Boston Bruins 2017 Draft – Rounds 2-7

 

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Boston Bruins on Twitter – @NHLBruins)

 

The 2017 National Hockey League Entry Draft has officially concluded in Chicago, Illinois. Last night, the Bruins drafted a Finnish defenseman with the 18th overall selection, for a writeup on him, click HERE.

Early today, the remainder of the draft concluded and the Bruins added five more prospects to their pool. Without a 3rd and 5th round pick, the Bruins had the 53rd overall, 111th overall, 173rd overall, 195th overall and 204th overall pick.

53rd Overall – 2nd Round – C Jack Studnicka

The Bruins opened Saturday night with the 53rd selection. After choosing a blueliner in the first round, Boston moved to the forward core for the next pick. Don Sweeney and company chose center Jack Studnicka from the Oshawa Generals in the Ontario Hockey League.

The 6’1″, 170 pound, 18-year-old recorded 18 goals and 52 points in 64 games in the regular season with the Generals last year. However, it was the playoffs when he seemed to excel. In the 11 playoff games this past season, he put up 5-10-15 totals. Most projections had Studnicka going in the third round tops, but as usual, the Bruins management enjoy picking players early. That seems to be the case with this choice as well.

According to The Hockey Writers’ Mark Scheig, who watched Studnicka many times in the OHL, says that the speed of Jack Studnicka is something to note. He claims that the first step of Studnicka is something to admire and once he gets to top speed, it’s hard to stop him. Scheig also noted that the defensive play of Jack was impressive as well. Winning faceoffs in his own end, being a solid penalty killer and being on the ice in high-pressure situations. However, he does need to work on his consistency and add some muscle, but according to Scheig, that is about it. Here are some quotations regarding Studnicka.

“Studnicka has good size – although adding bulk will be key for him. He is an excellent skater who has an explosive first step and decent top end speed who can change direction with ease. He possesses very good vision with high-quality playmaking skills with an ability to set up his teammates. His shot is underrated in my opinion. His release is deceptive and accurate and he puts every shot on goal with a purpose. Studnicka can be elusive in the offensive zone. He can break away from coverage almost undetected and put himself into scoring positions. He has very good puck skills and strong possession skills. Although he needs to add some muscle, he will not shy away from the hard areas. Once he gets stronger, it will become an area where he wins more often than he loses because of it – and his work ethic.” – Dominic Tiano

For the full review of Jack Studnicka, click HERE.

111th Overall – 4th Round – G Jeremy Swayman

The Bruins decided to draft a goaltender with their third pick in the 2017 draft, in the fourth round.

The Anchorage, Alaska native played the past season in the USHL with the Sioux Falls Stampede. He struggled in the 32 games he played, going 7-18-3 with a goals against average of 2.90 and a save percentage of 0.914.

Swayman already has some chemistry with another Bruin prospect, Jack Becker who was drafted 195th overall (Round 7) in last year’s entry draft. Swayman said the following to bostonbruins.com about his personal play style.

“I’m just kind of an active goalie, challenging the player instead of staying back in the crease,” Swayman said. “I also use my size to my ability too, especially for those point shots. Kind of having the blocking mentality instead of kind of going small and shrinking down.”

According to the NHL Central Scouting, Swayman was the 12th-ranked North American goaltender heading into the draft.

173rd Overall – 6th Round – C Cedric Pare

The Bruins didn’t have that 5th overall pick this year, but they did have a sixth round selection and they decided to choose Cedric Pare, a centerman from Levis, Quebec, Canada.

During the 2016-17 campaign, Cedric Pare played with the Saint John Sea Dogs in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League along with fellow Bruin prospect, Jakub Zboril. In 64 contests this past season, Pare finished with 5-11-16 totals and a -6 rating. He added 3 points in 18 playoff games as well as 2 goals in 4 games during the Memorial Cup.

The 6’2″, 205 pound Pare plays a big, physical style according to Joe Haggerty.

195th Overall – 7th Round – D Victor Berglund

The second-last pick of the two-day draft for the B’s was Swedish defenseman, Victor Berglund.

The 17-year-old is a right-handed defenseman who played the last 37 games with MODO Hockey J20 in the SuperElit league. There, he 5-10-15 totals along with a +14 rating.

