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.