Bruins 2005 draft preview

By Janine Pilkington

Bruins Top Ten Prospects

1. Hannu Toivonen, G
2. Mark Stuart, D
3. Brad Boyes, C
4. Milan Jurcina, D
5. Andy Hilbert, C
6. Andrew Alberts, D
7. Lars Jonsson, D
8. Jordan Sigalet, G
9. David Krejci, C
10. Martins Karsums, RW

The Boston Bruins will select at No. 22 overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Though the positioning was by chance via the wide-open lottery, it is a similar spot to where the team selected from in 2001, 2002 and 2003, when they chose Shaone Morrisonn (19th overall), Hannu Toivonen (29th overall), and Mark Stuart (21st overall), respectively. Thus the organization has shown an ability to find quality players from this area of the draft order.

Team Needs

With a nearly empty roster, the needs for the Bruins consist of nearly everything but goaltending, which will be headed up by restricted free agent Andrew Raycroft.

The list of propects who could graduate to the NHL this year is sizable, including Mark Stuart, Hannu Toivonen, Brad Boyes, Yan Stastny, Andrew Alberts, Andy Hilbert, Milan Jurcina, Kevin Dallman and Colton Orr.

Organizational Strengths

On a whole, Boston has a strong scouting program in place. The most obvious strengths for the B’s right now are in defense and in goal. Hannu Toivonen is the highest ranked prospect for the team, and is projected to make the NHL in the near future. The B’s still have a number of capable goaltender prospects down the line. Jordan Sigalet, Mike Brown, and Kevin Regan have all been performing well for their respective teams and no doubt will be closely watched.

The other area where Bruins prospects are excelling is on defense. There’s no shortage of big, hard-hitting defenders, most notably Mark Stuart, Milan Jurcina and Andrew Alberts. They also have offensive defensemen like Matt Hunwick and Kevin Dallman, who are on the small side, but have speed and offensive talent, and both play bigger than their size.

Organizational Weaknesses

Just like any other year, the draft is more about preparing for the future than filling holes in the roster, and with needs unknown, the Bruins should continue on the same track. The cupboard could become bare very quickly with so many prospects making the jump to the NHL at once.

A nagging problem for the B’s in recent years has been depth in the offensive positions. The Bruins have a great supporting cast of forwards with plenty of spark, but the lack of potential top line attackers has hurt them.

Draft tendencies

The Bruins gave up their top draft picks in 2003 and 2004, leaving them with a late first rounder in 2003 (Mark Stuart) and no first rounders in 2004. Obviously a first round pick is desirable, but it’s no more of a guarantee than one of a later round. Previous first round choices that have turned out well have been Hannu Toivonen (2002), Lars Jonsson (2000) Nick Boynton (1999) and Joe Thornton (1997). Conversely, Andrew Raycroft came in the fifth round (1998), while Andrew Alberts (2001) and Milan Jurcina (2001) were also drafted in later rounds (6th and 8th respectively).

The Bruins have a strong scouting system in place which could work to their advantage. They seem to have a knack for bringing in players that aren’t necessarily flashy, or obvious top choices, yet display a good mixture of work ethic and talent. In recent years the B’s have found a large number of European players, in fact almost half of Boston’s current prospects were drafted from Europe.

Player most likely to be taken with first selection (Hockey’s Future staff mock draft result): Kenndal McArdle, LW, WHL Moose Jaw.

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