If the 2007-08 season could be described as a mix of the sour and the sweet for Boston Bruins‘ prospect Jamie Arniel, then the 2008-09 campaign could have the young center on a sugar high for its duration.
While last season was by no means a bad one for the Kingston, Ontario native, it was not without its low points. The lowest point for Arniel was the trade that sent him from the OHL‘s Guelph Storm to his current team, the Sarnia Sting. Trades, of course, are a part of the business in professional hockey. But in junior hockey it can be a particularly gut-wrenching experience due to the fact that players at this level often are experiencing this upheaval for the first time in their life. And when the trade involves someone that is 17- or 18-years-old, it can have a great effect on the player. Arniel admits as much when asked about the subject.
"It was one of the hardest things in my career to go through", admits Arniel. "It was definitely something I needed to work hard to move past."
But the flip side of a trade is that the team acquiring you is usually thrilled to have you on their side, which was the case with the Sting’s trade for Arniel.
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Things were so translucent after the Bruins premature exit from the playoffs that sniper Billy Guerin was not seriously tendered an offer to wear Black and Gold for the 2002-03 season. With the failed attempts of signing notable free agents Tony Amonte and Teemu Selanne, the Bruins turned to relying from within. Who would be the one to step up and take charge to fill the scoring vacancy left by Guerin?
Kladno, Czech Republic native Ivan Huml has answered the call grabbing the bull by the horns with a great training camp and preseason. The 21-year-old Huml should be Czeching in so to say, as his previous AHL salary will elevate to NHL status. He has been nothing short of brilliant thus far and leads the way to full time duties above and beyond all Bruins prospects fighting for a spot on Causeway Street.
Huml has enjoyed a degree of success in the Bruins organization. He was the last player cut in 2000 after being drafted out of Langley, British Columbia in the BCHL. His efforts earned him a contract with the Bruins AHL affiliate in Providence and he emerged as a legit prospect walking into the 2001 training camp bigger and stronger from the year before. His stellar play in Providence caught the eye of Bruins coach Robbie Ftorek and Huml found himself on display against the Atlanta Thrashers during a call-up last season. He did not disappoint. He made a great play entering the zone, dished the puck to Jozef Stumpel who fed Billy Guerin for his 11th goal of the season.
Huml will not replace Guerin’s 41 goals as a Cub amongst Bears, but he will put his 6-2, Read more»
If the Bruins draft history is any indication for the future then Finnish goaltender Hannu Toivonen has less than a 10% chance of being an impact netminder in the NHL. If the Bruins draft history is any indication for the future based on first round draft picks used on goaltenders then Toivonen has a 0% chance of being an impact NHL goalie.
The Boston Bruins are notorious for being a weak team when it comes to picking talent between the pipes. For the Bruins to select Hannu Toivonen with the 29th selection with other talent still available is beyond mind boggling, especially for a team that has selected defensemen in 6 of the last 10 drafts.
Picking NHL caliber defensemen is a niche for the Bruins; it’s an area where they excel. So why did they pass on defensemen such as Kiril Koltsov, Denis Grot, and Trevor Daley?
Because Hannu Toivonen is the real deal!
The Bruins have a bountiful healthy stable of young goalies and adding Toivonen to the herd makes it that much stronger. The native of Kalvola, Finland can best be described as a butterfly goalie with great flexibility. At 6’2”, 190 lbs., he has no problem filling the net. He helped backstop Finland to earn a Bronze medal at the 2002 IIHF World U18 Championship in Trnava, Piestany Slovakia. He also played for a very weak team Finland at the 2002 Viking Cup in Camrose, Alberta Canada where he faced 84 shots over 4 games.
Toivonen is a systems goalie; he is not the type of player who can carry an entire team on his back. When the team in front of him plays well, he comes up big when you Read more»
There’s a lot to be said about adversary. For the Bruins to miss the post season in two
consecutive years and be able to turn around and finish second overall says so much about
overcoming obstacles. Unfortunately on June 22 and 23, finishing second overall doesn’t
have its advantages. The Bruins will be picking second to last in each round beginning
with the 29th overall selection in round 1.
The crop of players available for the 2002 draft class are considered weak by scouting standards.
For the Bruins to be able to find a player that will step right into the mix with the 29th
selection is virtually impossible. In fact, it is highly unlikely that whomever the Bruins
select will see the colors of black and gold for at least 3 years if at all.
With that in mind, it is expected that after the top 5 selections are made, the draft will be
completely wide open. With weaker crops such as these, teams are more suspect to taking chances
on players that they feel may not be available in later rounds. Take for instance the 1996 Entry
Draft. Derek Morris of the Calgary Flames was slated to be a 3rd round selection. The Flames
didn’t want to take any chances and nabbed him 13th overall. In all likelihood the 2002 draft
should take similar fashion.
The Bruins traded away their 3rd round pick to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim for Winger Marty
McInnis. At the trade deadline, Mike O’Connell traded away the Bruins 6th round pick to the
Florida Panthers for Defenseman Jeff Norton. The Bruins may also lose a late round pick to the
Dallas Stars as pa Read more»
The 2002 NHL Entry Draft appears to be the weakest since 1996. There are some players like Jay Bouwmeester, Rick Nash and Kari Lehtonen who will have decent futures in the NHL, but mostly the 2002 draft class is a complete crapshoot; more so this year than in seasons past. It will be interesting to see which players don’t sign and re-enter the draft that could be good potential investments down the road. The Boston Bruins have one possible re-entry; 6’5” Forward Chris Berti of the Erie Otters (OHL). The Bruins will announce their first selection somewhere between 25-30 depending on the outcome of the regular season and the Stanley Cup finals.
The Bruins traded away their 3rd round pick to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim for Winger Marty McInnis. At the trade deadline, Mike O’Connell traded away the Bruins 6th round pick to the Florida Panthers for Defenseman Jeff Norton. The Bruins may also lose a late round pick to the Dallas Stars as part of the future considerations for acquiring the services of Benoit Hogue earlier in the season. The Bruins do pickup the Phoenix Coyotes 5th round pick as part of the Andrei Nazarov trade and any other compensation picks that have yet to be awarded.
The prime question that needs to be answered is what do the Bruins really need most?
The answer is Centers!
Boston will likely choose the best player available on the board when they make their first selection. It’s anyone’s guess as to who that player could be at this point. With drafts such as these, som Read more»