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