Berglund can obviously put on some muscle, at only being 159 pounds, but he could bring offensive talent to the roster if he ends up playing with the black and gold at some point.

204th Overall – 7th Round – D Daniel Bukac

The very last pick of this year’s entry draft for the Boston Bruins was Daniel Bukac out of Brandon in the Western Hockey League.

The 6’4″, 185 pound d-man played in a total of 72 games last year with the Brandon Wheat Kings, producing 2-15-17 totals and an even +/- rating. Bukac recently participated in the 2016 Ivan Hlinka Memorial, where he tallied one assist in five games during the tournament.

Boston adds more size to the blueline with this choice.

Obviously, nothing is certain when it comes to the future projections of these young hockey athletes, but they do have potential. Only time will tell whether or not anyone of these players will become NHL players.

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BREAKING: Bruins Make Their 1st Round Pick

 

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PHOTO CREDITS: (trifectanetworksports.com)

 

The 2017 NHL Entry Draft has officially begun in Chicago, Illinois. The time where young ice hockey players wait anxiously in the stands to hear their name called by a team representative. The Boston Bruins had the eighteenth overall selection this year, due to making the playoffs, but losing in round one.

After the annual rumours about dealing the picks, nothing turned up when it involves the Bruins. Taking the opportunity to draft the prospect that the management feels will help out the team for the future. Last season, the Bruins added a highly-skilled defenseman that has already made an impact for the organization, Charlie McAvoy.

Not all drafts will benefit the team that quickly, however, surprises do happen and players can take over when they weren’t necessarily expected to.

Without further ado, with the 18th pick in the 2017 National Hockey League Entry Draft, the Boston Bruins select defenseman Urho Vaakanainen.

During the draft entry coverage on Sportsnet, the analysts discussed Vaakanainen. His strengths include his skating, something the other candidates for Boston’s possible selection seemed to be lacking. He also plays a great two-way game considering he is a blueliner. Sportsnet compares his play style to that of Anaheim Ducks’ Hampus Lindholm. He is a stay-at-home defender that makes the right type of play in his own zone. Urho considers his play style of Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

Vaakanainen was not on most draft lists for the first round, however, Don Sweeney has shown that he doesn’t often follow the pre-draft rankings like other general managers tend to do.

The Sportsnet crew also said that Vaakanainen is the staple type of defenseman that you want in your organization.

Below is an analysis on Vaakanainen courtesy of TheScore.com:

“At only 18, Vaakanainen has already developed into a reliable defenseman, but one of his main criticisms has been his lack of offensive output. The young Finn registered only six points last season in Finland’s top professional league, but could still be an excellent addition to an NHL club looking to improve its blue line with a defensive-minded rearguard.”

Going back to the expansion draft on Wednesday night, the Bruins decided to keep Kevan Miller, a more defensive type of blueliner, instead of Colin Miller who is more offensive. This selection further strengthens that as the offence is being taken up by Charlie McAvoy and Torey Krug. The fact that Boston recognizes the need for defence, shows that they are taking the step in the right direction.

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So Long, Colin Miller

 

NHL: JAN 19 Bruins at Canadiens

PHOTO CREDITS: (hockeysfuture.com)

 

As per Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Vegas Golden Knights have made their choice on who they wish to draft from the Boston Bruins in the Expansion Draft.

The original tweet came from Sportnet’s John Shannon who said that Oilers defenseman Griffen Reinhart will be the player chosen by the Golden Knights, Friedman retweeted the post by saying that Colin Miller will join Vegas as well.

Rumors have been flowing earlier in the day that Vegas would pick Colin Miller and proceed to use him as trade bait to the Toronto Maple Leafs who were interested in Miller’s services. Whether or not that trade happens, is still to be found out.

Colin Miller was acquired by the Bruins back in 2015 as he was a part of the infamous Bruins/Kings trade that sent Milan Lucic to the Los Angeles Kings. Colin Miller came to Boston along with Martin Jones and a 2015 1st round selection that became Jakub Zboril.

Miller has only played in the NHL with the Bruins, playing in 103 games totaling 9-20-29 in that span. Last season, Miller played in 61 games with the black and gold with 6-7-13 totals and an even rating.

We will keep the updates rolling here on The Real Bruins Blog as the Expansion Draft continues.

