Peter Chiarelli had to juggle a lot of information during this year’s NHL draft. Who was going to be available? Could they find a trade option that would allow them to get a first round draft pick back? (The Bruins gave up their first round, twenty-ninth overall pick to the Dallas Stars so they could acquire the services of future Hall of Fame star, Jaromir Jagr. The Stars used that pick to select Jason Dickinson.) They were also looking at players like Vincent Lecavalier. Chiarelli and the rest of the Bruins staff certainly had a lot of things in play.
Nathan Horton’s desire to test free agency only complicated matters. Horton came over in June 2010 with Gregory Campbell, just before the start of the Bruins amazing 2011 Cup win. Having to factor in looking for a top six forward had to be an unwelcome addition to the variables for the Bruins’ draft staff. “Yeah, I was surprised,” said Chiarelli today. “And I respect someone’s decision to go to free agency. I think it was a real tough decision for him and his family, and I guess I could never say never. Maybe he’ll want to come back and revisit it, but the message I got was that he was going to test free agency and wants kind of a new beginning.”
The Bruins made offers and attempted a few maneuvers, but ended up no higher than their initial 60th overall pick in the second round. They ended up going with a European player, Swedish-born Linus Arnesson. The Bruins chose to start off with a blueliner in a 6-foot-2, 187-pound frame. He was part of Sweden’s U20 team that took the silver medal in Ufa, Russia earlier this year. Peter Chiarelli summed up his thoughts on the Bruins first selection “Versatile defenseman, good skater, not necessarily a banger but a solid, two-way defenseman.”