The Bruins had six picks this year in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. There was some trepidation among the fans that we’d lose a major player in order to get a first round pick. In the end, that didn’t happen. The Bruins organization looked to find people that would fit into the Boston system. After the last pick, the Bruins believe they’ve done right for the organization. “We ended up drafting a couple defensemen that fit the system that we play, and then the forwards, we added some speed, some skill in the forward group. So, we kind of added a little bit of everything,” said Bruins Assistant General Manager Jim Benning. “What we tried to do is take the best player available when we picked. We sat here for four and a half hours before we got our first pick at the end of the second round. So we were excited when[Linus]Arnesson was still there on the table for us.”
While Arnesson was on of three Europeans picked, the Bruins picked up a fair slice of local color with two selections in this year’s draft with close ties to New England and even some history with the Bruins.
The B’s first of two New England natives came in the fourth round. The Bruins selected Ryan Fitzgerald, son of Tom (former pro player and one time member of the Bruins organization. His uncle, Scott Fitzgerald, is the Bruins Assistant Director of Amateur Scouting.) While the family connection is strong, there was no trace of nepotism in the selection of the 5’10” 170lb forward. “In the fourth round, we were really excited to get Ryan,” offered Benning. “He’s a real smart hockey player. He plays hard. He competes hard. He’ll fit right into our culture, our competitiveness. I think he’s going to be a real good player for us.”
Fitzgerald currently lives in North Reading (MA). He has been skating with the Valley Junior Warriors of the Eastern Junior Hockey League. Last season he put up 30 points (14 goals, 16 assists) and 50 penalty minutes in 26 games. He is committed to play at Boston College in the fall, and the Bruins will only have to go down the street to keep tabs on his performance.
The Bruins looked local again in the fifth round, when they drafted defenseman
. The Greenwich, Connecticut native currently plays for the the Hotchkiss School and will be attending and playing hockey at Harvard University in 2014. This will be another quick trip for the scouts and coaches to keep up on Sherman’s development. Last season, he earned ten points in twenty-six games for Hotchkiss.
“We drafted him because he is 6-foot-6, he’s a raw player right now but he’s athletic, he’s a good skater, he can make a good first pass,” stated Benning on the young Sherman. “We’re hoping he develops into a defensive, stay at home D-man, make a good first pass, play physical.”
Fitzgerald’s game is more polished than Sherman’s. Sherman will have several years in college to up his game, and we’re likely to see both in development camp. With camp just a few weeks away, we’ll get to see the local boys show their skills to potential teammates and start the bonding process. While we didn’t start drafting until the sixtieth pick, we gained a lot of raw material that the Bruins organization can make into the professional players of the future.