 

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Boston Bruins: Home Opener For 2017-18 Season Announced

 

eeopnw1One of the days that players and staff look forward to is the announcement of the full 82-game season schedule. That is the time that the planning can begin and the strategies can start to form. This year, they have announced all of the home opening games for almost all of the 31 teams for the upcoming 2017-18 regular season.

The Boston Bruins will play their first game of the season in the TD Garden against the defending Clarence S. Campbell Champions, the Nashville Predators on October 5th.

Due to the teams being in opposite conferences, they don’t meet as often as teams in the same conference do. The Predators and Bruins only played twice during the 2016-2017 campaign, with both teams taking a win a piece. Nashville won 2-1 back on January 12th, then the Bruins took a 4-1 victory in Boston on March 28th.

Look for the Predators to come out with a revenge plan after a disappointing end to an impressive playoff run, losing in six games in the Stanley Cup Final to the Pittsburgh Penguins. However, the Bruins will be rolling off of their new rookies and looking to get back into the post-season after a first round exit by the hands of the Ottawa Senators.

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BREAKING: Bruins Player Wins Impressive Award

 

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PHOTO CREDITS: (letsgobruins.net)

 

The Boston Bruins will take home some sort of award no matter what this year. It may not even be an award that a North American player can earn.

According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Bruins forward David Pastrnak has won an award only available to players from the Czech Republic. He has taken home the Zlata Hokejka which is also known as “The Golden Hockey Stick”. It is awarded to the best Czech player of the past season.

Last season, Jaromir Jagr won the award, winning it for his 12th time during his career. The award was originally given to the best player in the Czechoslovak First Ice Hockey League, in 1968-69. When Czechoslovakia separated into Slovakia and Czech Republic in 1993, the award was then changed to honor the best Czech or Slovak ice hockey player in the world.

Congratulations to Pastrnak on his award and joining some elite company.

 

 

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Breaking: New Bruins Jersey Revealed

 

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PHOTO CREDITS: (nhl.com/bruins)

 

The National Hockey League changes constantly. This upcoming season will add many new things to the league, the biggest thing being the addition to the 31st team, the Vegas Golden Knights. Today, the NHL gives all 31 teams new jerseys. Not only are they new jerseys, but they are going to be manufactured by a new company, Adidas, a change from the Reebok jerseys that were first brought in back in 2004.

One thing about the jerseys that will change about the jerseys isn’t just the look and feel of them, but the amount of them as well. In the past, teams have had the darker home jerseys, lighter away jerseys, and an alternate jersey that teams would wear on occasion. For the 2017-18 season and the foreseeable future, Adidas will only supply the home and away jerseys.

Without further ado, here are the new jerseys. (The four following photos come from NHL.com.)

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From the outside look, nothing really changed for the Bruins. The sweaters appear to look identical to the old ones from the front, however, we have not seen the back of the sweaters quite yet. For the players though, a lot of changes come their way.

The new ADIZERO jerseys bring along a new, lightweight construction that could speed up the game. The complete weight of the jerseys is 19% lighter than the previous designs including a 46% lighter crest on the front of the sweater.

The new sweaters will also deliver more breathability creating a cooler fit. Not to mention a much stronger material, in both burst testing and in abrasion testing. Below is the full change courtesy of NHL.com.

“At the forefront of innovation, design and craftsmanship, the new ADIZERO Authentic NHL jersey takes the hockey uniform system and hockey jersey silhouette to the next level by redefining fit, feel and lightweight construction.
•           Lighter – Featuring new cresting materials and construction technology, the ADIZERO Authentic NHL jersey reduces crest weight by up to 46%, while a single layer perforated numbering system reduces number weight by up to 60%, in order to deliver a new jersey that is up to 19% lighter when compared to the current NHL Jersey.
•           Cooler – The ADIZERO Authentic NHL jersey features adidas Clima® technology in each of the jersey fabrics to deliver breathability and enhanced performance. Combining moisture management technology and a streamlined silhouette to maximize air flow circulation with materials that are up to 133% more permeable than fabrics currently used on ice allows athletes to be cooler.
•           Stronger – Constructed for durability, the ADIZERO Authentic NHL jersey fabrics are up to 27% stronger in burst testing and up to 72% tougher in abrasion testing compared to the current NHL jersey.”

