As a perennial Stanley Cup contender, the Bruins don’t often have a lot to work within the way of draft picks and cap space. Making just four selections in the recent 2020 NHL Entry Draft, the former remained true this offseason. However, the team found themselves with an uncommon amount of salary cap room, primarily due to the departure of power-play quarterback Torey Krug in free agency. With this space, the Bruins focused on experience, bringing in veteran goal-scorer Craig Smith to add some depth on the wing. Experience was the name of the game in the draft as well, where Boston used its first two selections on overage players, both from the USHL. The team’s choices in the draft might not have the makings of future point-per-game players, however, they boast solid tools that can help them develop into valuable NHLers.
Round 2, 58th Overall – Mason Lohrei (LD)
In his first full season in the USHL, Lohrei became an all-situations player for the Green Bay Gamblers. He produced eight goals and 37 points in 48 games, adding 16 power-play points, 26 penalty minutes, 75 shots on goal, and chipped in a shorthanded assist to boot. Passed over in the 2019 NHL Draft, this production spike was enough to convince Boston that he has grown as a player, and will continue to do so moving forward. His final numbers placed him second among USHL defensemen in total scoring, behind only potential top pick in 2021, Owen Power.
Not bad company for the newest member of the Bruins organization.
At 6’4”, Lohrei stands out on the ice, but his size isn’t the only thing that has drawn the eye of many viewers. He is creative with the puck on his stick and is easily capable of leading a rush up ice. His patience helps him in this regard, giving him the poise and control to make intelligent decisions in all three zones.
In an interview with NHL.com, Lohrei said it was a “dream come true” to be drafted by the Bruins. He noted that he had several conversations with the team leading up to the draft, ultimately fulfilling his dream when he was selected with the 58th pick. He is a self-proclaimed two-way defenseman and likes contributing in all situations.
The young blueliner will return to Green Bay for one more year, before joining THE Ohio State University in 2021-2022. His size and experience could earn him a notable role immediately with the Buckeyes, where his development will be one to monitor.
Round 3, 89th Overall, Trevor Kuntar (C)
The second of two overage players selected by Boston in this year’s draft, Kuntar enjoyed a successful season in the USHL, similar to hi