Jeff Gorton was only interim general manager of the Boston Bruins for just a short amount of time after the Bruins let Mike O’Connell go in 2006. Gorton oversaw Boston’s 2006 Entry Draft and on June 24, Gorton made some moves that are still paying off today.
Gorton sent goalie Andrew Raycroft to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a goalie prospect named Tuukka Rask. Rask was selected 21st overall in the first round by the Maple Leafs in 2005, but they moved on from him a year later, which the Black and Gold are still benefitting 15 years later.
In 560 regular-season games for the Bruins, Rask has a career record of 306-163-66, with a 2.77 goals-against average (GAA) and a .921 save percentage. He won the Vezina Trophy in the 2013-14 season. In the postseason, Tuukka has a 57-46 record in 104 games played in with a 2.22 GAA and a .925 SV%.
This season, Rask battled injuries, but still managed a 15-5-2 record in the 56-game shortened season with a 2.28 GAA and a .913 SV%. He went 6-5 in the postseason and revealed following the Bruins elimination at the hand of the New York Islanders that he played with a torn hip labrum, which is going to require offseason surgery.
Rask is entering free agency this summer and is expected to be sidelined until January or February of 2006 recovering from his surgery. Unless something strange happens, you have to think that Rask re-signs with Boston and goes on one more playoff run next spring.
Gorton gets the Bruins an all-star forward in the 2006 draft.
Gorton traded the Bruins’ fourth and fifth-round picks in the 2006 draft to the Islanders for the 71st pick in the third round. Gorton used that pick to select a forward named Brad Marchand.
Fifteen years later, Marchand has turned into one of the top left wings in the NHL and is a Stanley Cup winner in 2011 when the Bruins broke their 39-year drought.
In 804 career regular-season games, Marchand has 319 goals and 396 assists. In 32 career playoff games, he has 45 goals and 62 assists. Playing with Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak, there’s a good chance Marchand’s numbers go up in the regular season and postseason.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been 15 years since that pretty darn good draft day. Gorton was replaced by Peter Chiarelli shortly following draft day, but in his small amount of time, he built a pretty good Bruins foundation for nearly the next two decades.