|06.27.09 at 10:51 am ET|
MONTREAL — Welcome to the second day of the 2009 NHL entry draft, or “Repechage” as it’s known up here in the French-speaking province of Quebec. Much of the nuts and bolts information will be coming from research done by our own WEEI.com lottery pick intern Alex Katz, so a tip of the cap and a tap of the stick to him for today’s work. Here’s some info on Boston’s entire selection of five draft picks. The Bruins didn’t have a pick in the second or fifth round, but they still managed to pick up some chips through seven lightning rounds.
On the whole Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli was happy to get the skill components out of the way early by picking up a super-sized scorer in Caron and a puck-moving defenseman in Button, and the B’s executive admitted that the team spent the rest of the draft stocking up on gritty, sandpaper-style players that fit into the “Bruins Way”. Here’s a rundown on the picks.
FIRST ROUND — Jordan Caron (Rimouski Oceanic), RW, 6-foot-2, 205 pounds. Summary: An 18-year-old out of Rimouski Oceanic in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, with their first-round pick, the 25th overall. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound right winger had 67 points and 36 goals in 56 games for Rimouski last season, and really opened eyes during the Memorial Cup playoffs. B’s GM Peter Chiarelli said that Caron has ‘power forward tendencies’, and that both his shot and his tenacity around the net remind him of former B’s scorer Glen Murray. Caron is expected to attend Boston’s prospect camp next month at Ristuccia Arena.
Biggest strength: size and booming shot.
Needs to work on: Skating. Particularly his first two strides.
Quote of note: “I’ve been told that I’m like James Sheppard of the Minnestoa Wild. I’m tall, I have good skills and a pretty good shot.” –Caron talking about who he has heard people compare him to in the NHL.
Thoughts from the Bruins: ‘He’s a lefthanded shot who can play center or wing, and I see him more as a wing. He’s a very good goal scorer with a very good shot off the wing.’’ –Peter Chiarelli
NHL Comparable: Glen Murray.
THIRD ROUND (86th overall) : Ryan Button (Prince Albert Raiders, WHL), defenseman, 6-foot, 185 pounds. Summary: A smooth-skating, puck-moving 18-year-old defenseman out of the WHL, Button is the exact kind of defenseman that the Bruins need to begin adding to create some organizational depth. Button had a breakout season for Prince Albert of the WHL in 2008-09 and finished with 37 points in 70 games last season. An Oilers fan growing up, Button comes from an athletic family with his dad a triathlete and his cousin an Olympic-level swimmer for the Canadian National Team.
Biggest strength: skating speed, decision-making with the puck
Needs to: gather some bulk and strength as with most 18-year-old hockey prospects, but his 6-foot frame is good size for his blueline skill set.
Quote of Note: “Boston is my dad’s favorite team, he grew up watching them and he just loves them and my cousin is in Montreal and he just loves Boston. So it it was just awesome when Boston picked my name for my dad and myself.” –Button talking about getting taken by the Bruins.
Thoughts from the Bruins: “Ryan Button is a really smooth puck-moving defenseman. He sees the ice well and transitions well from defense to offense. He’s a good-sized kid over 6-foot-1. He’s not a real aggressive guy, but he finishes checks well and he’s certainly the first one on pucks.” –Bruins scouting director Wayne Smith
NHL Comparable: Marc-Edward Vlasic
FOURTH ROUND (112th overall): Lane MacDermid (Windsor Spitfires, OHL) 6-foot-3, 204-pounds RW. Summary: MacDermid has the puck bloodlines as the son of former NHLer Paul MacDermid and he has the size at 6-foot-3, 204-pounds. The lefty shooting MacDermid had 15 goals and 20 assists in 64 games for both the Owen Sound Attack and the Spitfires while splitting the season with both junior teams in 2008-09. Really came on during the Memorial Cup playoffs when he registered 9 points in 20 playoff games. MacDermid is known as something of a tough guy in junior circles with 17 fighting majors and well over 100 penalty minutes in each of his three seasons in junior hockey. MacDermid is expected to fit right into the Big Bad Bruins style of hockey.
Biggest Strength: Toughness, ability to elevate his game in high pressure situations.
Needs to work on: Finer offensive points of the game, skating.