Should Adidas have made more changes? Or is the previous design and style the preferred option?

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Can Patrice Bergeron Tie An NHL Record?

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PHOTO CREDITS: (csnne.com)

The annual National Hockey League awards will be announced this Wednesday, June 21st in Las Vegas, Nevada. Along with the awards, the official roster for the 31st team to join the league, the Vegas Golden Knights, will be announced as well. Added onto the new jerseys by Adidas, who is taking over from Reebok for this upcoming season.

The most valuable trophy in ice hockey today, is the Stanley Cup. Unfortunately, that is not coming to Boston this year, but a representative of Boston is nominated for an award. Before we get into who and what that is, here are all of the nominations for the NHL awards.

Hart Memorial Trophy (Most Valuable Player To His Team):

Connor McDavid – Edmonton Oilers

Sidney Crosby – Pittsburgh Penguins

Sergei Bobrovsky – Columbus Blue Jackets

Ted Lindsay Award (Best Player Voted By The NHLPA):

Brent Burns – San Jose Sharks

Connor McDavid – Edmonton Oilers

Sidney Crosby – Pittsburgh Penguins

Norris Trophy (Best Defenseman):

Victor Hedman – Tampa Bay Lightning

Erik Karlsson – Ottawa Senators

Brent Burns – San Jose Sharks

Vezina Trophy (Best Goaltender):

Carey Price – Montreal Canadiens

Sergei Bobrovsky – Columbus Blue Jackets

Braden Holtby – Washington Capitals

Calder Memorial Trophy (Best Rookie):

Auston Matthews – Toronto Maple Leafs

Patrik Laine – Winnipeg Jets

Zach Werenski – Columbus Blue Jackets

Lady Byng Trophy (Most Gentlemanly Player): 

Johnny Gaudreau – Calgary Flames

Mikael Granlund – Minnesota Wild

Vladimir Tarasenko – St. Louis Blues

NHL Foundation Award (Core Values Of Hockey): 

Travis Hamonic – New York Islanders

Wayne Simmonds – Philadelphia Flyers

Mark Messier Leadership Award: 

Mark Giordano – Calgary Flames

Ryan Getzlaf – Anaheim Ducks

Nick Foligno – Columbus Blue Jackets

Jack Adams Award (Best Head Coach):

Mike Babcock – Toronto Maple Leafs

Todd McLellan – Edmonton Oilers

John Tortorella – Columbus Blue Jackets

Bill Masterton Trophy (Dedication To Hockey):

Craig Anderson – Ottawa Senators

Andrew Cogliano – Anaheim Ducks

Derek Ryan – Carolina Hurricanes

GM Of The Year: 

Peter Chiarelli – Edmonton Oilers

Pierre Dorion – Ottawa Senators

David Poile – Nashville Predators

Frank J. Selke Trophy (Best Defensive Forward):

Patrice Bergeron – Boston Bruins

Ryan Kesler – Anaheim Ducks

Mikko Koivu – Minnesota Wild

There are also additional awards that have already been confirmed and they are as followed.

Art Ross Trophy (Highest Point Scorer):

Connor McDavid – Edmonton Oilers (100 Points)

Maurice Richard (Most Goals): 

Sidney Crosby – Pittsburgh Penguins (44 Goals)

William M. Jennings Trophy (Fewest Goals Allowed Against):

Braden Holtby – Washington Capitals

President’s Trophy (Best Team In The Regular Season):

Washington Capitals (55-19-8; 118 points)

Prince Of Wales Trophy (Eastern Conference Champions):

Pittsburgh Penguins

Clarence S. Campbell Bowl (Western Conference Champions): 

Nashville Predators

Stanley Cup: 

Pittsburgh Penguins

There is only one award that the Bruins are in contention for and that is once again for the Frank J. Selke Trophy. The Selke Trophy was brought into the league back in 1978 in a way to award the forward who “demonstrates the most skill in the defensive component of the game.” The trophy was named after former Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager, Frank J. Selke, who won nine Stanley Cup rings (1932, 1942, 1945, 1953, 1956-60).

