Top 10 prospects
Looking back at the 2007-08 season, it’s easy to be impressed by what this team accomplished in such a short window of time. Under new head coach Claude Julien, they went from bottom ten to playoff team, they were tough to play against, and even through adversity they kept fighting. Still, there were many occasions where the difference between a win and a loss was a goal. The end result was that the Bruins were the only team to squeak into the playoffs with more goals against than goals scored. When your team is 11th in the league for goals against, but 24th in goals scored, it’s pretty clear where the problem is.
The Bruins have a premier playmaking center in Marc Savard—he finished the season third overall in the league in assists—but who scored the goals? The absence of a reliable goal scorer meant frequent juggling of the first line and many targets for Savard, unfortunately nobody was consistently up to the task. The Bruins’ top goal scorer for 2007-08, Marco Sturm, had 27 goals; the only other 20+ goal scorer was Chuck Kobasew, with 22. Phil Kessel, while much improved from his rookie season, still has work to do before he’s ready for regular top-line duty. The Bruins also had to contend with the loss of one of their biggest offensive producers when Patrice Bergeron was injured early in the season.
Defense continues to be one of the strongest areas for the Bruins. Matt Lashoff is on the verge of being an NHL player. The focus on slick, puck-moving defensemen in recent drafts and free agent acquisitions has created enough of a surplus that they decided to trade 2005 draft pick Jonathan Sigalet. Center continues to be the strongest forward position for the Bruins, headed by David Krejci, who is all but guaranteed to be in the NHL full time next season. Left wing Milan Lucic made a surprise splash into the NHL last season, but the Bruins have added Jeff LoVecchio and Matt Marquardt at the position, and with Byron Bitz, TJ Trevelyan and Chris Collins they’ve got more options. In net, Tuukka Rask projects to be a starter and Kevin Regan could provide some competition down the road.
Strong scouting in recent seasons has vastly improved the Bruins prospect system, however, there are still some areas that could be addressed. They’ve got some good prospects on both wings, but lack a top line goal scorer. On defense, they could use some additional size and toughness.
One common trait shared among the majority of Bruins draft picks is high character, and hard work — look no further than their 2007 top draft pick Zach Hamill as an example. In the last five years, they’ve made 37 selections in the entry draft — 19 have come from Canadian junior leagues, 10 from Europe, and eight from either the NCAA or USA juniors. This has included 24 forwards, 11 defensemen and 2 goaltenders. The Bruins have not selected a goaltender in the draft since 2003, when they took both Mike Brown and Kevin Regan.
Hockey’s Future Staff Mock Draft Result: Colten Teubert, D
The Bruins currently have more mobile, smallish and offensive minded defensemen in their system and could use more size at that position. Teubert is a big, shut down style defenseman who would be a good fit.