|Defense market gets thinner as Kevin Bieksa reportedly re-ups with Canucks||06.27.11 at 3:49 pm ET|
It looks like Kevin Bieksa feels that 29 other teams are just a bit too pee-wee for his liking.
According to multiple reports, the Canucks defenseman will not test the waters of unrestricted free agency, as he has agreed to a new pact with the Canucks, thus thinning the defensive free agent market.
TSN has the deal as being worth $23 million over five years, meaning the 30-year-old will carry a $4.6 million cap hit. It also reportedly includes a no-trade clause. Bieksa had a $3.75 cap hit in each of the three seasons of his previous deal. The immediate feeling here is that he got a fair deal, and that it isn’t exactly a hometown discount.
While he likely would not have been a target of the B’s in free agency, the fact that Bieksa’s name is now out of the pool means teams in need of help on the blueline will look elsewhere. That “elsewhere” is a group that includes Tomas Kaberle, Montreal’s James Wisniewski and Bieksa’s teammate, Christian Ehrhoff.
Bieksa led the Canucks with a plus-32 rating in the regular season, which put him in a tie for second behind Zdeno Chara (plus-33) for tops in the league. He was among the Canucks who may have put themselves in a bad light during the Stanley Cup finals, as he had the dive of all dives in Game 4 when he grabbed his face to draw a high-sticking call on Mark Recchi, despite Recchi’s stick being a good distance from his face. He also joked about the Bruins’ postgame jacket, likening the tradition to something a pee-wee team would do.
Free agency opens Friday.
|That’s a wrap: A look at the Bruins’ 2011 draft class||06.25.11 at 2:33 pm ET|
The Bruins’ 2011 draft is in the books Here’s a quick recap of the newest additions to the organization, along with some video:
Ninth overall: Dougie Hamilton, D, Niagara (OHL)
Hamilton fits the cliche of the guy the team couldn’t have expected to be available when they were picking. Many figured the 6-foot-4 defenseman would be a top-5 pick, and when he was there, the B’s grabbed a well-rounded defenseman who figures to be a top-pairing blueliner in the NHL, though Peter Chiarelli figures he needs “at least” another year of seasoning before he plays in Boston. That means a third season in the OHL for Hamilton is a safe bet.
Chiarelli compares the 18-year-old Hamilton to Rob Blake, with Hamilton likening his style to Blake, Jay Bouwmeester and Brent Burns.
There shouldn’t be much pressure on a guy like Hamilton to be rushed. Given how high his ceiling is as a physical, strong-skating and offensively savvy defenseman and the fact that the B’s have good enough blue line depth, the B’s can let him continue to develop without having to rush him to the show.
40th overall: Alex Khokhlachev, F, Windsor (OHL)
The 17-year-old Russian can play center or wing, and he scored 34 goals this past season for the Spitfires. Last season was his first in the OHL, and he led all rookies with 20 points in the playoffs.
81st overall: Anthony Camara, LW, Saginaw (OHL)
Camara is the tough guy of the Bruins’ 2011 haul. He totaled 132 penalty minutes this past season for Saginaw, and simply plugging his name into YouTube will yield some OHL bouts of his. Camara stands at 6-foot-0 and 194 pounds. He scored eight goals and had nine assists in 2010-11. He is committed to attend Cornell.
121st overall: Brian Ferlin, RW, Indiana (USHL)
The first non-OHL player selected by the B’s in this draft, Ferlin scored 25 goals and chipped in 48 assists for Indiana in 2010-11. The Jacksonville native stands at 6-foot-2 and 207 pounds.
151st overall: Rob O’Gara, D, Milton Academy (HS)
The New York native is set to attend Yale, making it two future Ivy Leaguers chosen by the B’s in this year’s draft. He scored two goals and had seven assists for Milton Academy this past year.
181st overall: Lars Volden, G, Blue Jr. (Finland)
Though he played in Finland last year, Volden actually hails from Norway. The B’s have now spent sixth-round picks on goaltenders in two straight years, as they added Zane Gothberg with the 165th pick last year. Volden had a 2.46 goals against average and .907 save percentage for Blues Jr. in 2010-11.
|Bruins go with goalie Lars Volden in sixth||06.25.11 at 2:05 pm ET|
The Bruins wrapped up their draft by taking goaltender Lars Volden in the sixth round (181st overall). Volden hails from Oslo, Norway and played junior hockey in Finland this past season.