Patrice Bergeron can tie history Wednesday night if he wins the covenant trophy. Canadiens’ legend, Bob Gainey was the first to win the award, winning it the first four years. Since then, four players have won the award three times and Bergeron is one of them. Guy Carbonneau, Jere Lehiten, Pavel Datsyuk are the other players, all have since retired from the league.

Bergeron first won the trophy back in the 2011-2012 season, then again in 2013-14 and 2014-15. Being the first player to win the award consecutively since Pavel Datsyuk did it three times in a row from 2007-2008 to 2009-2010.

This season, Bergeron played in 79 games, putting up 21-32-53 totals and a +12 rating. Bergeron also had 2-2-4 totals in the six post-season games against the Ottawa Senators. Patrice finished the year with his third highest face-off win percentage in his career, with a 60.1%. Bergeron also ended the year second in turnover +/- with a +42. (The stat is based off of takeaways and giveaways).

A win on Wednesday night for Bergeron would be a nice cap to the season for the Bruins. Making it to the post-season, finding some chemistry with new rookies, and a new head coach that shows promise towards success of the team. Nonetheless, the Bruins are indeed proud of Bergy’s success and hopefully he walks out of Vegas with the Frank J. Selke once again.

 

 

 

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Was Kevan Miller The Right Choice?

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PHOTO CREDITS: (latimes.com)

As the NHL prepares to welcome a new team to the league, some changes to the existing teams come along. Yesterday morning, all 30 teams released their protected lists heading into the Expansion Draft. The following are the protected players of the Boston Bruins as well as the players left unprotected.

Protected:

David Backes (F)
Patrice Bergeron (F)
David Krejci (F)
Brad Marchand (F)
Riley Nash (F)
David Pastrnak (F)
Ryan Spooner (F)
Zdeno Chara (D)
Torey Krug (D)
Kevan Miller (D)
Tuukka Rask (G)

Unprotected: 

Matt Beleskey (F)
Brian Ferlin (F)
Jimmy Hayes (F)
Alex Khokhlachev (F)
Dominic Moore (F)
Tyler Randell (F)
Zac Rinaldo (F)
Tim Schaller (F)
Drew Stafford (F)
Linus Arnesson (D)
Chris Casto (D)
Tommy Cross (D)
Alex Grant (D)
John-Michael Liles (D)
Adam McQuaid (D)
Colin Miller (D)
Joe Morrow (D)
Anton Khudobin (G)
Malcolm Subban (G)

Prior to the release of the draft, Bruins fans were mainly discussing about the decision of the two Millers, Colin and Kevan. Many people were also wondering about the fate of players like Adam McQuaid and Drew Stafford. However, it was almost certain that the protected players other then the Millers were expected.

Before I go into the statistics of the two players, I will talk about my opinion solely on play styles.

We have many offensive defense men on the roster already. Such as Torey Krug, Charlie McAvoy, and many others in the system. Colin Miller was another offensive-type defender, even though he didn’t play that offensive.

Kevan Miller on the other hand adds in toughness and grit that the Bruins have sort of lost over the years. Although he won’t rack up the points like other players on the team, he will indeed intimidate the opposing team enough to possibly gain an edge. K. Miller has also shown in the past that he can handle the puck, such as this example below.

My choice would be to protect Kevan Miller. It would be against the old Big Bad Bruins to possibly lose both of your tough defenders, (McQuaid & K. Miller). Colin was on a cheaper contract for less years. However, Kevan is five years older then Colin, meaning a larger contract is deserved more in a way.

Going into the statistics of this past season, they look virtually identical. Colin had 6-7-13 totals in 61 games while Kevan had 3-10-13 totals in 58 games played. Colin did get an assist in one of the four games during the postseason, while Kevan played all six games and didn’t accumulate a single point.

Kevan Miller was fourth on the team in total hits with 121 on the year. All of the other three players played at least 16 more games throughout the season then Kevan did. On the topic of that, Kevan is third on the team when it comes to hits per game, averaging 2.09 hits per game this season.

One downfall to keeping Kevan Miller is the risk of injuries. Miller missed a big portion of the season with a hand injury that required surgery. Kevan also missed a few games due to a concussion and a couple more with the flu. Injuries can seriously hurt the team, especially if it comes at important times during the year.

