Bruins Draft Countdown
The draft is only a couple of days away now, and Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli has a lot of heavy decisions to make. An entire post could be dedicated to discussing the financial bind Chiarelli faces regarding the salary cap, but I think it’s equally important to familiarize ourselves with some of the more prominent draft prospects that the Bruins could look at acquiring. After all, the team is on a steadily improving trend of picking NHL-ready first-rounders, so whomever the team selects could become a familiar face sooner rather than later.
While NHL analyst Jimmy Murphy has suggested that the Bruins could be looking for a higher draft pick in Philadelphia, I’m going to start by looking at some viable options for Boston, should they retain the 25th selection spot.
One name I’ve seen tossed around quite a bit in relation to the B’s has been forward Josh Ho-Sang, currently one of the more controversial players in this year’s draft class.
Standing at just under six feet tall, this Windsor Spitfire winger was compared to Connor McDavid in playing ability- yet numerous teams have put the talented scorer on their ‘no-draft list’ because of his immense attitude. In numerous sit-downs with team scouts, Ho-Sang made it clear that he expected teams to conform to his playing style, rather than the other way around. He has an immense passion for the game, though, and is willing to take huge risks to win games in thrilling ways- so if he can develop some discipline and find a way to meet coaches and GM’s in the middle, this could be a true locker room leader in Boston’s future. On a team that prefers strong character to strong stats, Ho-Sang could truly excel.
Not everyone thinks that Boston would be willing to take that kind of risk, though, and the staff writers over at Fansided NHL’s prospect site, Frozen Futures, have pegged forward Nick Schmaltz as a strong possibility for the Bruins. Schmaltz may not have the kind of charisma that Ho-Sang does, but his larger stature and solid numbers make him a more physical fit in Boston. He’s also a quiet but smart playmaker, which is a quality that Chiarelli has been known to be fond of. As playmakers like Krejci, Bergeron, and Campbell get older, the team will need to find a younger replacement- and Schmaltz could be that guy.
Since it’s hard to consider that the team will be big players in the free trade market with so little cap space, though, it could serve the team well to invest in a higher pick. Packaging a pricier roster player such as Marchand or Boychuk with the 25th pick for a higher spot could mean drafting a player who will be NHL-ready much sooner. Play-savvy winger Kasperi Kapanen or even someone level-headed and mature like William Nylander could make a good fit for the B’s. Chiarelli already knows that something has to be done to free up some cap space if he has any hope of seeing players like Iginla and Torey Krug again next year, and this could be his solution.
Have any players you think I missed? Anything you’d like to see the Bruins do on Friday? Let me know, and keep an eye out for my analysis of what we do at the draft!