30 in 30 Boston Bruins

Mike Drover

2016-07-13

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:

 

Charlie McAvoy – 14th Overall

The first defender that the Bruins selected this year was NCAA star defender Charlie McAvoy. McAvoy played in 2015-2016 for hometown Boston University, which undoubtedly gave the Bruins brass a good chance to know exactly what they were getting into. Rated 23rd overall in the ISS Final rankings, McAvoy went just about where he was expected to go. The only surprise here was that previous rankings standout Jakob Chychrun was still available at this point. McAvoy is a strong puck moving defender with a fine skillset for the offensive side of the game. McAvoy still requires some seasoning before making it to the NHL, his shot requires work, and he has a reputation of being over aggressive with his pinches. Otherwise, this was a good risk/reward pick for Boston which helps solidify their blue line in the future. Expect McAvoy to be an impact player in three to four seasons.

 

Trent Frederic – 29th Overall

Remember when I said the draft was a bit of a head scratcher? Enter Trent Frederic. Drafted out of the U.S. National Development Program, Frederic was off the board for many observers. Central Scouting had ranked Frederic as the 47th North American Skater going into the draft so taking him at 29th overall was a shock to many. It’s not that Frederic is a bad player, because he isn’t, it’s more so that there were other players who were widely considered to be far superior to Frederic at this point in their development. Considered a strong, large, defensively minded Center, Frederic has been described as having a high floor but a low ceiling. While it is likely that Frederic can develop into a solid third or fourth line center for the Bruins, it seems unusual to draft a player with that ceiling in mind during the first round. Frederic is committed to the University of Wisconsin and isn’t of particular high fantasy relevance anyway.

Ryan Lindgren – 49th Overall

The Bruin’s second selection from the US National Dev. Program, Ryan Lindgren, scored 25 points for the U.S. U18 team last year and had a great World Juniors nabbing 5 points in only 7 games. Lindgren is an average sized, mobile defender with good upside. Like many young defenders, Lindgren needs to fill out a bit and also needs to work on his shooting abilities before being impactful in the NHL. Lindgren’s strength is his skating ability, and has above average positioning for his draft class. Lindgren is an interesting defensive prospect but will require at least three to four years of development before we can truly say what kind of value the Bruins got with this selection. Keep him on your radar but not on your squad for now.

Joona Koppanen – 135th overall

After some significant downtime for the Bruins staff, the Bs selected 6-5 Joona Koppanen from Tampere, Finland. Koppanen played for the Fins in the World Juniors but failed to register any points in seven matches. Koppanen is a good skater for his size and is better on the defensive side of the puck. Koppanen projects as a role playing bottom six guy. Not much fantasy value here.

Cameron Clarke – 136th overall

The second of back-to-back picks for the Bruins in round 5 saw them select Cameron Clarke from the NAHL Lone Star Brahmas. Clarke tallied an impressive 50 points in 59 games for the Brahmas last year, so the Bruins hope that his offensive flair can translate into the bigger leagues. Clarke comes in at 6-1, 170 pounds and won the NAHL Defenseman of the Year. A bit of a Hail Mary pick for the Bruins, at the end of the fifth round it’s a risk worth taking. Already 20 years old, Clarke could put things together quicker than some of the younger players, but is not yet a target for fantasy purposes

Oscar Steen – 165th overall

Oscar Steen has fared well for Sweden in international play and played 23 games, including 5 playoff games, for Farjestad BK last season. Signing with Farjestad in the spring, Steen should start in the SHL next season. Steen is a bit of an undersized guy but he has some shifty hands and good foot speed. If he proves that he can be effective in the SHL he may soon make the transition to North America. Ranked 18th in EU Skaters by NHL Central Scouting and 123rd overall by ISS Hockey, the Bruins appear to have received good value with their last pick. Steen has the potential to be a fantasy relevant player and his year in the SHL will be critical for his development.

 

One final note, the Bruins didn’t draft any goaltenders in 2016 and the addition of free agent Anton Khudobin means that Malcolm Subban, Zane McIntyre, and Daniel Vladar will continue to develop with their respective clubs. Barring injury, these players will not see significant time in the NHL this season, so bear that in mind going into the 2016 draft. The Bruins have yet to announce their development camp roster but it runs from July 12th to July 15th so rosters should be up soon.

 

I’ve updated the top 10 prospects list, which you can see here. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section or on twitter. You can reach me @NHLFantasyGuy. Thanks for reading!

