|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:
|06.24.16 at 11:34 am ET|
BUFFALO — Don Sweeney is trying to trade for a defenseman. There’s also a pretty good chance he’s trying to trade a defenseman, as he said Thursday that he has had discussions with teams about moving current roster players for draft picks.
To put on our speculation caps, the question of whom Sweeney might be interested in trading would seem obvious enough. If he can move Dennis Seidenberg’s contract (two more years at a $4 million cap hit) for anything, he should (and likely would) do it. Adam McQuaid (three more years at $2.75 million annually) is also a player the team should consider moving given the redundancy presented by this offseason’s signing of fellow third-pairing righty Kevan Miller.
The more important question is whom the Bruins might target as far as acquiring a big-name defenseman goes, and two names that have picked up steam throughout the league in trade talks are Kevin Shattenkirk and Cam Fowler. Shattenkirk is 27 with one more year on his contract ($4.25 million cap hit) before becoming an unrestricted free agent and Fowler is 24 with two more years left at $4 million against the cap before reaching UFA status.
Both players are top-four guys, though neither should be mistaken for a No. 1 defenseman. Shattenkirk is a righty, while Fowler is a lefty. At the NHL level at least, the Bruins’ bigger need is for a left-shot defenseman (they often can play both sides; righties typically can’t play the left side), thought needs could change if the Bruins were to deal one of their current D. Here’s an Own The Puck breakdown of each player’s attributes:
|06.23.16 at 8:29 pm ET|
BUFFALO — With Milan Lucic headed for free agency, one potential fit that’s been thrown around is the Oilers. Why? Because there’s a guy who works there who already has experience paying Lucic a lot of money.
So would Lucic, who spent last season with the Kings but could not come to terms on an extension, be interested in reuniting with Peter Chiarelli in Edmonton?
“I’m open to them,” Lucic told WEEI.com Thursday. “Open to all my options heading into July 1.”
Lucic, who spent the first eight years of his career in Boston, was traded to the Kings prior to last year’s draft in exchange for the 13th overall pick, Martin Jones and Colin Miller. He had 20 goals and 35 assists for 55 points over 81 games in his lone season in Los Angeles.
|06.23.16 at 7:52 pm ET|
BUFFALO — Don Sweeney has long been hopeful that he and super agent J.P. Barry would be able to bridge the gap and get a new contract done for veteran right wing Loui Eriksson.
With two days left until Eriksson will be free to interview with other teams and over a week until he’ll become an unrestricted free agent, Sweeney didn’t appear to be in a very hopeful state.
“It may not happen,” Sweeney said of an extension.
“I’m going to have a conversation again with J.P. and see if things have changed and take one more stab at it to see if he thinks the internal landscape is as green as we think it is as opposed to what the outside may look like,” Sweeney said. “Obviously he’s on the cusp of maybe exploring things.”
Term has long been a stumbling block between the two sides. The Bruins have been unwilling to go beyond four years on a contract for Eriksson, who will turn 31 next month.
In other free agency news, the Bruins will not bring back Jonas Gustavsson. Zach Trotman will go to market, while the team has had contact with Lee Stempniak and John-Michael Liles.
|06.23.16 at 3:19 pm ET|
BUFFALO — In rewatching Edmonton president of hockey operations Peter Chiarelli’s availability with reporters from Thursday morning, it was hard not to notice a point he made regarding his own team’s issues that applies to the Bruins.
A reporter asked Chiarelli about trading for a No. 1 defenseman. Chiarelli shed light on such a pursuit by noting something that fans in every market probably don’t consider often enough.
“Over the years, we’ve had discussions with teams I’ve been with, like, how many true No. 1 D are there? Maybe there’s 12,” Chiarelli said. “So there’s 30 teams and there’s 12 No. 1 D, so to think that you’re going to get a No. 1 D, it’s tough.”
While one of Chiarelli’s biggest blunders in Boston involved losing a top-pairing defenseman (Johnny Boychuk), the point he raises is correct. Look around the league. Keith Yandle isn’t a No. 1 defenseman and just god paid $6.35 million annually on a seven-year deal. Alex Goligoski isn’t a No. 1 (on a good team, anyway) and he got $5.45 million a year over five years. Kevin Shattenkirk, a top-four guy who would play big minutes in Boston but is far from a stud, might get traded for a haul. Food for thought.
Watch the video of Chiarelli’s press conference here, courtesy of TSN.