|06.25.16 at 9:46 am ET|
BUFFALO — With Loui Eriksson likely headed to free agency and the period for teams to interview free agents having opened at midnight, the Bruins are set to lay the groundwork for whatever their July 1 plans may be.
Those plans still may include retaining Eriksson, but he figures to get plenty of attention from other clubs willing to go longer than the four-year term from which the Bruins have not budged.
“I had a good conversation with Loui’s group, J.P., [Friday],” general manager Don Sweeney said late Friday night. “We’ll continue to see. Obviously the period to talk to other teams is opening and I’m sure they’ll be exploring that. We’re in a position where we’re going to sign a couple of players and we’ve [been interested] all along. We just don’t know whether or not we’ve found common ground. We clearly didn’t because we didn’t sign, but the discussions were good. They were positive, but it’s a balancing act and we’ll be now in discussions with other players as well.”
|06.24.16 at 11:50 pm ET|
BUFFALO — Don Sweeney established a year ago that he feels a good young defenseman is worth a mid-first-round pick and a couple of seconds. A year later, teams told him his read on the market was wrong.
With a number of defensemen potentially on the trade market (Kevin Shattenkirk and Cam Fowler among them), Sweeney said that teams demanded the Bruins give up all of their draft capital in Friday’s first round and then some.
“In all honesty, it would have taken both first rounders and then some in order to move [for a defenseman],” he said. “The acquisition cost was high. I’ve said all along that we want to continue to improve our hockey club in whatever we have to do, but those [situations] are not unlike last year, where it would have taken all three first-rounders. There’s a balancing act there.”
When asked about the ask of the 14th and 29th picks, Sweeney added that teams’ demands “didn’t stop there.”
“I wasn’t trading David Pastnrak,” Sweeney said. “We’ve been criticized, and rightfully so at times, for being impatient with some of our younger and skilled players. This represents a good opportunity for us to establish that we don’t want to do that.”
Instead of trading the picks, Sweeney selected Boston University defenseman Charlie McAvoy at 14 and reached for Wisconsin center Trent Frederic at 29.
|06.24.16 at 9:55 pm ET|
BUFFALO — The Bruins swung for the fences with the 14th overall pick. Leaving bigger names on the board, Don Sweeney went for an explosive defenseman in Charlie McAvoy who hopes to round out the rest his game to be a great player.
How great? Norris great, by his expectations.
“Drew Doughty is my favorite defenseman. He’s someone who I feel has got a lot of traits that I feel that I have and I want to continue to [develop],” McAvoy said after being selected by the B’s. “At my peak, if I can be like Drew Doughty, I’m not complaining.”
The Bruins wouldn’t complain either.
Doughty posted 51 points (14 goals, 37 assists) this season en route to winning his first Norris Trophy, even if his winning it was controversial given a superior season from Erik Karlsson.
|06.24.16 at 9:39 pm ET|
BUFFALO — If Charlie McAvoy’s game is as good as his Twitter, the Bruins have a Hall of Famer on their hands.
The Boston University defenseman was giddy as he discussed being drafted 14th overall by the Bruins Friday night. A native of New York, he admitted that he grew up a Rangers fan but that he’d fallen in love with the city of Boston in his freshman year at college.
“I’m sure my friends back home are kind of happy, but I’m kind of cutting the ties with New York sports,” McAvoy said. “Boston’s an unbelievable city and it’s a great place with great people. I’m happy to be staying there.”
Then, as people on the internet do, someone found this old tweet from May of 2013, which happened to be a month in which the Bruins eliminated the Rangers in the second round of the playoffs:
Asked about growing up in New York, McAvoy admitted he was conditioned to hate Boston sports teams, but that he’s come around.
“You grow up and I guess you’re taught not to like them because of the rivalry and everything,” McAvoy said with a smile. “But I’ve got a Red Sox hat now, so that’s the first step and I’ve this Bruins jersey, so that’s pretty cool.
“I don’t know if I can be a Pats fan, though. We’ll see.”
|06.24.16 at 8:57 pm ET|
BUFFALO — The Bruins used the 14th overall pick to get a defenseman from Boston University; it just wasn’t Kevin Shattenkirk.