**DEVELOPMENT CAMP UPDATE**

Bruins development camp kicked off on July 12th and will run through until the 15th. Newly acquired Bruins McAvoy, Trent Frederic, and the rest of the 2016 class will have their first chance to take to the ice in Boston donning the black and yellow jerseys. Boston invited 27 players to camp this year including 14 forwards, nine defensemen and four goalies. Here’s the full list of camp invitees:

Forwards: Jack Becker, Anders Bjork, Jake DeBrusk, Ryan Donato, Ryan Fitzgerald, Trent Frederic, Jesse Gabrielle, Danton Heinen, Cameron Hughes, Joona Koppanen, Sean Kuraly, Mark Naclerio, Zachary Senyshyn, Oskar Steen

Defensemen: Brandon Carlo, Cameron Clarke, Matt Grzelcyk, Emil Johansson, Jeremy Lauzon, Ryan Lindgren, Charlie McAvoy, Wiley Sherman, Jakub Zboril

Goaltenders: Stephen Dhillon, Zane McIntyre, Malcolm Subban, Daniel Vladar

If you don’t recognize one of the names on this list it’s because goaltender Stephen Dhillon is the only one of these 27 young players who is not a member of the Bruins organization. Dhillon, 18, was a member of the OHL Second All-Rookie Team last season and appeared in 24 games for the Niagara IceDogs. While Dhillon has the size and the tools to be a good goaltender, he’s just an invite for now.

Opening day of development camp featured mostly drills but still a number of interesting storylines developed. First, only 25 players were on the ice for Tuesday’s practice with Zach Senyshyn out with illness and Ryan Lindgren out due to an educational commitment. Lindgren is expected to get his first chance at Bruins camp on Wednesday and will be at the remainder of camp. Senyshyn however, is expected to miss the remainder of camp with Mono. The Bruins welcomed back both Malcolm Subban and Jeremy Lauzon who both suffered horrific season ending injuries last year. Subban, who took a puck to the throat, skated in the morning and is expected to join the rest of the group for full practice on Wednesday. Lauzon, who had his throat slashed by a skate but participated in the Memorial Cup last season, was back on the ice with his teammates as expected.

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Former Bruin P.J. Axelsson (now a scout with the team) hanging with goalie Malcolm Subban. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BruinsDevCamp?src=hash">#BruinsDevCamp</a> <a href="https://t.co/U1ZiTHrvtM">pic.twitter.com/U1ZiTHrvtM</a></p>&mdash; Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) <a href="https://twitter.com/NHLBruins/status/753264747118792704">July 13, 2016</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}

Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk were reunited at camp after both had a successful season with Boston University. At 22, Grzelcyk has just completed his fourth year with BU accruing 23 points, second highest by a defenseman. At 18, McAvoy scored 25 points in his rookie season with the Boston Terriers, solidifying his status as a special player. Bruins Assistant Coach Jay Pandolfo went on record Tuesday praising McAvoy’s size, speed and determination. Pandolfo expects McAvoy to become a minute-eating defender for the Bruins in the future, and to play a leadership role with the club.

Boston’s second first-round pick, Trent Frederic, also skated on Tuesday. Pandolfo also had high praise for Frederic’s first taste of development camp, stating in the post skate press conference that he was a great athlete, that he was explosive, and that he was going to turn a lot of heads for people who projected him to be a 3rd line player at best. Frederic looked so-so in day one of development camp so I’ll remain in the wait-and-see camp on this one. Contrary to what Pandolfo says, I still believe that Frederic’s value is limited for fantasy purposes.

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Danton Heinen going through the paces. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BruinsDevCamp?src=hash">#BruinsDevCamp</a> <a href="https://t.co/p2dALjmltN">pic.twitter.com/p2dALjmltN</a></p>&mdash; Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) <a href="https://twitter.com/NHLBruins/status/753237307881381889">July 13, 2016</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}

Other standouts from Tuesday included Jake DeBrusk, Danton Heinen, and Jeremy Lauzon which all appear to have taken steps forward in their development. While it is just one day at camp, each of these players appeared to have improved their mobility and explosiveness. DeBrusk and Lauzon will be out to show that they still have what it takes after missing a large chunk of last season. Heinen will be looking to prove that his impressive season with the University of Denver can translate into success on the wing for the big club, a role in which there may be a job available this September.

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