Thoughts from after the NHL draft
|06.23.12 at 11:32 pm ET|
Unlike the NFL or NBA draft, many fans won’t be familiar with the name they hear when their team make a pick. It’s safe to say that every Bruins fan knew the name well when Boston chose 24th overall Friday night.
The Bruins opted for goaltender Malcolm Subban, brother of Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban, in the first round to the surprise of many. The pick means that the Bruins and Canadiens could have brothers starring on each side of the rivalry down the road, but that’s all years away.
‘We draft on best player available, fit, need and then rivalries,’ Peter Chiarelli said with a laugh when asked about the pick. ‘That was on top for this one.’
While fans’ initial reactions may have been to the fact that the Bruins drafted a Subban, the far more intriguing aspect is that they drafted such a highly rated goalie. The organization could have stood to add another netminder in this year’s draft, but adding Subban immediately makes him Boston’s brightest goaltending prospect.
Like many goaltenders in their draft years, Subban is years away from being NHL ready. Zane Gothberg and Lars Volden, who were sixth round picks of the team in 2010 and 2011, respectively, are similarly far off from having an impact at the NHL level.
Last season while playing for Bellville (OHL), Subban had a 2.50 goals-against average and .923 save percentage. He stands at 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds and was the second goalie off the board this year behind Russian goaltender Andrey Vasilevskiy, whom the Lightning chose 19th overall.
In addition to NHL netminders Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin, the Bruins also have Niklas Svedberg, Adam Courchaine, Michael Hutchinson and Adam Morrison under contract. Gothberg is expected to attend the University of North Dakota in the fall, while Volden is playing in the SM-liiga in Finland.
Here are some more thoughts following the 2012 NHL draft.
IS IT CARON’S TIME?
Perhaps the happiest member of the Bruins this draft weekend was their 2009 first-round pick in Jordan Caron. By dealing away restricted free agent Benoit Pouliot‘s rights to the Lightning, the Bruins opened up a spot for Caron to potentially step in and stay in the lineup for good.
Free agency and the trade market can change that, of course, as the Bruins could bring in a veteran forward (something Chiarelli has said he’d like to do), but Caron’s emergence down the stretch last season indicated he’s finally ready for a full NHL season. The Bruins would be wise to give him that opportunity.
After making the team out of camp in each of the last two seasons, Caron has struggled to stay both in Boston’s lineup and with the team in general. Last season he was sent to Providence six different times, but still managed to get in 48 NHL games. He went on a tear over six games from March 4-13, totaling four goals and four assists for eight points.
For Pouliot, the 2005 fourth overall pick is now on his fourth NHL organization. He put together a nice season for the B’s after an ugly ending with Montreal, and his 16 goals with Boston last season made for a personal best.
TORONTO GETS ANOTHER OFFENSIVE STAR
Bruins fans love giving Brian Burke a hard time for the Phil Kessel trade, as the Leafs’ general manager gave up way too much (the picks that became Tyler Seguin, Jared Knight and Dougie Hamilton) to get a star forward.
On Saturday he traded for another superstar, but this time it seems pretty clear Toronto got the better of the deal.
The Leafs swung a trade with the Flyers Saturday that brought them James van Riemsdyk in exchange for defenseman Luke Schenn. With JVR, Toronto now has another player with 30-goal potential to add to the like of Kessel and Joffrey Lupul. The2007 second overall picks’s regular season was limited to just 43 games by injuries that included a concussion and a broken left foot.
On the other hand, the Leafs gave up less than what meets the eye. While Schenn was a top-five pick and is still just 22 years of age, he may have plateaued after a strong showing in 2010-11 campaign. Last season, he struggled and saw his minutes cut. After playing 22:22 a night in 2010-11, Schenn averaged 16:02 of ice time per game last season.
The Flyers clearly wanted to add a young defenseman with their blueline aging and Chris Pronger‘s situation up in the air. The Leafs may have taken advantage of that.