, 206 and has a penchant for delivering bone crushing hits. His strength and snarl is something the Bruins could use to keep the area in front of Tuukka Rask clear of traffic. Ginning is only an average skater but he does have a booming slap shot and a quick release wrister that could be featured on a power play unit.
Blade Jenkins, Left Wing– Saginaw Spirit (OHL): Aside from having a fantastic hockey name the Jackson, Mississippi native owns a heavy, accurate shot. He’s an aggressive winger who can play some center and loves to get involved in the corners on the forecheck. Jenkins has a powerful skating stride which helps him in even strength. He didn’t miss a beat moving from the USHL to the OHL where he tallied 20 goals and 24 assists in 68 games. You can see some of Jenkins highlights below:
3rd round Pick 77
Filip Johansson, Right Defenseman– Leksands J20 ( Swedish Superelit): Johansson is a technically sound blue liner with a steady 2-way game. He plays more of a support role next to an offensively gifted left -side defenseman. He’s known to have elite closing speed along with a propensity for maintaining tight gaps in his own end. The 6’1, 180 lbs., Swede is also known for making fantastic stretch passes to send forwards on counter attacks.
Karel Plasek– Center/Right Wing– Prerov (WSM-Liga, Czech Republic): Plasek is shooting up the prospect rankings over the past year. He was ranked as low as 181st back in September and has now jumped all the way up in the 80 range. That’s a 3-round jump catalyzed by his speed, soft hands and scoring acumen. Plasek potted 4 goals in 7 games at the World Juniors in 2018.
Liam Foudy, Center/LW– London Knights (OHL): Foudy is a 2-way forward who can play on the penalty kill or the power play. His athleticism is his best asset but his Hockey IQ is a close second. Foudy has very good straight-line speed and impressive stick handling ability. The Toronto, Ontario native is said to be relentless on the forecheck. He’s been projected anywhere from the top of the second round to the middle of the third round depending on the draft site.
4th round Pick 119
Jack Drury, Center–Waterloo Blackhawks(USHL): If the name looks familiar it’s because Drury is the son of former NHLer and Boston native, Ted Drury. His uncle Chris Drury also carved out a solid NHL career. If you remember Ted and Chris’ game it should come as no surprise to hear that Jack has an unreal work ethic that leads to a blue-collar style of play. Don’t let that blue-collar adjective fool you, though. Drury has a quick release wrister in his arsenal. He was the captain of his USHL team and the Team USA U-18 team when they played in the Ivan Hlinka tourney. He led Team USA with 5 goals in 4 games in that tournament.
Ryan O’Reilly- Right Wing, Madison Capitals (USHL): O’Reilly is another kid with helium helping hid climb up the scouting ranks, The right shot winger has an imposing 6’2, 205 lbs., imposing frame. But don’t be fooled by his brutish size. The kid has soft hands and an impressive array of dangles to go along with a booming shot. He does need to find consistency in both his effort and decision-making which could impact his ability to reach his potential. O’Reilly will try to fix those issue playing at the University of Denver.