Playing for Blues Jr. in Finland, the 6-foot-3, 198-pound Volden had a 2.46 goals against average and .907 save percentage. This now makes two goalies taken in the sixth round in the last two years, as the B’s tabbed Zane Gothberg in last year’s draft. The Bruins do not have a seventh-round pick.
|Bruins take high-schooler Rob O’Gara in fifth round||06.25.11 at 1:38 pm ET|
With the 151st overall pick, the Bruins went to school, taking Milton Academy defenseman Rob O’Gara. The left-shooting O’Gara is the second defenseman tabbed by the B’s in this draft, as they made Dougie Hamilton the ninth overall pick Friday night.
At 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds and 17 years of age, O’Gara is set to play his college hockey at Yale. O’Gara had two goals and seven assists for nine points this past season. He hails from Massapequa, NY.
|Bruins look outside OHL, grab Brian Ferlin in fourth||06.25.11 at 1:14 pm ET|
Turns out the Bruins did scout more than one league, as they went to the USHL pool to grab Jacksonville native Brian Ferlin with the last pick of the fourth round (121st overall). The right-winger stands at 6-foot-2 and 207 pounds. The Bruins’ first three picks, Dougie Hamilton, Alex Khokhlachev and Anthony Camara, all played in the OHL.
In 55 games last season, Ferlin totaled 25 goals and 48 assists for 73 points and 26 penalty minutes. The right wing played a year for Jacksonville of the MJBHL before playing the last two seasons for Indiana of the USHL.
At 19 years old, Ferlin is the oldest member of the Bruins’ draft class.
|Bruins add gritty winger Anthony Camara in third round||06.25.11 at 12:56 pm ET|
The Bruins continued their run on OHL players Saturday, taking left wing Anthony Camara with the 20th pick of the third round (81st overall). Given that the 17-year-old played last season for Saginaw, the B’s have now chosen players from the OHL with their first three picks (they chose Niagara’s Dougie Hamilton ninth overall and Windsor’s Alex Khokhlachev with the 40th pick).
Camara hails from Toronto and stands at 6-foot-0 and 194 pounds. He was ranked the No. 78 North American skater by NHL Central Scouting. He scored eight goals and had nine assists for 17 points last season, his first in the OHL. Camara racked up 132 penalty minutes.
Scouting reports peg Camara as a gritty, hard-nosed winger, and he’s clearly a willing fighter. If he hopes to play in the physical style coveted by the B’s, he has a great role model at left wing in the organization in Milan Lucic.
|Peter Chiarelli says Dougie Hamilton is ‘at least a year away’||06.24.11 at 11:41 pm ET|
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said Friday night that he does not expect defenseman Dougie Hamilton, whom the team chose with the ninth overall pick in the NHL draft, to play in the NHL next season. If the 18-year-old doesn’t make the Bruins, he will return to Niagara for another season in the OHL.
“I’d say he needs a little more development,” Chiarelli said of the 6-foot-4, 187-pound blueliner. “He’s still fairly skinny. He has to be stronger, but you never know. You never know how he’ll have his summer, but my guess is that he’s at least a year away.”
The Bruins did not bring Hamilton in for a workout, and it was a surprise to the team that he was available with the ninth pick. Hamilton was ranked the No. 4 North American skater by Central Scouting.
“We basically said that we don’t have to bring this fellow in,” Chiarelli said. “If he’s there, it’s a no-brainer so we didn’t have to see anything extra on him. That’s how strongly we feel about him.”
If the Bruins are assuming that Hamilton will be in Niagara, and not in Boston, next season, this pick should not impact how the team approaches Tomas Kaberle this offseason. The team has had talks with Kaberle’s agent, and if the B’s are to retain him on a three-year deal, Hamilton could still come in for the 2012-13 and have a spot open if Johnny Boychuk, who is in the last year of his deal, does not return. Andrew Ference‘s deal is up in two seasons, so the Bruins are set to see a couple of defensemen’s contracts expire over the next couple of years.
While picking Hamilton doesn’t hurt any of those guys directly right now, it could eventually make things tough for the Steven Kampfers and Matt Bartkowskis of the world.
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