Boston Bruins Potential 2015 Draft Picks


The National Hockey League draft is over a month away, and the Boston Bruins are actively working hard now to evaluate talent for the future of this organization. This years draft will be held at the BB&T Center which is the home arena of the Florida Panthers on the weekend of June 26-27, 2015. Many top hockey writers have predicted this draft class to be deep with talent, and is one that could rival the draft that brought forwards Sidney Crosby, Bobby Ryan, and goaltender Carey Price to their respected franchises, ten years ago.

Director of amateur scouting Keith Gretzky is in his fourth season with the Bruins, and second season as director, and will oversee all evaluations from his staff, as they try to put together a strong core of talent to replenish the developmental system in the organization, that many believe was neglected from the prior general manager, and a few scouts that have been shown the door over a month ago.

With so many areas of the organization that will need upgrades in the future due to expiring contracts, it’s hard to speculate what the team is targeting in any draft, or address a certain position that may need immediate attention. Due to the restrictions of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, any player drafted that is in the 18-19 year old range, cannot play in the American Hockey League, but is eligible to play in the NHL. Many of these players that are picked will be returned to their junior teams if they can’t crack an NHL roster, unless the player is drafted out of Europe, which those players are exempt from the CBA restrictions.

The Bruins have seven picks in the draft, and below is a list of potential targets the team may want to pursue in building for the future. This list is compiled of the best players that are around when the team selections are, and are my personal picks that I would consider helpful to the team in the future. This particular list is concentrated on North American talent that are in Colleges, and Junior leagues. A player does not have to be born in North America to be ranked with the rest of the players that are on the NHL Central Scouting Final North American Rankings.

Round One (14th Pick)

With the first pick in the draft, I would personally like to see the Bruins jump on offensive talent with this pick, and if left winger Evgeny Svechnikov is still available, he should get serious consideration. The 18 year-old Neftegorsk, Russia has played in the Kontinental Hockey League Ak Bars Kazan organization, only playing in four KHL games in 2013-14, spending most of his time with the Kazan junior team. His next move turned out to be the best when he left the KHL’s organization and headed for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

This past season he skated on the Cape Breton team, and played in 55 regular season games as a rookie, while posting 32-46-78 totals for the Screaming Eagles. He was the third leading point scorer on the team, and was ranked 22nd in the league in points. I’d say his transition across the pond went quite smoothly, and his potential is far from being reached.

He is just what the Bruins need in the future with his 6’-03” 205 pound frame, and is very skilled for his size. If the Bruins do in fact pick him, he will be a long-shot to make the NHL club, but might be of some exceptional value in a few years with current Bruins working on expiring contracts.

Round Two (37th Pick)

As all Bruins fans know, the team is basically structured with defense being key to shutdown an opponents powerful offense. With this pick I have to look at rebuilding a strong D-Core in the pro development in the next few years. With this pick I really like defenseman Nicolas Meloche.

The 17 year-old Rosemere, Quebec native has spent the last two seasons with the Baie-Comeau Drakkar team of the QMJHL. The 6’-3” 204 pounder has had a decent career so far in one of the best Canadian Junior Leagues. In 98 games he has pitched in offensively with 16-43-59 totals, but has also been called for 146 penalty minutes with his time in the “Q”. He is not an overly fast player, but has the skills to play positional hockey in the defensive zone.

He is a player that thinks about team first when he might be called upon to get aggressive to help change the tone of a game, and is certainly not afraid to drop the glove, and stick up for a teammate. He has great vision when he passes the puck, and a booming shot from the point. You can tell his potential from seeing that he is the 11th highest ranked defenseman on the NHL’s Central Scouting list, and would certainly make a good Bruin in the future.

Round Three (75th Pick)

With this pick I have to go back to offense, and take a good look at the 77th ranked player in center Anthony Richard. The 18 year-old Richard is a Trois-Rivieres, Quebec native and has spent the last three seasons playing in the QMJHL with the Val d’Or Foreurs.