Thoughts from the Bruins: “He’s a big body. High-conditioned. High strength level. Really strong on the puck and a really competitive kid that’s also combative. He can handle himself with the gloves off or on. He really excelled on the penalty kill this year, and watching him at the Memorial Cup we noted that in key situations he was placed out there in penalty kill situations. He was effective and their team ended up winning the championship. He reminds me of what a Boston Bruins player is trying to be right now. He’ll go through a wall. He takes no prisoners. He’ll go to all the hard places and he’ll do anything to win.” –Wayne Smith
NHL Comparable: Milan Lucic
SIXTH ROUND (176th overall): Tyler Randell (Kitchener Rangers) 6-foot-1, 195-pounds RW. Summary: Randell is a pretty good-sized right winger that had 37 points (24 goals, 13 assists) in 73 games combined for Kitchener and the Belleville Bulls last season. He has an NHL shot already, but is going to need plenty of development in his game before he decides to turn pro.
Biggest Strength: Shot, compete level
Needs to work on: Physical strength and improving his skating speed, agility.
Thoughts from the Bruins: “He’s another strong, competitive kid. In one-on-one situations and along the way he’s going to win battles and be very hard to play against. In his situation, his skating needs to get better. His straight-line skating is good, but his first two steps and his quickness is going to have to improve. He’s got a high determination level and we actually called his coaches today wondering if there’s a reason why he was falling to where we got him.”
NHL Comparable: Michael Ryder
SEVENTH ROUND (206th overall): Ben Sexton (Nepean Raiders, CJHL), 6-foot, 192-pounds C. Summary: Sexton will be playing in the British Columbia Hockey League next season, and then will move on to college and ECACHL at Clarkson University in 2010-11. Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli lamented not being able to take any Harvard University prospects at this year’s draft, so perhaps this is the next best thing. Sexton has the bloodlines as the son of current Florida Panthers Assistant GM Randy Sexton, and is another gritty sandpaper-type prospect for a B’s team that loaded up on them in the later rounds.
Biggest Strength: High energy, high character. Good instincts.
Needs to Work on: Physical strength.
Thoughts from the Bruins: He’s a kid that’s physically immature. I don’t think he has a whisker yet. He’s grown in the past year by an inch-and-a-half and gained 25 pounds, so he’s going to be a real hard, energy-type player on a third or fourth line for the Boston Bruins down the road. He can play center or wing, but he’s more comfortable at center and that’s where he’ll play next year. –Wayne Smith
|06.26.09 at 11:21 pm ET|
The Boston Bruins selected right wing Jordan Caron, an 18-year-old out of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, with their first-round pick, the 25th overall. Caron scored 36 goals and 67 points in 56 games with Rimouski this year.
The Boston Bruins selected right wing Jordan Caron, an 18-year-old out of Rimouski Oceanic in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, with their first-round pick, the 25th overall. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound right winger had 67 points and 36 goals in 56 gamaes for Rimouski last season, and really opened eyes during the Memorial Cup playoffs. B’s GM Peter Chiarelli said that Caron has “power forward tendencies”, and that both his shot and his tenacity around the net remind him of former B’s scorer Glen Murray. Caron is expected to attend Boston’s prospect camp next month at Ristuccia Arena.
“He was in our top 15 on our list,” said Chiarelli. “When we saw the trend of the draft and we saw that this guy was available we kind of called off the dogs a bit (for a trade to move up). We were lucky because we thought a couple of teams ahead of us were going to take him. He’s got a really good shot, but he’s not what I’d call a pure shooter.
“He can grind too. He’ll go in and dig out pucks and he’ll take pucks to the net off the cycle or down low. I’ve talked a lot about those tendencies like (being) heavy on the puck, and he’s got a lot of those tendencies.”
A Quebec native, Caron must have immediately won over Bruins fans with his answer when he was asked if he was a Canadiens fan?
“Not any more,” said Caron without missing a beat. “I was when I was a kid.”
Chiarelli projected that the raw-boned Caron was probably a good two years or more about way from potentially helping the Bruins. The next item on Caron’s agenda might just be tryouts for Canada’s World Junior Team, which the 18-year-old has wrangled an invitation for this summer.
Here’s a few personality tidbits on Caron’s likes, dislikes and favorite things courtesy of his prospect page at NHL.com. Interesting that his favorite sport outside of hockey is tennis. I just automatically assume that hockey golfers are all aspiring golfers outside of their sport of choice.
NHL Team: Detroit Red Wings
NHL Player: Vincent Lecavalier
Shootout move: “Sidney Crosby‘s move on Jose Theodore”
Goal celebration: “Daniel Briere’s goal celebration’
Video game: NHL ’09
Movie: The Island
TV show: Lost, Prison Break
Actor: Adam Sandler
Music Artist: Keith Urban
Book: La LNH un reve possible
Home cooked meal: Spaghetti
Sport (other than hockey): Tennis
Activity away from the rink: X-Box
Place to shop: Abercrombie
Place to visit: Italy
His QMJHL profile is here. He was rated the best draft-eligible forward in the QMJHL by the NHL Central Scouting. In an interview with NHL.com, he conceded his embarrassment about having Celine Dion’s song from Titanic on his iPod.
|06.26.09 at 7:17 pm ET|
MONTREAL — 7:16 pm: Islanders on the clock. TSN is reporting that Chris Pronger has been traded to the Philadelphia Flyers. Haven’t heard what the Ducks received in return for the former Hart Trophy winner, but I hope the Bruins weren’t in the running only to get beat out by the Flyers.
7:18: John Tavares taken with first pick. Garth Snow’s shroud of secrecy lifted!
7:19: My own conspiracy theory amid reports that Kessel-for-Kaberle is dead because of a miscommunication over the No. 7 pick in this year’s draft: this trade was never really going to happen. I get the sense that this was a smoke screen-type deal/rumor put out by there by a couple of friendly GMs looking to move each player, and hoping the rumor would smoke some other interested teams out of the woodwork. I don’t think there’s much miscommunication between Chiarelli and Brian Burke, but that’s just one hockey writer’s opinion.
7:29: Tampa Bay takes Victor Hedman. The Philadelphia Flyers acquiring Chris Pronger really makes that Winter Classic between Philly and the Boston Bruins all the more interesting next season. The Flyers have that reputation as a gritty, tough, bullying, sometimes-dirty hockey team, and Pronger just adds even more to that. Lupul, Sbisa and two firsts is a lot to give up, but Pronger is a game-changer.
7:38: Gary Bettman just made the Chris Pronger trade officia. Pronger and Dingle to Philly for Lupul, Sbisa, 2009 and 2010 first round picks and a conditional 2010/2011 draft pick. Colorado takes Matt Duchesne.
7:47: Evander Kane to the Atlanta Thrashers. This draft is going very much according to Hoyle so far. Chris Pronger to the Flyers is the biggest shock wave.
7:53: People are mercilessly ripping Thrashers jersey that Kane was wearing. Love it.
7:54: Kings execs work the right side of the Montreal crowd by lobbing verbal bouqets at Luc Robitaille. In both English and French. Well done…well done.
7:56: Brayden Schenn taken by LA Kings. No shockers or head-scratchers yet.
7:59: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman strides to the mike and puts a little more oomph on the word PHOENIX when announcing that the Phoenix Coyotes are on the clock. Partisan crowd in Montreal responds by chanting “Hamilton, Hamilton, Hamilton”.
8:03: Coyotes select Oliver Eckman-Larsson. One of the ‘D’ that the Bruins might have been targeting had they been able to move up and take the Maple Leafs first round pick.
8:11: Nazem Kadri taken by the Leafs at the No. 7 spot. Great mini-drama going on with Brian Burke getting booed each time there was a shot of him on the Jumbotron at the Bell Centre. When it first happened, he looked up at the screen after a few seconds of booing, nodded his head back and forth and then gave a glowering smirk at the camera. Classic Burkie.
8:19: Scott Glennie to the Dallas Stars. Two picks in a row that have been a little unconventional. I like it. Some of the defenseman are dropping in the first round. That’s a good thing for the Bruins if they plan to move up a little bit.
8:27: Senators take Jared Cowan. Good choice on a player that slid a little bit after ACL surgery on his knee this season. Another D-man that might have been in the mix for the Bruins had they traded up.
8:37: Magnus Pajaarvi-Svenss0n to the Edmonton Oilers. I made a Swedish chef joke on Twitter after yet another good God-fearing Swede taken by an NHL team in the first round. You can follow me at HackswithHaggs.
8:44: Ryan Ellis taken by Nashville Predators. Undersized defenseman, but has all the other tools needed in the new fast-paced world of the NHL. Kassian is still available if that’s the player that the Bruins really want.
8:50: One minute warning to Minnesota given by Gary Bettman. He looks like he an itchy trigger finger. Perhaps this is where the Bruins move up and grab their man.
8:57: Islanders trade up to select Calvin De Haan, who the ESPN.com mock draft had going 30th to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Not exactly sure why Isles GM Garth Snow felt the need to trade up one spot just to grab this guy. This coupled with the Cloak and Dagger stuff concerning Taveres at the top spot make you scratch your head.
9:03: Zack Kassian by the Buffalo Sabres team that coveted him. That had to sting for Bruins fans that were imagining the bruising Kassian and Lucic skating on the same team.
9:13: Florida Panthers take Dmitry Kulikov, and the tantalizing players that the Bruins might have been angling for are dwindling. Was told that Kulikov was very impressive with the way he threw himself into learning both English and French when he came to play for Drummondville.
9:15: Peter Hollland taken by Anaheim Ducks. Not going to lie. I know nothing about this kid. Great tweet by @cupofchowdah “PC is doing his best Danny Ainge ’09 draft impression right now”
9:21: Minnesota Wild take Mr. Minnesota hockey Nick Leddy with their selection. Nothing like a hockey prospect from Eden Prairie, I say.
9:27: Another Swede. David Rundblad taken by the St. Louis Blues. Defenseman. Didn’t have a hot girlfriend with him. John Moore and Simon Despres are still on the board for the Bruins. Moore is somebody that the B’s met with multiple times prior to the draft.
9:35: Pro-Habs crowd giving Quebec native Louis Leblanc the “We are not worthy treatment” after the Canadiens take the local boy. The Canadiens could really bring the house down if they announced a trade for Vinny Lecavalier as well. Leblanc will be playing for Harvard University next season. Had to sting the Crimson maffia to see him wearing the CH sweater.
9:46: New York Rangers take Chris Kreider. Local boy that went to Masconomet Regional High School and then to Phillips Andover under coach Dean Boylan. Don’t know if the Bruins were as interested in him as they let on, but Boston hockey fans will get a front row seat watching him for Boston College at Fenway Park next year.
9:53: Trade between Flames and New Jersey Devils, and the Devils select Jacob Josefson with the pick. There is simply nothing going on at the Bruins table right now. The fifth Swede taken in tonight’s first round. P.J. Axelsson must be beaming with pride.
10:00: Columbus Blue Jackets select John Moore. There goes another potential D prospect that the Bruins might have been able to snare. Four picks away now.
10:05: Apologize in advance as I’m going to have to walk away for a few minutes while I talk on the phone to Gary Tanguay and Lou Merloni from Sports Tonight. We need to talk some Phil Kessel on CSN. Should be fun. Because we all know hockey is the sport of Gary’s French-Canadian people.
Okay…let’s fast forward to the good stuff. Boston Bruins select winger Jordan Caron (Rimouski Oceanic) with the 25th pick. Big 6-foot-2 kid, strong on the puck, has a good release and a strong shot. B’s GM Peter Chiarelli said that he was “power forward tendencies” and said that he’s got some skills that are reminiscent of Glen Murray.
|06.26.09 at 6:04 pm ET|
MONTREAL — TSN has had their finger on the pulse of the Bruins’ activity here during NHL Draft weekend in Montreal, and — according to their report — the Phil Kessel-for-Tomas Kaberle trade talks are “quite possibly dead”. According to the report, there was a fairly major miscommunication between the two hockey clubs on Thursday night with the Bruins believing that the Leafs No. 7 pick in the first round was part of the package.
As originally reported, the Bruins believed that they were sending a draft pick and Kessel to the Leafs for four-time All-Star defenseman Tomas Kaberle and the No. 7 pick in a 2009 draft class top-heavy with talented, young defenseman. With the Leafs/Bruins deal apparently shelved for now, the B’s brain trust will likely now go back to attempting to improve their position in the first round from their current pick at No. 25.
|06.26.09 at 1:45 pm ET|
MONTREAL — According to a pair of sources with knowledge of the Winter Classic event, storied rivals Boston University and Boston College have agreed to play each other in an outdoor college hockey game at Fenway Park on Jan. 8. The sources told WEEI.com that the game will take place exactly a week after the Bruins and Philadelphia take part in the Winter Classic on New Year’s Day at Fenway.
Talks are still underway for a second college hockey game paired with BC/BU at Fenway, and it could be either two different Hockey East men’s teams or a pair of Hockey East women’s teams in second part of the college doubleheader. The Boston College/Boston University college hockey undercard is expected to be finalized and part of the announcement at Fenway Park when the NHL makes the 2010 Winter Classic official next month.
|06.26.09 at 1:19 pm ET|
MONTREAL — Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli continued his solid string of “no comments” on anything of interest to Bruins Nation Friday, but the B’s top executive did offer at least a glimmer of hope that 21-year-old winger Phil Kessel will again be wearing a Spoked B sweater next season.
