General Manager Peter Chiarelli upgraded the Bruins offense considerably over the 2010 draft weekend. First he traded away defenseman Dennis Wideman, the 19th overall pick, and a 2011 third-round pick for Florida Panthers forwards Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell. Then with the remaining picks, the Bruins drafted five forwards, two defenseman, and a goaltender. However, it was their first selection, second overall pick Tyler Seguin, that will make the greatest impact with the team in the immediate and long-term future. The Bruins acquired the second overall pick from the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2009 in exchange for forward Phil Kessel.
With the second overall pick, the Bruins secured a marquee player who will be a cornerstone for years to come. The young center should be capable of immediately playing in the NHL as he’s a polished, disciplined player with world class hockey intelligence. Playing in the OHL, Seguin showed excellent puck-distribution, and goal-scoring ability, posting 48 goals and 58 assists through 63 games.
Seguin had a good 2009-10 season, starting with the scoring title at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament and then winning the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy as OHL top scorer, alongside his rival on the draft day Taylor Hall (EDM). He also captained Team Orr at the 2010 CHL Top Prospect Game in Windsor, Ontario.
While many had Seguin slotted first on the draft day, there is a reason he wasn’t picked over Hall. The new Oiler is more NHL ready and enjoyed more success, both at personal and team level in his short career. But many also pointed out that Seguin might have the highest ceiling between the two. A true answer won’t come for at least three or four years.
Boston slotted Knight as a first round pick, so Chiarelli didn’t waste the chance to add another skilled winger to their prospect pool. Knight had an excellent season with the London Knights of the OHL, scoring 36 goals and 57 points, almost doubling his production from 2008-09. He also added 10 goals in the Knights’ playoff run. The versatile forward had a nice story of defeating diabetes, which didn’t stop his NHL dreams.
Knight, 18, is a player with huge offensive upside and some necessary grit in his game. He might need to add some size, but many players have succeeded with similar frames. He is a very good competitor and doesn’t shy from physical play. He definitely has a very good NHL upside and is a very solid pick at 32.
After selecting Knight and Seguin, the Bruins selected yet another offensively talented forward in Ryan Spooner. An undersized center, Spooner compares himself to Daniel Briere. He’s a very offensively talented player, very dangerous on breakaways and in one-on-one situations.
Spooner is an interesting prospect as he has a great mix of passing and shooting, making him a constant threat for the opposition defense. He has great offensive potential and many claimed that he also could have been a first rounder.
That all said, Spooner’s defensive game is years away from professional quality. He needs to work on his own end to have a serious chance of making the NHL.
Without a pick in the third round, the Bruins waited until early in the fourth to call another name. Once again Chiarelli decided to pick up an offensive player selecting Craig Cunningham from the Vancouver Giants of the WHL.
The 19-year-old left winger was overlooked last year, but his numbers were too good this season for that to happen again. Cunningham had an impressive 97 points in the 2009-10 regular season and he was the sixth overall top scorer of the league. He was consequently included in the first WHL All-Star team and along with Jordan Eberle, was a front runner for the WHL MVP title. On top of that he had a great playoff run with 24 points in 16 games.
With a good shot and vision, Cunningham is a versatile player who plays with lots of heart and passion. This versatility should serve him well as he battles for a spot in the Bruins organization.
With their fifth selection the Bruins picked up another overage winger in Justin Florek from Northern Michigan University.
Different from the other members of the Bruins 2010 draft class, Florek is a big-bodied, defensive forward who can develop into a checking line kind of player. The Northern Michigan University forward had a good NCAA campaign this year with 35 points in 41 games. Florek represented the USA at the 2008 U18 WJC, scoring three goals in seven games.
Florek is expected to return to the Wildcats in 2010-2011.
Zane Gothberg, G, Thief River Falls Prowlers (USHS)
6’1, 176 lbs
6th round, 165th overall
Zane Gothberg, a highly regarded high school prospect, is the first non-forward playe
r selected by the Bruins during the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Gothberg had a very good 2009-10 season, posting a 1.84 goals against average and a .922 save percentage as he grabbed the Frank Brinsek Award, given to the top goalie of the State of Minnesota.
The 17-year-old is a very quick goalie with good movement around the net. He can control a good portion of the crease with his good size and challenges very well the shooters.
He’s a good long-term investment for the Bruins, who will have to be patient with him as he is committed to the Fargo Force for next season and the University of North Dakota down the road.
Maxim Chudinov, D, Severstal Cherepovets (KHL)
5’11, 190 lbs
7th round, 195th overall
With the first of two selections in the seventh round, the Bruins made their only European selection of the draft in Maxim Chudinov.
The 20-year-old defenseman is a friend of Bruins prospect Yuri Alexandrov, having played together for many years in Russia on the same team. Chudinov is an experienced player with three full pro seasons played at home in Russia and this is definitely not something that many youngsters can list in their resume.
Chudinov is a defensive kind of blueliner who likes to play with an edge. He’s a good hitter and plays hard in spite of the relatively small size. He isn’t a scorer but reads the ice well and know when to jump on a chance in the offensive zone. In 47 games with Cherepovets, Chudinov posted six goals, seven assists, and 30 penalty minutes.
Having recently signed a new two-year deal in the KHL, it’s hard to try and guess when Chudinov will report, but most likely he’ll skate with the Bruins for a trial period once his deal in Russia will be over.
Oddly enough, the Bruins decided to move a 2011 seventh round pick to the Blackhawks in order to get the very last 2010 pick, and with this pick they decided to add big body in collegiate defenseman Zach Trotman.
Trotman is a defensive defenseman who plays hard and likes to use his size to his advantage, but needs to improve his offensive presence in order to gain a legit shot at the NHL with the Bruins. Trotman scored a mere eight points in his first NCAA season with the Lake Superior State University.