This regular season was his best year in the “Q” when he posted 43-48-91 totals, ranking him 10th in the league. He was ranked 8th in the league in goals and was a key player on the power play, as he lead the team in goals, while on the man-advantage with 13 helpers.

Richard is a bit on the short side when it comes to hockey players, but his skill overshadows any doubt , as his game is greater than is 5’-10” 163 pound frame. He is another player that may play a significant role in the Bruins young core of prospects, if he is indeed selected by the team.

Round Four (105th Pick)

With the fourth pick I would like to see the Bruins look in the Western Hockey League, and take serious evaluation in left winger Dryden Hunt. The 6’-0” Nelson, British Columbia native has spent five seasons in the league, with four of those years spent with the Regina Pats he appeared in 163 games he posted 40-57-97 totals.

On January 5, 2015 the Regina Pats team traded Hunt to the Medicine Hat Tigers along with two other players. This past season with the Tigers he played in 34 games, contributing 19-17-36 points with his new team. In his career in the WHL he has played in 197 games, and posted 59-74-133 totals with his time in the league.

Hunt, who is now 19 years-old, has progressed very well, and has been known as a two-way player, and is incredibly underrated. Exceptional vision on the ice backed up with a ver talented pair of hands, his game has come around after he missed the rest of the 2012-13 season due to concussion issues that limited him to only two games that year. Another potential organizational depth player that the Bruins would like to have, but it remains to be seen how effective his play will be when he finally transitions to the pro level.

Round Five (135th Pick)

With the fifth pick in the draft I would like to see the team go back to a defensive minded strategy, and look at former Belleville Bulls defenseman Justin Lemcke. In two seasons with the Bulls of the Ontario Hockey League, the Whitby, Ontario native has played in 114 games, and has 11-27-38 totals.

The 6’-2” 200 pound Lemcke is known to be a big minute player for a rugged defenseman. He is very skilled at separating the puck from opposing players using his big frame. He moves the puck well in all three zones, and also plays his game with a high leadership role on and off the ice.

One of his biggest attributes from the 18 year-old is his shot blocking, and use his big frame to shut down the shooting lanes in front of the goal. Just his frame alone would be an asset to any level of the Bruins development system in the future.

Round Six (165th Pick)

With the sixth pick in the draft, it would be hard not to notice the efforts of center Alexandre Goulet. The 5’-11” 195 pound Disraeli, Quebec native has spent the last two seasons in the QMJHL with the Charlottetown Islanders. In 131 games with the Islanders, the 19 year-old has contributed with 61-48-109 totals.

Goulet is considered a two-way center that skates well for an average sized forward. He is a player that is capable of playing on the power play, and penalty kill, and any other situation his talent maybe needed. He is very strong on his skates, and has exceptional vision on the ice. He plays well under pressure, and some say he could use more of an edge to his game.

The talented young center was eligible for the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, but was not selected. With his skill set, he will be a late round draft pick for sure, and would be a nice depth pick at center for the Bruins organization in the future.

Round Seven (195th Pick)

With the seventh pick in the draft I like the game of Keller, Texas right winger Thomas Aldworth. The 20 year-old 5’-11” 190 pound forward has spent two season with the Tri-City Storm of the United States Hockey League (31 games, 3-1-4), one season with the Lone Star Brahmas of the North American Hockey League (13 games, 3-3-6). This past season he played in the British Columbia Hockey League with the Vernon Vipers, and made an immediate impact in his rookie season. He appeared in 57 games for the Vipers posting 37-19-56 totals.

He is a player with flash, and NHL speed in all three zones of the rink. He is another player with great vision on the ice, with a strong ability to crash the net effectively with his small frame. He is a player that is not only good with the puck, but shows great composer without the puck as well. His shot alone is an attribute that should not go unnoticed.

He has committed to Providence College (NCAA Div. 1) for the 2015-16 season, who won the National Championship this past season, beating highly favored Boston University. If the Bruins do in fact select him in the draft, he will not be far from the organizations headquarters for continued scouting evaluations.

Thanks for reading, and until next time, keep your head up, and the crease clear.