Even with the list being released, it doesn’t mean that Colin Miller or even Adam McQuaid will be chosen by Vegas in the coming days. It is very possible that they look to pick up trade deadline acquisition, Drew Stafford, who can serve as a reliable third line player that may add some additional scoring.

Nonetheless, a new team should be an exciting time for all fans of the sport, especially in the city of Las Vegas. Whether or not your favorite player gets picked up, the Bruins still have the core in tact and we can look forward to the 2017-18 regular season.

 

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One Of Boston’s Best Trades In Last Seven Years

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PHOTO CREDITS: (cbc.ca)

Throughout the years, the Boston Bruins have been known for not making the best trades, enraging many fans along the way. Many of the trades have come back to haunt them, while others just made no sense whatsoever.

However, the Bruins have made some smart moves that have actually helped them succeed. One of these trades in the past decades lead to one of the greatest moments in Boston Bruins history.

JUNE 22ND, 2010

June 22nd, 2010. The Bruins’ season had come to a disappointing end. After eliminating the Buffalo Sabres in six games in round one of the 2009-2010 NHL Playoffs, they had the challenge of facing the Philadelphia Flyers in the second round. They quickly took off for a 3-0 series lead, only to collapse and lose in seven games. The Flyers would then beat the Montreal Canadiens four games to one in the Eastern Conference Finals, sending them to a Stanley Cup Finals loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.

This upsetting time lead to some trades in the off-season, making a push for another Cup run. The Bruins then made a trade with the Florida Panthers that would change the face of the team for the upcoming season.

FLORIDA PANTHERS ACQUIRE: 

 Dennis Wideman

2010 1st Round Pick (Derek Forbert)

2011 3rd Round Pick (Kyle Rau)

BOSTON BRUINS ACQUIRE: 

Gregory Campbell

Nathan Horton

Prior to this trade, both players were decent players. Nathan Horton was coming off of 65-game season with 20-37-57 totals and a -1 rating. Gregory Campbell played in only sixty games, putting out 2-15-17 totals with a -5 rating.

Dennis Wideman didn’t have the best of years for the Bruins. In 76 games played, he owned a -14 rating and only thirty points (6 goals, 24 assists). On paper, the trade seemed to make sense. But at the same time, trading away a defenseman for two forwards after making it to the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals is a risk that may not necessarily pay off.

Boston improved as a whole unit. Improving from a record of 39-30-13, 91 points and 3rd in the then Northeast division in the 2009-2010 season, to an impressive 46-25-11, 103 points, 1st in Northeast division in the 2010-2011 season.

On the other side, the Florida Panthers worsened. In the 2009-2010 season, they had a record of 32-37-13, 77 points, and last in the Southeast division. Then in the 2010-2011 season, Florida finished with a record of 30-40-12, 72 points, and still last in the Southeast division.

Gregory Campbell improved greatly in Boston. Scoring eleven more goals and one more assist, good for twelve more points in twenty more games. Campbell also improved the team defensively, going up +17 in the +/- category, to a +11 rating.

Nathan Horton however, decreased in total points, finishing the season with 26-27-53 totals in 80 regular season games. Although, Nathan went up an impressive +30, to a +29 rating. That defensive power that both players brought to the team helped out the whole group, which lead them to the third position in the Eastern Conference standings.

On the other side of the deal, Dennis Wideman had a dismal year. Only playing in sixty-one games during the season, Wideman put up 9-24-33 totals and a -26 rating with the Panthers.

However, it wasn’t the course of the regular season that showed the largest impact. The following playoff duration was when this trade had it’s winner.

Boston opened up the series against arch-rivals, Montreal Canadiens. Montreal took the first two games in Boston, 2-0 and 3-1. Game three however, was where Boston regained momentum in the series. They won the game 4-2 on the road with goals from Rich Peverley, Chris Kelly, David Krejci, and Nathan Horton’s first of the playoffs.

Boston would continue the momentum into game four where Michael Ryder would bury his second of the game in a 5-4 overtime win to tie up the series heading back to Boston. It would be in this pivotal game that Nathan Horton would begin his clutch playoff run with this massive double OT winner.

Montreal rebounded in game number six to tie up the series once again leading into yet another opportunity for Horton to shine when it mattered the most. Overtime again, winner advances to the second round. Here’s the result.

