The Bruins entered this draft in a significantly different position than last year. By the end of last draft day, the Bruins had traded away Dougie Hamilton, Milan Lucic and Carl Soderberg. This bevy of activity allowed the Bs to make 10 total selections, with three in the first round alone. This year, Sweeney had only six total picks, and again, two in the first round. The Bruins GM has shown that he is not afraid to go off the beaten path to get the player that he wants. Last year, Sweeney used one of three first round picks to take Zach Senychyn, a surprise to most that has panned out quite well for club thus far. This June, the Bs had hockey pundits scratching their heads again when they selected Trent Frederic from the US National Development Program at 27th overall. Like Senychyn a year ago, it’s not that Frederic is a bad player, it’s just that there were multiple other players considered better still on the draft board. Regardless, Bruins fans will have to trust that Sweeney and Co. know what they are doing, and patiently await the development of this year’s class.
In terms of player movement, Boston recently said goodbye to both Loui Eriksson and Dennis Seidenberg. This helped to free up slots which could potentially be filled by the likes of Vatrano, Miller and/or Morrow in the upcoming year. It is very likely one or two of these prospects get a great opportunity to start this season with the Bruins. The loss of Eriksson has helped contribute to Boston’s desperate need for some help on the wing. Recently signed David Backes has gone on record saying that he expects to play center for his new team, and it appears the club will not be able to fill the position with newly acquired David Backes. For this reason, it is likely that Boston makes another free agent signing as the summer progresses to address this organizational gap. However, this could also be an opening for Seth Griffith to get an extended look with the big club. At 23 years of age, Griffith dominated the AHL last season to the tune of 24 goals, 53 assists in just 57 games played. While Griffith has great skill, he is rather small and it has yet to be determined if his successes in the AHL can translate at the NHL level. Griffith is worth keeping an eye on throughout the offseason and through training camp, and could provide sneaky value in deep leagues if given the right opportunity with the Bs.
With all that being said, let’s take a closer look at Boston’s 2016 draft class: