PHOTO CREDITS: (theultimatehockeynetwork.com)
June 26th, 2015. The 2015 NHL Entry Draft. After GM Don Sweeney made two monumental trades that sent Milan Lucic to the Los Angeles Kings and Dougie Hamilton to the Calgary Flames. All in a span of 24 hours. Those two trades gave Boston picks 13 and 15. Adding to their original pick, number 14.
In possibly one of the deepest drafts in many years, headlined by Conner McDavid, it made Boston’s management’s job of finding the best prospects even more difficult.
Pick one. Boston selected Czech defensemen Jakub Zboril. A read up on Zboril, courtesy of Elite Prospects, can be found below.
“Jakub Zboril is a smart, fleet-footed two-way defenseman that plays to his strengths in all three areas of the ice. While he doesn’t aim to impress, he does all of the little things right and plays with an edge. The neutral zone is his launching pad: he is able to take off into the offensive end, or backcheck quickly into his own end. Very sound positionally. Smooth skater with lots of energy to burn. Not afraid to lay the body, or take a hit to make the play; can and will stand up for teammates. Possesses good hands and awareness on the ice, as well as a hard shot that is quite accurate. All-in-all, a complete defenseman that is relied upon to offset any oncoming attacks, as well as create chances in the opposing end. Could end up being that home-run pick in the 2015 NHL Draft. Few holes in his game. A low-risk, high-reward type of player. Reminiscent style of play to that of NHL D-man Keith Yandle.” (Curtis Joe, EP 2015).
So far this season in the QMJHL, Zboril has 9 points in 21 games, 3 goals.
Let us skip pick number 14 for just a tad bit longer.
Pick 3. Boston selected Canadian-born forward, Zachary Senyshyn. Another read up on Senyshyn can be found below, via Elite Prospects.
A 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. (Curtis Joe, EP 2015)
Senyshyn has 34 points, 23 goals, in 35 games played with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL.
Okay, pick number 2 for the Boston Bruins. Don Sweeney remained on the podium after the Zboril pick, and proudly chose Canadian-born forward, from the Swift Current Broncos in the WHL, Jake DeBrusk.
The final review of “the three stogies” come from Elite Prospects once again.
A two-way winger with good mobility and scoring ability. Willing to battle in the dirty areas and can always find the puck and make the smart play below the hashmarks. Shows good creativity and deception with the puck. Good individual skills and makes good use of any time and space found. DeBrusk won’t beat you up physically, but he can definitely beat you up on the scoreboard. All-in-all, a competitive two-way winger with the natural goal scorer’s instincts. (Curtis Joe, EP 2015)
DeBrusk was traded from Swift Current to the Red Deer Rebels on December 27th. With the Broncos, Jake put up 9-17-26 in 24 games and in only four games with the Rebels, DeBrusk has 5 goals and 5 assists. Yes, Jake DeBrusk has 10 points in only 4 games with the Red Deer Rebels.
Back on January 6th, my father and I went to the WHL game between the Saskatoon Blades and the Red Deer Rebels and going into the game, of course, we were excited to watch DeBrusk’ performance. If you read the report of Jake in the paragraph above, it says that that DeBrusk is “A two-way winger…”, although, for the entire if not majority of the game, Jake played as a first line centerman. DeBrusk was on the ice for three Rebels goals. Jake was in front of the net, looking for rebounds and deflections. He had good hustle when heading from his end to the offensive zone and he got a few solid hits. Whenever we would see him return to the bench, he had a focused demeanour to him.
After the final buzzer sounded, we happened to be sitting right by the tunnel for the visitor’s dressing room, so when we saw DeBrusk, we asked for some autographs. He gladly obliged and went to the dressing room to take off his equipment. After about 5-10 minutes, he returned with a massive smile beaming across his face. Seeing Bruins fans all the way in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. We talked and my father asked Jake, “How did it feel to get your name called?” Jake replied with, “It was unbelievable, I wish everyone could feel that and I’m looking forward to training camp this offseason.” He signed our official 2015 NHL draft hats and some photographs. A fantastic kid and I truly hop to see him in the NHL in the very near future.