So, the Bruins move on to the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals against the Philadelphia Flyers with a chance for redemption from the previous year’s loss to the Flyers.

Game one was a dominating performance at home for the black and gold, winning 7-3 including a goal from both Horton and Campbell. Boston took game two in overtime, game three 5-1 and game four 5-1 to complete the sweep. Horton added 2-5-7 in the four games, proving that he can pass as well as score. Gregory Campbell also put out 1-2-3 totals in the series.

This eventually lead to the Eastern Conference Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The series was extremely close the whole way through. Tampa Bay won the first game, Boston took the second game. Boston won the third game, the Lightning won the fourth. The B’s came out victorious in the fifth game, while Tampa forced game six with a 5-4 win. All of that eventually lead to one of the closest game sevens in a long time. Boston took a narrow victory, 1-0 the final score. Mr. Clutch, Nathan Horton won the game with this goal with 7:33 left in the final period.

So, the Boston Bruins advance to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in twenty-one years and prepare to battle the Vancouver Canucks, who just happened to be the best team in the league during the regular season.

Boston didn’t start the series as they probably would have liked. Losing games one and two, heading back to Vancouver down two games to zero. Then in game three, roughly five minutes into the opening period, the man who came up clutch during the entire post-season, Nathan Horton was nailed unconscious by Vancouver’s Aaron Rome. Below is the hit that rattled the Bruins fan base and the team itself.

Having this happen on home ice and to one of the best players on the team, this intensified the series massively. Boston seemed to gain a fire underneath them in a way to get that ring for Horton. The black and gold would obliterate the Canucks that night, winning 8-1. Also including a game four 4-0 win and a game six 5-2 win, the Bruins were going back to Vancouver for a game seven to remember.

Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron each buried the puck twice on goaltender Roberto Luongo and the Boston Bruins would become the 2011 Stanley Cup Champions, for Nathan Horton.

Campbell played in all seven games that series, putting only one point on the board, but was there for some key penalty kills and other scenarios that are often looked over.

Nathan Horton finished the playoffs with twenty-one games played with 8-9-17 totals and a +11 rating. Gregory Campbell finished with four points in twenty-five games.

I think it’s safe to say that the Bruins won this deal, even though Horton would only play in 89 more games as a Bruin. Campbell quickly became one of the toughest Bruins on the roster, playing in 278 regular season games and 34 playoff games following the Cup winning season.

When many Bruins fans think about Greg Campbell, they associate him with the blocked shot that broke his leg. To many people’s surprise, he continued and finished the shift, preventing scoring opportunities from the opposition.

Campbell has since retired from playing in the National Hockey League, joining the Columbus Blue Jackets’ developmental team. However, he will always be a Bruin in the hearts of Boston’s fans.

Horton hasn’t officially retired from his hockey days, however, his playing career is most likely over after a surgery to his back.

Thank you for reading this article. If you think another trade was better in the past seven years, let me know. Stay tuned to The Real Bruins Blog for more Bruins news as the off season is in full force.

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Boston Bruins, Who To Draft?

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PHOTO CREDITS: (causewaycrowd.com)

Along with any off-season, comes the biggest moment for the prospects of hockey. The National Hockey League draft in June brings along some high-level players that will one day make up the entire league. Last year, the draft was headlined by Auston Matthews. A year before that, Connor McDavid. A year before that, Aaron Ekblad. A year before that, Nathan MacKinnon. This year, it will be either Nolan Patrick from the Brandon Wheat Kings in the WHL or Niko Hischier from the Quebec Mooseheads in the QMJHL.

Obviously, the Bruins don’t have one of the first two picks this year, those belong to the New Jersey Devils and the Philadelphia Flyers. Due to the first round exit to the Ottawa Senators this post-season, the black and gold should have around the eighteenth overall selection in the year’s draft.

Before we get into who the Bruins should draft on June 23rd in Chicago, Illinois, let’s time travel back to some of the most recent Bruins 1st round picks of the past ten years.

