Bruins 2009 draft review

By Jonathan Szczur

The blockbuster deal did not occur, no trades were made, and the Boston Bruins ended up using all five picks they had at the beginning of the draft. They needed depth on the wings as well as on the blueline and they managed to address those areas with their selections. Winger Jordan Caron from Rimouski of the QMJHL was taken with the Bruins first pick at 25th overall. In all they took three wingers, one defenseman and one center.

As in his previous two drafts with the Bruins, GM Peter Chiarelli and his staff took from North American leagues. Boston drafted from the QMJHL, the WHL, the OHL and even the CJHL. And they went for size. Four of the five selections are over six feet tall and the top two wingers they took already weigh over 200 lbs. Gaining depth as well as getting big on the wings is what the Bruins needed to do, and they followed through on it.

Jordan Caron, RW, Rimouski (QMJHL)
1st round, 25th overall
6’2, 202 lbs

Coming to the stage for his new sweater, Jordon Caron was welcomed into the Bruins family for the photo op. To his left stood Cam Neely, and immediately it became apparent to all that Caron fit the mold of the traditional Boston power forward. At 6’2, 202 lbs and still growing he will take some time to mature but he has all the tools.

Caron put up 36 goals in 56 games and added 31 assists for 67 points with Rimouski. He finished third in team scoring during the regular season. He was impressive in the Memorial Cup Tournament, scoring two goals in four games. Even more than his statistics is his natural ability to read the ice and get into the right position at the right time. He can go into the corners and emerge with the puck or take a feed in the slot and find the back of the net. His hands are good, his hits are solid and he even knows how to be defensively responsible. His  +14 was the highest of any forward on Rimouski.

His 66 penalty minutes prove that the left-handed right wing isn’t afraid to use his size when the situation calls for it. Already drawing internal comparisons to former Bruin Glen Murray shows the organization has high expectations for the 18-year-old Quebec native. His hard shot and harder work ethic fit well within the Boston philosophy. If he develops according to expectations, he could be wearing the “B” in two or three years.

Pros: Caron has all the tools to grow into a talented NHL power forward. He has the size, he has the strength and he has the intangible hockey sense to know where to be on the ice. He can pass, he can shoot but he also has impressive defensive awareness, especially for an 18-year-old.

Cons: His ability to stay healthy causes some concern. Through three seasons with the Oceanic he has yet to skate an entire season. He has played in 161 of Rimouski’s 208 regular season games over the past three years.

Ryan Button, D, Prince Albert (WHL)
3rd round, 86th overall
6’0, 185 lbs

Button finished his first full season with the Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL with 37 points in 70 games. While his performance this past season provided a good case for him to go higher in the draft, his -15 rating may have been the reason he slipped to the third round. But based on his impressive first full season of major junior hockey, the Bruins seem to have stolen the smooth-skating, puck-moving defenseman with their second pick of the draft.

He skates with a good stride and moves naturally in all directions as well as with the puck. Button attributes the majority of his development to his father who coached him throughout his minor career. His mobility gives him a strong power play presence and allows him to work the puck well with the man advantage. He has also shown the sense to find room to unload a healthy one-timer from the blueline.

With 43 penalty minutes and three fights in his 70 games this past season, Button showed he has the ability to play physical in the right situation.

Pros: Overall hockey sense and puck smarts compliment his strong skating ability. Button is all about potential. He has only just finished his first full season with Prince Albert and similar continuation of his development will bode well for his future.

Cons: He will need to add some more size to his frame to compete at the next level of professional hockey. Button’s relatively average size will remain a question if he doesn’t mature physically and show that he can use his body as he develops.

Lane MacDermid, LW, Windsor (OHL)
4th round, 112th overall
6’3, 205 lbs

The Bruins organization wanted to add some size and strength on the wings and they did just that by selecting MacDermid from the Memorial Cup Champion Windsor Spitfires. With Boston’s third pick they took their second winger over 6’2 and 200 lbs in MacDermid. While he recorded 35 points in 64 regular season games between Owen Sound and Windsor, it was his 195 penalty minutes that exemplify the type of game he plays. He dropped the gloves 17 times during the 2008-09 season and another four times during the playoffs. Boston likes size and toughness and they get both with MacDermid.

As the son of former NHL role player Paul MacDermid, he has the lineage and understanding of what it takes to play in the league. As an overage junior, his fight for a spot in Providence will be scrutinized more than most, but his development has show he has the size and the strength to be successful.

Pros: He fits the mold of a big, bad Bruin. MacDermid plays tough and has the ability to contribute more offensively than many players asked to fill the same role. His upside is impressive and has only shown improvement throughout the course of his development.

Cons: The fundamentals can use some improvement. He will need to continue to work on his play with the puck and his skating if he wants to excel in Providence and progress up to Boston some day.

Tyler Randell, RW, Kitchener (OHL)

6th round, 176th overall
6’1, 191 lbs

The Bruins desire to get bigger, especially on the wing, continued in the sixth round with the selection of Tyler Randell. Randell began the season with the Belleville Bulls before being traded to the Kitchener Rangers. He tallied 37 points in 73 games with 24 goals and 13 assists. He finished the regular season with 99 penalty minutes and got into seven fights.

Randell has the ability to use get his body in front of the next to create traffic as well as crash the net for the gritty goals. Having just turned 18, he will need to continue to develop his skills as he matures and continue to skate hard every shift if he wants to improve on his -12 rating this past season.

Pros: He has proven to be tough and willing to crash the net. The Bruins organization has recognized him as a player who will fill the role asked of him and will work hard every second he is on the ice.

Cons: Skating and footwork will need to improve as the 18-year-old Randell grows into his frame. He will need to get bigger and stronger to fill the same role at the next level. Randall will also need to improve his defensive play.

Ben Sexton, C, Nepean (CJHL)

7th round, 206th overall
5’11, 182 lbs

With the Bruins’ final selection, they took their first center of the draft, Ben Sexton, from the Nepean Raiders of the CJHL. In 38 games he scored 35 points with 14 goals and 21 assists. In 10 fewer games than he played in 2007-08 he put up five more points. Sexton was also a member of the Team Canada East in the 2008 World Junior A Challenge in November. Injuries limited his games this year and kept him at eighth on the team in scoring during the regular season. Sexton played well in the playoffs, scoring 12 points in 11 games, while helping Nepean get to the CJHL finals.

Sexton has committed to Clarkson for the 2010-11 season and will be headed the BCHL next season to play for the Penticton Vees.

Pros: He has offensive talent and knows how to move the puck on the power play. Even better for the organization is his reputation for working hard and playing physical.

Cons: Despite his aggressive style of play, Sexton is a smaller center and will need to get bigger to play at the next level. He is a long way from the NHL and must continue to develop.