Instead, the Bruins selected high-ceiling blueliner Charlie McAvoy with the pick, adding the New York native to a stable of prospects from the BU pipeline.
“It’s crazy. I was joking with [Don] Sweeney, I said ‘[Matt Grzelcyk] and [Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson], they can’t get rid of me now. They’re stuck with me,’” McAvoy said after donning his new Bruins jersey. “They’re unbelievable players. They’re great people and it’s going to be exciting to go through all this stuff with them.”
McAvoy is a right-shot defenseman who stands at 5-foot-11 and 195 pounds. He had three goals and 22 assists for 25 points in 37 games last season as a freshman at BU.
“He is an impactful offensive, push-the-pace, hair-on-fire, 100 miles an hour defenseman,” Red Line Report analyst Kirk Luedeke said of McAvoy this week. “Who doesn’t want someone like that? I would have to think he would be in the discussion around No. 14.”
In selecting McAvoy, the Bruins passed on the likes of OHL defenseman Jakob Chychrun and Penticton blueliner Dante Fabbro. The Coyotes traded up to select Chychrun 16th overall, while Fabbro went 17th to the Predators.
McAvoy’s ceiling may have played a factor in the Bruins choosing the BU product rather than the defensemen on whom they passed. In going for an explosive defensemen like McAvoy, the B’s added a player who already has the highest potential of any of their right-D prospects. McAvoy compares his game to that of Norris winner Drew Doughty.
“[He’s a] multi-tool player. We feel like he has offensive upside that will continue to get better,” general manager Don Sweeney said. “He steps into a college game, and you track where he was in the first half of the season, the second half, and understand that he got acclimated. People had spoken that he tried to do maybe a little too much at times, and he’s playing against guys who are four or five years older in some cases and really handled himself well.
“Very physical player at times,” Sweeney said. “We actually need to back him off, which is another good quality that he has. He can puck separate, finds the middle of the ice. As a matter of fact, JFK spoke highly of that in terms of a centerman wants the puck. He wants it in motion. He’s going up ice, and I think today it’s paramount for defensemen to be able to establish more than one option and recognize it and be able to execute it. I think Charlie does it well.”
With the 29th pick, the B’s took St. Louis native Trent Frederic, a perceived reach for where he was selected.
Frederic, a physical 6-foot-2, 203-pound left shot, scored four goals and added 10 assists for 14 points in 23 games for the U.S. National Under-18 Team. The 18-year-old is committed to play at the University of Wisconsin next year and admitted that he is better defensively than offensively.
“I guess overall, I’d say the offensive side of my game, I need to round that out,” Frederic said. “Once I get that, we’ll see what happens from there.”
The Bruins had the pick from the Sharks, as they acquired it last offseason in a trade that sent the rights to goaltender Martin Jones to San Jose.
|06.24.16 at 7:35 pm ET|
BUFFALO — Bruins fans likely remember Andrew Shaw’s feistiness from the 2013 Stanley Cup Final. Now they’ll be seeing a lot more of him.
After American center Auston Matthews went first overall to the Maple Leafs, commissioner Gary Bettman announced some whacky stuff from the Canadiens.
Montreal traded center Lars Eller to the Capitals for second round picks in the 2017 and 2018 drafts. The more notable (and perhaps head-scratching) move was that they send their own second-rounder this year and a second-rounder from Minnesota to the Blackhawks for the rights Shaw, a restricted free agent.
Shaw is reportedly seeking “at least” $4.5 million annually despite being a bottom-sixer who realistically is good for around 30-35 points a year. Last season, Shaw scored 14 goals and added 20 assists for 34 points. Here is a comparison of Eller, whom the Habs gave up, and Shaw, per Own the Puck.
|06.24.16 at 1:19 pm ET|
BUFFALO — With the draft now hours away, all is quiet on the Bruins’ front. As we learned a year ago, that doesn’t mean that some absolutely bonkers stuff is out of the question. So, crazy season about to begin in the NHL, here are three questions for Bruins fans: