Boston Bruins: Recapping the 2003 NHL Entry Level Draft

COLUMBUS, OH - JANUARY 24: Patrice Bergeron
COLUMBUS, OH - JANUARY 24: Patrice Bergeron /

The mandated week-long break for the Boston Bruins is not only beneficial to the players. It also helps the writers get a little more creative than just previews and reviews. This week, in the Black & Gold’s playing absence, I shall be embarking on recapping notable picks the Boston Bruins have made in the Entry Level Draft. Starting off with 2003.

First Round, 21st Overall- Mark Stuart

First up from the 2003 Draft we have Mark Stuart, the Rochester, Minnesota native. Picked 21st overall by the Boston Bruins, a left-handed defenseman. Stuart would play an additional of College Hockey at Colorado College during the 2004-05 season due to the NHL lockout.

Following Stuart’s time with Colorado College, he was sent down to the Providence Bruins of the AHL for a conditioning stint. Totalling 60 games, scoring 7 points. The following season of 2006-07 Stuart would find most of his time spent down in Providence developing in the AHL.

It wasn’t until the 2007-08 season that Mark Stuart truly cracked the Bruins lineup. Playing all 82 regular season games, in addition to seven playoff games.

Boston Bruins
BOSTON, MA – JANUARY 17: Mark Stuart /

Known for being a hard-working defenseman, who made hits when were needed and also when they weren’t. Stuart was your traditional stay-at-home defenseman that too often made mistakes.

Mark Stuart was traded to the then Atlanta Thrashers who would become the Winnipeg Jets. Totalling seven seasons with the franchise before moving to play for German DEL team Adler Mannheim following the 2016-17 season.

Stuart totalled 673 games in the NHL scoring 93 points.

Second Round, 45th Overall- Patrice Bergeron

A slightly more renowned entity on Causeway was selected in the second round of the 2003 NHL Draft. The L’Ancienne-Lorette, Quebec native has been a talisman for the hockey club ever since day one. Making the jump straight from Junior, Bergeron amassed 39 points in 71 games.

The only time Bergeron played for Providence was in the 2004-05 lockout season. Scoring 61 points in 68 games.

Bergeron has become the staple of this of franchise since 2003. It’s worth bearing in mind that Joe Thornton was traded so that the team could be built around Bergeron.

Boston Bruins
VANCOUVER – JUNE 15: Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron ( /

To date, Patrice Bergeron has 703 points in 934 games with the Boston Bruins. Not to mention the record-equalling four Selke trophies that he has rightfully claimed, as the best defensive forward in the NHL.

He is the 17th player in franchise history to total more than the 200 goals for the club.

Of course it would be Bergeron who scored the Game Winning Goal in Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Final against the Vancouver Canucks.

Bergeron still has four years left after this season remaining on his contract. I think it’s fair to say that he may have another Selke and Stanley Cup left in him. With four goals against Carolina, the Canadian continues to impress.

Third Round, 66th Overall- Masi Marjamaki

Here’s an interesting one for you. Masi Marjamaki, Pori, Finland native, was technically drafted by the Boston Bruins 66th overall in the 2003 NHL Draft. However, Marjamaki would not only never play for the Bruins or Providence he never actually signed with the Bruins. Marjamaki would actually re-enter the draft in 2005 and be selected 144th overall by the New York Islanders.

Boston Bruins
BOSTON – SEPTEMBER 15: Masi Marjamaki of the Boston Bruins poses for a portrait on September 15, 2003 at the FleetCenter in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by: Getty Images) /

Marjamaki would play just one game for the New York Islanders in the 2005-06, managing to play just five minutes and 17 seconds in The Show. He would then return to Finland where he has played since, recently playing for Jokerit of the KHL.

Known for his aggressive style of play, possessing a decent set of hands whilst scoring points here and there.

Overall, it’s evident at some level why the Bruins never came to terms.

Fourth Round, 107th Overall- Byron Bitz

Physicality and size was most certainly the Bruins game plan going into the 2003 NHL Draft. Pick number four was no different in Byron Bitz from Saskatoon.

Bitz spent four years at Cornell University, captaining the team in his senior year. Signing with the B’s in 2007 before being sent down to Providence. Here, Bitz would spend the entirety of the 2007-08 season, lacing up for 61 games and scoring 27 points.

Boston Bruins
BOSTON – JANUARY 30: Byron Bitz /

Bitz would appear in 80 NHL games for the Boston Bruins before being traded to the Florida Panthers, where he would play just 7 games. Bitz signed as a free agent for the Vancouver Canucks appearing ten times for them in the 2011-12 season.

Sixth Round, 183rd Overall- Nate Thompson

To complete our recap of the 2003 Entry Level Draft we are faced with yet another physical and hard-working player. The Anchorage, Alaska native signed with the Bruins prior to the 2005-06 NHL season after completing two more seasons with the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds.

Boston Bruins
BOSTON – OCTOBER 21: Nate Thompson /

Sent immediately down to Providence to develop, Thompson would make his NHL debut during the 2006-07 season appearing in just four games. He would be sent back down to Providence the following season. Prior to the start of the 2008-09 season Thompson was claimed off waivers by the New York Islanders, who seem to have an intrinsic link with the Bruins and this draft.

Nate Thompson has gone on to feature in 589 NHL games scoring 122 points and is currently playing with the Ottawa Senators.

Next: Bruins Week 14 Roundup: The Offense is on Fire Edition

Well there you have it. A few key names from the 2003 NHL Draft and what they have/haven’t achieved in the NHL.

Stay tuned Bruins fans, next up we will be covering the 2004 NHL Draft!