Despite not having a first round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, the Boston Bruins had several late picks that could turn out to be steals when all is said and done. There were rumors that Tyler Seguin might be moved at the draft, however that trade came in the following days, when he was moved in package to the Dallas Stars as part of a blockbuster seven-player trade.
The Bruins made several interesting choices, which included a local product Ryan Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald's father is former NHL forward, Tom Fitzgerald whom ended his career in Boston. Ryan's uncle, Scott, is also the Assistant Director of Amateur Scouting for the Bruins.
Linus Arnesson, D, Djurgardens IF Stockholm (Allsvenskan)
2nd round, 60th Overall
Height: 6'2 Weight: 187 lbs
The Bruins top pick in the draft will play another season in juniors over in Sweden, but the Bruins like his defensive abilities and strong puck moving skills. Boston hopes that when he makes the trek across the pond, the different style of play in North America will not be an issue.
"His type of game really sets up well for the North American game," Bruins assistant General Manager Don Sweeney said. "He's a combative kid [in] one-on-one situations, he is aggressive in his gap control, he gets pucks, he moves puck, he doesn’t look [for] those high-end plays, but rather those simple and effective plays."
Arnesson plays a physical style of game, though he is not the type of player to be looking for the big hit.
"I'm not usually a big hitter, but I can use my size and strength, in the corners," he said. "I play hard."
Arnesson will look to develop his game further with Djurgardens IF Stockholm. He had only one point last year in 31 games.
Peter Cehlarik, LW, Lulea HF (SHL)
3rd round, 90th Overall
Height: 6'2, Weight: 192 lbs
A native of Slovakia, Cehlarik is a forward with size and a high offensive pedigree. He still has some more development to do, which should continue overseas.
"Peter is a very skilled hockey player, and you're seeing right away what kind of player," Sweendey said of Cehlarik at the Bruins Development Camp. "He has the shot, the release, and the hands. He can also make plays in traffic and in-and-around the net."
Cehlarik split last season between the Lulea and its junior team. He played only eight games in the SEL, but he contributed nicely with six points (three goals, three assists). At the junior level he was just off a point-per-game pace with 37 points (17 goals, 20 assists), in 38 games. During the U-18 WJC, he had a strong performance with seven points, in six games of action.
Ryan Fitzgerald, C, Valley Junior Warriors (EJHL)
4th round, 120th Overall
Height: 5'9, Weight: 170 lbs
After multiple Super Eight titles with the Malden Catholic Lancers, Fitzgerald used the 2012-13 season to develop at the junior level. The Bruins are quite happy where they were able to take the local product, as he was projected by any to be taken in the second or third rounds.
"[Ryan’s] a good player, he loves hockey, and his bloodlines are obvious," Sweeney said. "He's been around the game a long time, and that shows up in his work habits and approach to even doing the simplest of drills."
Last season with the Valley Junior Warriors, Fitzgerald had 30 points (14 goals, 16 assists) in 26 games. He heads to Chestnut Hill, Mass. this upcoming season to put on the maroon and gold for Jerry York's Boston College Eagles. York is one of the most prestigious coaches in college hockey, holding the all-times win record at the collegiate level, and has had success molding undersized players, such as Brian Gionta, into NHL talents.
"Playing for Coach York was definitely one of the biggest reasons because you have seen what he has done with that team," Fitzgerald said. "He is one of the best college hockey coaches, if not the best."
Hockey's Future shot video of Fitzgerald at the 2013 NHL Draft. You can view his extended remarks in this HF video.
Wiley Sherman, D, Hotchkiss School (Connecticut Prep)
5th round pick, 150th Overall
Height: 6'6, Weight: 206 lbs
Sherman projects to be more of a defensive defenseman, but he is still years away from entering the pro-level. He is returning to Hotchkiss for one more season of Prep school before he plays for Ted Donato and the Harvard Crimson. At 6'6, Sherman has a natural presence in the defensive zone.
"My size gives me an advantage," Sherman said. "I have a little bit more time to react because I have such a long stick. I have a little bit [of a mean streak], but right now I am just trying to make right play. Hopefully as I start to get more comfortable that the physicality will come."
Sherman could be a punishing force on the back-end when his development at the collegiate level has completed.
Anton Blidh, LW, Frolunda J20 (SuperElit)
6th round, 180th Overall
Height: 5'11, Weight: 184 lbs
A speedy two-way player, Blidh possesses many of the attributes the Bruins seem to covet. He had 27 points (17 goals, 10 assists), in the SuperElit, and appeared in five games with the Swedish U-18 team.
Like many 18-year-olds, Blidh needs some more time to season his talents, but he does have several attributes that are close to NHL ready.
"He is a really good skater and an aggressive player," Sweeney said. "Blidh gets on top of pucks. He has NHL skating right now, but it's a matter of getting stronger. It will take some time for him to acclimate himself."
Dempsey has not had much of a career so far in the OHL only tallying 10 points over two seasons, but the rugged forward brings a lot of skills that the Bruins like to draft. The Cambridge, Ontario native is extremely strong on the puck, and has the ability to be a power forward in the offensive zone. With the right progression, Dempsey may be able to find a scoring touch in the OHL.
Follow Richard Murray on Twitter via @Richie_Murray