Rumors of a Kessel-for-Tomas Kaberle swap have been swirling around the streets of Montreal as the 7 p.m. start of the 2009 NHL Draft approaches, and TSN reported on Friday morning that the B’s brass offered Kessel to the Maple Leafs for Kaberle and their No. 7 pick in the first round.
Chiarelli, while meeting with reporters at the Hotel Sofitel, coyly stated that he first heard about the trade proposal when he logged on to his computer this morning, and offered up a “no comment” — along with a few words of praise and a hope that the skilled winger will be with the team next season and beyond.
“I don’t comment on (trade) stuff,” said Chiarelli. “I don’t comment on negotiations. What I can say is that he’s a young player that’s shown tremendous progress. I’d love to be able to keep him.
“I don’t think something big will get done, generally speaking. You have discussions and I know there was a report this morning. I think it’s unfair to everyone involved, whether it’s true or not, to have that stuff reported.”
Chiarelli mentioned earlier this week that the Boston hockey club was hoping to move up higher in the first round from their 25th pick, and indications are that the front office is actively looking to increase their organizational depth at defenseman with a top selection. Names being bandied about that the B’s could move up and pinpoint depending on which team’s pick they might ultimately acquire: Dmitry Kulikov, John Moore, Olivier Ekman-Larsson, Jared Cowan, Simon Despres and Ryan Ellis.
Chiarelli allowed that his scouting staff was excited about “a couple of players” that the B’s would presumably have to improve their standing in the first round to land. The B’s exec also joked when asked if landing a “Top 4″ was an important item on the team’s agenda this summer.
“If I could afford it I’d like a Top 4 defenseman. I’d like another big, physical forward. It’s all stuff that you work into an equation and you have that cap that you’re working with. That player period starts July 1, so we’re not there yet. There are teams discussing a lot of different things at the draft, and we’re one of them.”
–Chiarelli confirmed that he’s sent out qualifying offers to RFAs Phil Kessel, Matt Hunwick and Byron Bitz, and said that both Hunwick and Kessel are recovering “rapidly and as-scheduled” from their respective surgeries. Ned Lukacevic, acquired in the Andrew Alberts deal, and Wacey Rabbit were the only two players with RFA status that won’t be receiving qualifying offers from the Bruins.
With regard to the UFAs like P.J. Axelsson, Stephane Yelle and Mark Recchi (who is in Montreal this weekend and met briefly with Chiarelli), Chiarelli said he asked them put potential contract talks on hold until the Monday following the draft. All the UFAs are free to negotiate with other teams beginning on July 1.
“There’s a group of those guys that I’ve told to ‘Hang on’ because I’ve got a few things to figure out over the course of this weekend, and I’ll get back to them on Monday,” said Chiarelli.
|06.26.09 at 9:51 am ET|
MONTREAL — According to a report by Bob McKenzie of TSN.ca, B’s GM Peter Chiarelli and their front office cohorts have made their first move of the weekend and offered restricted free agent winger Phil Kessel and their first round pick to Toronto for four-time All-Star defenseman Tomas Kaberle and the seventh pick in the 2009 draft.
According to the report, Leafs GM Brian Burke is “canvassing the league to see if there are any better offers out there”. Kessel scored a team-high 36 goals and 60 overall points in a breakout year for the Bruins, but hasn’t been able to come to an agreement with Boston on a contract for next season and beyond.
Kessel is rumored to have been on the trade market for weeks, and Kessel’s agent, Wade Arnott, didn’t deny any of the Kessel trade rumors in a phone conversation with WEEI.com earlier this week.
Kaberle is a 31-year-old skill defenseman with a palatable cap hit of $4.25 million per season for the next two years, and is widely-considered a puck mover and power play contributor. Kaberle was limited to 57 games with injuries last year, and is certainly not at an all-time high value-wise. Kaberle missed significant time last season with a broken right hand. The 10-year veteran has a no-trade clause in his contract, but there is a window in the clause that permits a trade of Kaberle between the NHL entry draft and Aug.15, a clause activated when the Leafs failed once again to make the playoffs.
For more updates on the Bruins and their weekend activity at the NHL draft, check in with the Big Bad Blog for updates.
UPDATE: TSN is now amending their report and stating that the Bruins offered Phil Kessel and a future draft pick for Kaberle. Doubtful the Bruins would do this without also getting Toronto’s 2009 first round pick at the No. 7 spot back in return. B’s GM Peter Chiarelli gave a warm, welcoming “no comment” about the rumors when met with the assorted hockey media this morning, and intimated that he first learned of them when he got on his computer this morning. We’ll have more later.
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