In a draft
weekend filled with trades and trickery, Boston Bruins GM Mike O’Connell, by no
surprise, fell short on a done deal. A top on the Bruins agenda was to deal
Captain Jason Allison to the New York Islanders for behemoth defenseman Zdeno
Chara, center Dave Scatchard and the rights to the Islanders #2 overall pick
which would have used to select OHL superstar Jason Spezza. Vying for a trade
up until the last minute, O’Connell was still unable to unload the salary of Jason
Allison to the Islanders.
The motivation behind this deal was two fold. First, in the
Bruins case, was to avoid giving Allison a huge contract in the neighborhood
of 5 million per year for tying for fifth in the NHL scoring race last season.
Secondly, in the Islanders case, was to reunite Allison with ex-Bruin assistant
coach Peter Laviolette; whom was given the Islanders head-coaching job after
being denied the same honor in Boston to Robbie Ftorek.
The only trade the Bruins made all weekend sent underachieving
winger Cameron Mann to the Dallas Stars for defenseman Richard Jackman. A trade
that O’Connell believes is a “good fit for both teams.”
events that transpired on June 1st involving prospects Kyle Wanvig,
Seamus Kotyk, Martin Grenier and Donald Choukulas. Was anyone really surprised
when the Bruins announced defenseman Shaone Morrisonn with the 19th
was rated 41st among North American skaters according to the Central
Scouting Bureau. Jumping a head 22 positions, do the Bruins know something
about Shaone Morrisonn that the entire CSB and 30 other NHL scouts don’t know?
of a strong draft can never be understated. The Bruins have had difficulties
in the past with other such blundered 1st round picks like: Jon
Aitken (1996), Evegeny Ryabchikov (1994), Dmitri Kvartalonov (1992), and Shayne
Stevenson (1989). One would certainly
question the motives of the Bruins behind this selection, especially when
other top defensive prospects like Jeff Woywtika, Mark Popovic, and Tim Gleason
were all still available.
Here is a
breakdown of the Bruins selections over draft weekend.
Kamloops Blazers (WHL)
6’3” , 197
December 23, 1982 in Vancouver, B.C.
1st pick, 19th overall
Moving up 17 positions on Central Scouting’s final rankings, Shaone Morrisonn
is a two-way defenseman with decent upside. A great skater for a player of his
size, he has shown good agility and lateral movement in the defensive zone. He
possesses a rocket for a shot on the point with good accuracy, but lacks mass
to his 6’3” frame. His hockeysense and
decision-making are questionable and is a non-intimidating factor on the
ice. A high risk pick at 19th
overall, the lanky defenseman should be considered as a long-term project.
Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)
6’1” , 230
February 16, 1983 in Penticton, B.C.
2nd pick, 77th overall
Dropping 6 positions to 32nd on Central Scouting’s final rankings
for North American players, Darren McLachlan is a strong winger who excels at
the physical game. A deceptive skater with decent passing skills, McLachlan is
a force to contend with in front of the net. His style of play resembles that
of Darren McCarty of the Detroit Red Wings. With a blend of size, strength,
grit and decent hands, Bruin Nation should expect to see McLachlan as early as
the 2003-2004 season.
Blues, Espoo Jr. (Finland)
6’2” , 188
30, 1982 in Espoo, Finland
3rd pick, 111th overall
Matti Kaltiainen is the unknown commodity of the 2001 NHL draft class. According to Bruins Assistant General
Manager Jeff Gorton, Kaltiainen impressed the Bruins with his size and
"He’s a big goalie, he’s quick, he’s
very good at challenging the shooters and he can handle the puck," said Gorton.
"He’s very confident and polished. We saw him play at the Five Nations
Tournament in St. Petersburg in April and he played very well, three or four
solid games. We just like the way he challenges, he’s got a good glove and the
fact that he’s 6’2 and aggressive."
Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
6’4” , 225
October 4, 1982 in Prague, Czech Republic
4th pick, 147th overall
Dropping 21 positions to 43rd on Central Scouting’s final rankings
for North American players, Jiri Jakes is a solid two-way winger with great
hockeysense. A composed player who doesn’t panic in tense situations, Jakes is
a tough competitor who’s very effective in front of the net. For a European playing
in the rugged Western Hockey League, the physical aspects of the game do not
intimidate him. Jakes is the type of player who will sacrifice himself to make
the play. Jakes has a very bright future a head of him. Why he fell to the
fifth round of the draft is a blessing in disguise for the Bruins. Before
making the jump to the NHL, Jakes must improve his skating. He’s quite agile
for a big man, but would be more effective if he could add some quickness and
improve on his first step.
Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL)
6’5” , 220
Born: June 30, 1981 in Minneapolis, Minnesota
5th pick, 179th overall
Dropping 8 positions to 86th on Central Scouting’s final rankings
for North American players, Andrew Alberts, THE A TRAIN, is a determined
defensive defenseman who works hard all over the ice. Punishing opponents in
the corners and in front of the net with bone crunching hits, Alberts is one of
the most intimidating players in the USHL.
A deceptive skater with good mobility and lateral movement, Alberts is a
decent puckhandler who effectively initiates the breakout. His development will
continue under the tutelage of Jerry York at Boston College this fall.
Victoria Salsa (BCHL)
6’1” , 180
Born: February 19, 1981 in New Westminister, B.C.
6th pick, 209th overall
Finishing at 28th on Central Scoutings’s final rankings for North American
goalies, Jordan Sigalet is a project for the future. The 20 year old netminder
will play at Bowling Green State University next season in the CCHA. Sigalet is
a decent puck handler who covers a lot of the net with his size. He’s one of
those goalies that will show you how he’ll play in the first five minutes in a
game. When he’s hot, he’s really hot for the night. When he’s not, his game is
way off. Sigalet’s mechanics are very good, but his mental play must improve if
he wants to play professionally in the future. He has often been compared to
Martin Brodeur, but he’s actually a lot closer to an un-matured Byron Dafoe.
Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
6’4” , 200
Born: June 7, 1983 in Liptovsky Mikulas, Slovakia
7th pick, 241st overall
Milan Jurcina is a big stay-at-home defenseman with good mobility and lateral
movement. His skating is very good for a player of his size and is very strong
physically. He plays a very basic style of game that will need further development
in the minors after completing his junior career. With the depth on defense
in the Bruins organization, Jurcina will be an extreme longshot prospect to
crack the Bruins lineup. He could have a very successful career, as a 5th
defenseman in the minors. He still needs to develop and elevate his entire
play to get there.
Peterborough Pete’s (OHL)
6’0” , 180
Born: September 25, 1981 in Jesenice, Slovenia
8th pick, 282nd overall
Finishing the season as the 152nd player on Central Scouting’s final
rankings for North American players, Marcel Rodman has a knack for putting
points on the scoreboard. He’s not a
physical player, but he’s not afraid to muck it up in the corners either. He
has a very good shot with a quick release, and his hockeysense is exceptional.
He plays with flair, getting open, and has shown that he has a nose for the
net. Because of his 1981 birth date, Rodman has the opportunity to play for
Boston’s AHL affiliate in Providence next season. In order for Rodman to do
that, he must show at training camp that he cannot be intimidated.
Bruins draft was mediocre in comparison to the last few years. With the depth
and skill level available in this draft, the question still remains if the
Bruins made the right decisions with all of their draft picks. Shaone Morrisonn
will remain a wild card much like Jonathan Aitken was until he can prove if
he infact belongs in the NHL. Bruin
nation should also be excited that players like McLachlan, Jakes, and Alberts
are now part of the system. While none of these players are ready to step
in immediately, it shouldn’t be too long before we’ll see them wearing a spoked