2016: Charlie McAvoy – 14th overall | Trent Frederic – 29th overall

2015: Jakub Zboril – 13th overall | Jake DeBrusk – 14th overall | Zachary Senyshyn – 15th overall

2014: David Pastrnak – 25th overall

2013: No 1st Round Pick

2012: Malcolm Subban – 24th overall

2011: Dougie Hamilton – 9th overall

2010: Tyler Seguin – 2nd overall

2009: Jordan Caron – 25th overall

2008: Joe Colborne – 16th overall

2007: Zach Hamill – 8th overall

Like every draft, you get some future superstars, but you also get busts. Players who don’t end up being who they were projected to be. Sometimes, the first round doesn’t produce the best players. In the last ten years or so, Boston has had better draft selections in the later rounds then they have in the first round. Here are some.

2015: Brandon Carlo – 2nd round – 37th overall | Jesse Gabrielle – 4th round – 105th overall

2014: Danton Heinen – 4th round – 116th overall

2012: Matt Grzelcyk – 3rd round – 85th overall | Matt Benning* – 6th round – 175th overall

2010: Ryan Spooner – 2nd round – 45 overall | Zane McIntyre – 6th round – 165th overall

2006: Milan Lucic – 2nd round – 50th overall | Brad Marchand – 3rd round – 71st overall

2003: Patrice Bergeron – 2nd round – 45th overall

* Matt Benning’s career has flourished in Edmonton this season.

Arguably two of the best players on the current Bruins team went in the second and third round. Showing that no matter who goes in the first round, there might always be the “steal” of the draft in the rounds where many lose interest.

So, who will General Manager Don Sweeney announce on the podium this June? I may have a hunch.

Conor Timmins – OHL – Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

In the previous two drafts, the Bruins have selected at least one blueliner with one of their first round picks. The most recent player has joined the big leagues already and has most likely secured himself a spot in the lineup come October.

However, good defensemen are a rare commodity in today’s NHL and teams often are looking for top prospects that can one day be a key member to their blueline.

That is the exact reason why the Boston Bruins should draft Conor Timmins with their first round selection, assuming he isn’t taking prior to their pick.

Conor Timmins has played for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League for the past two consecutive seasons. His first year, he struggled, only putting up 4-9-13 totals in 60 games during the regular season as well as one assist in 12 playoff games.

Although, it was his campaign this season that has put him on the radar of more NHL teams. In 67 games this year with the Greyhounds, Timmins put out an impressive 7-54-61 total along with an outstanding +53 rating. He also showed improved offensive skills in the postseason, putting out 1-7-8 totals in 11 games in these past playoffs.

Back in January, Bob McKenzie released his mid-season draft predictions, including the top 80 prospects in this year’s entry draft. Conor Timmins was ranked 31st on that list behind many other defensemen. Fast-forward to March and fellow TSN analyst Craig Button predicts that Timmins moves up to the 25th pick. Many other analysts across the hockey community have had Conor Timmins as high as the 18th pick, some higher. The season that he has had raised his stock value quite significantly, lowering the chances slightly of the Bruins selecting him as Boston will most likely have the eighteenth overall pick.

Below is a brief prospect review courtesy of OHL Writers.

“Timmins plays in any situation for the Greyhounds. Despite being “only” 6’1” he plays with the physical intensity of someone more like 6’5”. He does not shy away from the physical battles in corners, along the boards or in front of his own goal. He can and does throw open ice hits. He’s even been seen taking a faceoff or two in his own zone a la Raymond Bourque. His plus-24 to date speaks volumes to his two-way game*.”

“Offensively, Timmins thinks the game very well and along with his vision makes him dangerous from the point. Whether its finding seams to set up teammates or getting a diversity of shots through to the goal, he is very proficient. He quarterbacks the OHL’s 8th most potent powerplay exceptionally well. He ranks fifth among Greyhounds in powerplay goals with 3 and second in powerplay assists with 7*.”

**The stats were taken at the mid-season point, not the end of the season.

From the analysis and the good words from commentators and journalists, it sounds although Conor Timmins would be a perfect fit for the Boston Bruins. It could also add to the potential of the Bruins trading away someone like Torey Krug for more offensive power on the forward lines. Timmins and McAvoy could end up being a powerhouse one day, not to over-hype them. Conor Timmins already has chemistry with Boston prospect, Zachary Senyshyn as they played together in the OHL.

Nonetheless, the Bruins should explore all of their options and I feel Conor Timmins is the best one.

(VIDEOS OF CONOR TIMMINS BELOW)

 

 

 

 

 

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