Archive for June, 2012

Thoughts from after the NHL draft

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

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.

Malcolm Subban was drafted 24th overall by the Bruins. (AP)

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. (more…)

Bruins take winger Colton Hargrove with seventh-round pick

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

The Bruins used their final pick of the NHL draft to select winger Colton Hargrove in the seventh round (205th overall).

Hargrove spent last season with the Fargo Force of the United States Hockey League, where he recorded 16 goals, 22 assists and 140 penalty minutes in 54 games. The Rockwall, Texas, native will be turning 20 on Monday, and will be playing hockey at Western Michigan University next year. Hargrove stands at 6-foot-2, 212 pounds.

The last player the Bruins took from the Fargo Force was goaltender Zane Gothberg, whom they selected in the sixth round in 2010.

Bruins select defenseman Matthew Benning with sixth round pick

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

The Bruins selected defenseman Matthew Benning in the sixth round (175th overall) of the 2012 NHL draft on Saturday.

Benning, who played with the Spruce Grove Saints of the Alberta Junior Hockey League last season, scored four goals and 14 assists and recorded 87 penalty minutes in 44 games played. Benning, who turned 18 years old in May, is 6-feet, 218 pounds, and was ranked the No. 176 North American skater by NHL Central Scouting.

He comes from good hockey roots, as his father, Brian Benning, was drafted 26th overall by the Blues in 1984 and played with five different teams in his NHL career. His uncle, Jim Benning, was drafted sixth overall by the Maple Leafs, and spent nine seasons with the Leafs and the Canucks.

Bruins take tough winger Cody Payne with second fifth-round pick

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

The Bruins used their second fifth-round pick (145th overall) to take physical winger Cody Payne.

Payne, who was spent most of last season with the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League, is known more for his fists than his offensive skill, as he only totaled five goals and 11 assists in 60 games last season, but recorded 107 penalty minutes. He is 6-foot-2 and 201 pounds at only 18 years old.

Check out a clip of Payne bringing the pain here:

Bruins select forward Seth Griffith with first fifth-round pick

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

The Bruins selected forward Seth Griffith with their first fifth-round pick (131st overall) in the draft Saturday. The pick was acquired in a trade with the Lightning, when the Bruins dealt the rights to Benoit Pouliot for the pick and Michel Ouellet.

Griffith led the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League in goals and points in the 2011-12 season, recording 45 goals and 85 points in 68 games. He also led his team in points during the playoffs, when the Knights were runners-up for the Memorial Cup. The 19-year-old Wallaceburg, Ontario, native is 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds.

Griffith played alongside former Bruins second-round pick Jared Knight last season in London.

Bruins grab future Boston University defenseman Matt Grzelcyk in third round

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

The Bruins selected defenseman Matt Grzelcyk with their third-round pick (85th overall) in the draft on Saturday.

Grzelcyk, who last played with the U.S. National Team Development Program, will be an incoming freshman at Boston University in the fall. Grzeclyk was ranked the No. 177 North American skater in April. Last year with Team USA, the 5-foot-9, 170 pound defenseman scored a goal and 10 assists in 24 games.

The selection of Grzelcyk continues a recent trend of Boston acquiring undersized college defensemen, like signing of Michigan State defenseman Torey Krug, and the trade for BU defenseman David Warsofsky.

Bruins select goaltender Malcolm Subban with first-round pick

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

The Bruins selected goaltender Malcolm Subban with their first round pick (24th overall) of the NHL draft Friday.

Subban played for the Belleville Bulls of the Ontario Hockey League last year and was the top-ranked North American goaltending prospect by NHL Central Scouting. In the 2011-12 season with the Bulls, Subban recorded a 2.50 GAA and a .923 save percentage in 39 games played. The Rexdale, Ontario, native is 6-foot-1 and weighs 188 pounds.

Malcolm is the brother of Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban, who is a common antagonist for Boston fans in the Original Six rivalry. After Boston selected him, Malcolm did not shy away from the rivalry with his brother.

“The rivalry’s just about to begin,” Subban said, according to The Boston Globe. “I don’t know if he’s going to like me too much. To be honest, I never really liked him too much.”

The selection comes following recent reports that Tim Thomas will not be playing with the Bruins next season and has waived his no-trade clause.

Here is a draft preview video about Subban:

Also, here is game highlights from a game between Subban’s Belleville Bulls and the Mississauga Majors in March: