Welcome to the next instalment of the Bruins 30 in 30 offseason prospect report. The Bruins have been busy over the last couple of years bolstering what was once a very thin prospect pool. Over the last two drafts the Bruins have paid particular attention to bolstering the defensive prospect pool. The addition of Jakob Zboril, Brandon Carlo, Jeremy Lauzon, Charlie McAvoy, Ryan Lindgren and Cam Clarke has launched the Bruins from the bottom of the league in terms of defensive depth right back into the middle of the pack. In terms of forward depth, the Bruins group took a big hit with the loss of Alexander Khokhlachev to the KHL back in June. The argument could be made that this allows the opportunity to be given to another up and coming player, but I just don’t see it that way. Big loss here for the Bruins and fantasy owners, as it is very unlikely that we see Koko back in North America any time soon. Many of the Bruins prospects will be looking to improve on last year. Malcolm Subban, Jeremy Lauzon, and Zboril stand out as players who will be looking to make a bigger impact on their respective teams this season. Subban and Lauzon both took serious injuries halfway through last season and will be looking to get back in the limelight, while Zboril was just not very good and will be looking to improve on 2015-2016 to solidify his status as a top prospect in the Bruins organization.
Let’s take a look at the Bruins’ new prospect depth chart heading into the 2016 season:
The Bruins remain weak on the wing, an issue that will come up for the organization both in the minors and for the big club in the upcoming season. Outside of DeBrusk and Senyshyn the Bruins have very little depth on the wing, especially if compared to depth on defense and in net. Look for the Bruins to try to bolster this aspect of their organization depth in the coming year.
With this in mind, let’s have a look at who you should be excited about, and who you should be worried about heading into the 2016 season:
Danton Heinen – Heinen was a standout player in this year's Bruins' development camp. Heinen is faster, stronger, and more confident on both sides of the puck than he was last season. Heinen has shown fantastic hands and play-making ability beyond his years and is one of the biggest risers of the offseason.
Frank Vatrano – Everybody’s high on Vatrano, and for good reason. Vatrano showed great speed and scoring ability on the big club last season. While I’m not as high as most on Vatrano, he has good fantasy potential heading into the 2016-2017 season.
Jeremy Lauzon – After taking a skate to the neck last season Lauzon will be out to prove that he’s still got it. Lauzon has good size, speed, and a ton of skill. Lauzon had a fantastic camp and looks to be a solid defender for the Bruins in the future.
Jakob Zboril – Folks are low on Zboril and for good reason. After posting 33 points in 44 games for the Saint John Sea Dogs in 2015, Zboril took a step back posting only 20 in 50 games last season. Bruins’ Assistant Coach Jay Pandolfo attributes this to Zboril becoming a shut-down defender not because he isn’t playing well. Either way, this is bad news for fantasy owners.
Zane McIntyre –McIntyre is a solid goaltender, but in terms of organizational depth I believe that Daniel Vladar is the better asset. In the time that McIntyre takes to become NHL ready, Vladar could also be knocking on the door.
Alexander Khokhlachev – I’ll just leave this here in case you’re late to the party. Khokhlachev has left for the KHL and will not be returning. His value is nil at this point and it’s safe to let him go in your keeper league.
UPDATE TOP 10 PROSPECTS LIST
1. Frank Vatrano
2. Zach Senyshyn
3. Charlie McAvoy
4. Jakob Zboril
5. Malcolm Subban
6. Brandon Carlo
7. Austin Czarnik
8. Jake DeBrusk
9. Danton Heinen
10. Jeremy Lauzon
Thanks for reading! Follow me on twitter @NHLFantasyGuy. Tweet me your fan mail, your hate mail, your junk mail. Until next time! – Mike Drover
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