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Podcast: Kirk Luedeke weighs in on Bruins’ 2015 picks a year later 06.21.16 at 9:35 am ET
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The great Kirk Luedeke of Red Line Report was kind enough to join me for our annual pre-draft podcast. Kirk is an expert on NHL prospects and the draft in general, so his insight is always extremely valuable as we look ahead to the draft.

Listen above for the entire conversation. Following are notes as we reviewed some of the players Boston took in last season’s draft. Check back soon for a post detailing his thoughts on players who might be fits for Boston come Friday.

– Brandon Carlo is indeed the closest of Boston’s three top-60 pick defensemen to reaching the NHL, but Luedeke notes that much of that is based on age. Luedeke doesn’t expect him to make the Bruins out of camp, but that’s “not the end of the world for him” because he has AHL eligibility.

– Jakub Zboril and Jeremy Lauzon are “a little further away” and have to go back to their junior teams if they don’t make the Bruins.

Luedeke notes that Zboril, whom the Bruins chose with the 14th overall pick last June, took a step back offensively. Issues that Luedeke had prior to the draft about Zboril’s motor have not gone away, and thus Luedeke considers next season something of a critical year for the player’s development. He notes that the Bruins have emphasized with the player that he can’t puck watch as much as he has in the past.

“There are too many nights where he’s just kind of passive and unengaged and he’ll go long stretches where he’s not really doing much and you have to really look for him. With a player who has that much talent, that’s kind of an issue.”

Added Luedeke: “When he’s playing physical and he is engaged, he is a snarly, surly, atypical European defenseman in that he will lower the boom on people. I’ve seen him fight guys and do very well because they kind of grab the tiger by the tail. He has that big, booming shot and he is capable of delivering that on-target lead pass and distributing the puck on the man advantage. All the things that you like in a defensemen — good in puck retrieval. It’s just that he hasn’t put it together. This is going to be a huge year for him.”

– Lauzon is Luedeke’s favorite of the three defensemen.

“He’s just a solid blend of the three. Not as big as shutdown as Carlo, but solid defensively, good positionally. Not as offensively gifted as Zboril when Zboril’s on top of his game, but still has a real good shot, good vision, can really move the puck. His skating’s fine — probably could stand to improve his pivots and directional change, but it’s coachable stuff. It’s not a major glaring weakness, and that’s really the thing with Lauzon: there are no glaring weaknesses in his game. … I think when you look at what makes a successful pro in this day and age, Lauzon has all those attributes.”

– Luedeke was satisfied with both Jake DeBrusk and Zach Senyshyn this season. He notes that though Senyshyn scored 45 goals in the OHL this season, the player’s 200-foot game still needs improvement before he can be considered close to a full-time NHLer. Luedeke feels Senyshyn has a small chance of a nine-game trial to begin the NHL season, but that he’ll be better served to mature with another season in the OHL.

DeBrusk, who could be sent to the AHL if the Bruins chose, impressed Luedeke with his work around the net. Luedeke notes that he’s far from a flashy player, but that he’ll be a productive one.

“He’s not flashy in the way he goes about it, and I think that’s the knock on DeBrusk. There’s this tendency for fans to want to be entertained. They want players to bring them out of their seats and be flashy and electric. I get that, and Kyle Connor was certainly that kind of forward for the University of Michigan this year. I get that it just fueled the debate of ‘Why did the Bruins take DeBrusk?’ but DeBrusk is one of those guys where he’s just kind of there and then all of a sudden he’s jumping on a puck and burying it, or he’s pulling a couple D to him and then sliding a perfect sauce pass to a wide-open teammate for a back-door tap-in. You can’t put a price tag on that. That’s just natural offense and he’s got it.

“If you’re looking to be dazzled every time DeBrusk is on the ice, you’re going to be a little disappointed. If you peel back the onion and you look closer at what he does and how he’s quietly effective — he’ll put that little burst on the puck and beat the defender in a footrace and then get the puck to the net and either score it himself or set it up for a goal by a teammate, he’s doing all the things you look for.

“I really like Jake DeBrusk. I continue to like him. I think he got a raw deal just in terms of how he was perceived because the Bruins didn’t take other people, but he couldn’t control that.”

Read More: Brandon Carlo, Jake DeBrusk, Jakub Zboril, Jeremy Lauzon
Tyler Seguin shows Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins why it’s great to be a Bruin 11.11.11 at 8:25 am ET
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There’s no doubt that Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins have All-Star careers ahead of them. By all accounts from NHL scouts, the pair are can’t miss talents that will help lead the Edmonton Oilers back to prominence.

Throw in Ryan Smyth, who had two goals Thursday, and you can see why their forward skill is envied by others around the league.

All three certainly showed their talent Thursday night.

But in the end, it was Tyler Seguin‘s Bruins who had the deeper roster and better defensemen as the B’s prevailed, 6-3.

Seguin already has a Stanley Cup ring.

Seguin was a second overall pick in the 2010 NHL draft while Hall and Nugent-Hopkins were the last two No. 1 overall picks. Seguin said it was fun taking it all in.

“Yeah, I mean it was fun,” the 19-year-old Seguin said, before referencing Nugent-Hopkins, who is a whopping one year younger than Seguin. “And then there were some ‘€“ you know, that new first overall kid ‘€“ I don’€™t know why I said kid; I’€™m a kid ‘€“ that was the first time I’€™d actually seen him play as well, and it’€™s cool seeing new talent coming into the league. They’€™re going to be a great team in a few years to come; they’€™ve got a lot of talent.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Bruins, Edmonton Oilers, NHL, NHL Draft
Video: A look at the Bruins draft party 06.28.10 at 8:34 am ET
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Read More: Boston Bruins, NHL Draft,
Chiarelli on Horton, draft, free agents 06.23.10 at 3:31 pm ET
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It was a foregone conclusion that this week was going to be gigantic for the Bruins in some way, shape, or form, and with two days to go until the NHL draft, Peter Chiarelli and co. got a head start on making headlines by flipping the 15th overall pick and defenseman Dennis Wideman to the Florida Panthers in exchange for right winger Nathan Horton and center Gregory Campbell.

As the draft grows nearer and the Bruins come closer to finally making the second overall selection after months of buildup, the team that finished the regular season last in the NHL goals suddenly appears to be in very good shape to have a notably upgraded scoring force. From how Chiarelli spoke, that may start with Horton.

“He’s tremendous shooter, Nathan. He’s a big body, he can skate, he can play physical. There’s a lot of things to like about him, and we’re going to be getting a highly skilled forward with the No. 2 pick with some speed.

“We thing at the end of the day, if we do nothing else to our forwards, we’re adding an established big power-forward shooter and a real speedy young legs skill guy. We’re happy with that.”

On the subject of the embattled Wideman, Chiarelli called the team’s playoff points leader last year a “key part of our defense that we had to give up.” In making the trade, however, the Bruins were able to shake things up offensively without disturbing the core of the team.

“It wasn’t about changing the culture,” Chiarelli said. “It was just about changing the makeup of the team after the ups and downs. I am relatively happy with the room and the personalities in it. It was more of the makeups, [or] semantics maybe.”

Even with Wideman gone and the shot at Cam Fowler seemingly out the window, Chiarelli said adding another defenseman was “not a pressing urgency” and that though the team likes puck-moving defensemen, whichever defender(s) may be added won’t necessarily fit that mold.

“If we do add something, it may not be purely what you’d characterize as a ‘puck mover,'” Chiarelli said.

Chiarelli once again reiterated that if a deal does happen with Edmonton in order to secure whomever the Bruins prefer between Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin (they do hold one in slightly higher regard), the actual picks are unlikely to be swapped, and the Oilers would simply take the other player first overall.

Should they stay put, they won’t face the pressure that is on the Oilers to take the right guy. Hall and Seguin have been hyped as equally elite superstars in the making. So would the Bruins dare invest heavily into what would ultimately be a very difficult choice between the two players?

“If you make an informed decision, I think ‘risk’ is a better word than ‘courage,'” Chiarelli said. “We put that into our equation. It may be that the price that I have to pay to do that is unattainable. I can’t meet it. I’m not at that point yet.

“These are things that we look at. We look at the risk involved, we look at the fit, we look at the kids, we brought both kids in. There’s a lot involved in making this decision.”

The only real news that came in the conference call involved the team’s free agents. Regarding restricted free agents, Chiarelli said he will give a qualifying offer to Campbell. The Bruins blog reported last week that Mark Stuart and Blake Wheeler had also received offers.

As for unrestricted free agents, Chiarelli said he has kept in contact with the agents for Mark Recchi and Johnny Boychuk but that he had nothing to report. The team has also told Steve Begin that they won’t be able to potentially negotiate with him until after free agency opens, as the team is “looking at other options.” Chiarelli has not yet spoken to anyone from Miroslav Satan.

Read More: Nathan Horton, NHL Draft, Peter Chiarelli,
Top two picks in last 25 NHL drafts at 8:28 am ET
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On Friday the Bruins will have the second pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, their highest pick since picking Joe Thornton first overall in 1997. There have been rumors about the B’€™s trading the pick for more picks or possibly a star player, but the Bruins have emphatically denied any plans to give it away. With Tyler Seguin and Taylor Hall expected to go 1-2, it will be the biggest 1-2 punch since the Alex OvechkinEvgeni Malkin combo of 2004.

The No 1 pick always is the solid, franchise-building player who can score the most, hit the best, skate the fastest or defend the best. He also can also easily wear the ‘C’ on his sweater within a few years of his debut because he can command respect. In the past, there have been famous No. 1 picks including Guy Lafleur, Denis Potvin, Mario Lemieux, Pierre Turgeon, Mike Modano, Mats Sundin, Eric Lindros, Joe Thornton, Vincent Lacavalier, Rick Nash, Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby and Patrick Kane.

Then, of course, there is the overlooked No. 2 pick in the draft. In many cases, this pick can also be a blessing for a team, just as good as a No. 1 pick, depending on the class. Some of the great No. 2s: Brendan Shanahan, Petr Nedved, Chris Pronger, Patrick Marleau, Dany Heatley, Jason Spezza, the Staal brothers, Evgeni Malkin and James van Riemsdyk.

Here’€™s a list of the past 25 top two picks in the NHL draft.


1. New York Islanders: John Tavares, London (OHL)
2009-present: 82 games, 24 goals, 30 assists, 54 points, 22 PIM, -15 plus/minus
2. Tampa Bay Lightning: Victor Hedman, Modo Ornskoldsvik (Elitserien)
2009-present: 74 games, 4 goals, 16 assists, 30 points, 79 PIM, -3 plus/minus


1. Tampa Bay Lightning: Steven Stamkos, Sarnia (OHL)
2008-present: 161 games, 74 goals, 67 assists, 95 points, 77 PIM, -15 plus/minus
2. Los Angeles Kings: Drew Doughty, Guelph (OHL)
2008-present: 163 games, 22 goals, 64 assists, 86 points, 110 PIM, +3 plus/minus Read the rest of this entry »

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