Breaking Down The Boston Bruins First Round Draft Picks


The Boston Bruins engaged in some judicious horse trading in order to line up three consecutive first round draft picks. That hasn’t happened since the Montreal Canadiens in 1968. The Boston Bruins were looking to trade up for more NHL-ready players, but weren’t able to do so.

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To get those three picks, they had to send their team into rebuild mode. They traded Dougie Hamilton to the Calgary Flames, and then later traded Milan Lucic to the Los Angeles Kings. Both trades were met with loathing by various members of the fan base. While the Lucic trade seemed to bring good value to the Bruins, the loss of a potential franchise player and their highest scoring defensemen brought bewilderment to fans and analysts alike.

So, the Bruins chose to use their 13 th, 14th, and 15th picks in the first round. Here’s who they went with and what they can bring to the Boston in the near future.

Jakub Zboril – 6’1″ 184lbs. Defenseman. Saint John Sea Dogs – Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

He’s a physical defensemen who is not afraid of engaging.  He played forty-four games for the Sea Dogs last season, putting up 33 points(13 goals). He also racked up 73 penalty minutes and knocked out his opponent with one punch in his first fight in the QMJHL. He was ranked by NHL Central Scouting 12th overall and was expected to go as the 12th pick in the first round.

“We think he’s a solid two-way player,” NHL Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr said. “His game with the puck, without the puck, I don’t know there’s too many holes in his game. … He’s a solid two-way guy that these are the type of guys you see playing in the [Stanley Cup] Playoffs.”

Will he be ready to go to the NHL next year? Probably not. But he’s something solid that the Bruins can build on. I didn’t pick him for the team because I thought he would have been taken. But it’s a good thing he was available, because the Bruins will need a replacement for Dennis Seidenberg, and Zboril might just fit that part.

Pick Rating: B+

Jake DeBrusk – 6’0″ 171lbs.  Forward. Swift Current Broncos – Western Hockey League

DeBrusk ended up as 19th on NHL Central Scouting’s final list of  North American players eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft.  He’s arguably the top player in the Western Hockey League. He put up eighty-one points(42 goals) in seventy-two games. Thirteen of those goals were on the power play. The Bruins were looking for a pure scoring player, and they found that in DeBrusk.

On an odd note, Claude Julien  also coached his father, former NHL player Louie DeBrusk, when he played for the Hamilton Bulldogs. It will also be interesting to see if Julien will get to impart his defensive-minded system on a goal-focused DeBrusk.

“His work ethic is off the charts but what also helps are those 42 goals scored; he’s a 40-goal scorer who does the dirty work in front of the net on power play,” said Peter Sullivan.  Sullivan works for NHL Central Scouting and focuses on the WHL. “Guys have made a career of standing in front of the net, and have played 10-to-15 years doing so. But he drives that car for them. I love his work ethic and his greatest strength is his compete level.”

He’s not a big guy by any stretch of the imagination, and that could be a problem. David Pastrnak certainly experienced some growing pains in Boston, and he’ll do the same.

“DeBrusk is a guy that scores goals, and he scores goals in bunches. We had some insight into [DeBrusk] from Colby Cave down in Providence,” said Sweeney of his fourteenth pick. “DeBrusk is a player that will go to the areas of the ice that he needs to, and he will score goals while going there.”

Pick Rating: A-

 Zachary Senyshyn  6’2″ 195lbs. Right Wing. Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds – Ontario Hockey League.

I admit it. I had to dig a little to find his numbers. In all likelihood, Senyshyn would have been available to the Boston Bruins in the second round. While this shows Don Sweeney’s willingness to buck trends, it had the fans and even the analysts scratching their heads in wonderment on the Bruins third pick.

Now Senyshyn is no slouch. He did end up with forty-five points(26 goals) last season for the Greyhounds. But he won’t be an impact player for the Bruins for several seasons. With the Bruins going into rebuild mode, the organization could have grabbed a more immediate impact player for themselves ( Matthew Barzal, Colin White,  and Travis Konency were all still available) and hung on to grab Senyshyn later in the Draft.

From Curtis Joe at Elite Prospects:

“Smart offensive winger that can be a difference maker in games. Very fluid skater and is constantly moving around to get in advantageous positions offensively, as well as defensively. Has a creative streak, as well as refined puck skills. Has the size to be a physical factor in the game, and knows when and how to use it. Will need to work on rounding out his defensive game, transitioning quicker, and keeping puck possession, but he knows where he can improve, and strives to do so on and off the ice. All-in-all, a cunning, motivated offensive forward whose presence pays dividends for his team at the end of the day.”

Pick Rating: C-

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