The 2021 NHL Entry Draft begins with round one tonight (7/23) and the subsequent rounds on Saturday. It has been an awkward year for the NHL entry draft. First of all, it has had its spotlight taken over by this week’s Seattle expansion draft. This is in addition to a draft pool of what many are calling dry. Either way, Boston should be looking to increase their prospect pool.
Boston’s Draft Needs: Centreman
The Bruins do not necessarily lack for centreman at this time. But long time Boston veterans like Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci are closer to the end of their careers than the beginning. Krejci, who is a UFA, still has not even signed with Boston as of now. It would be wise for Boston to add to their centreman prospect pool.
The Bruins own the 21st pick in the draft, meaning that they may not get a crack at the top prospects in the draft. Of course there is always the chance another David Pastrnak situation occurs where a late 1st round pick turns into a superstar. But that often times is lightning in a bottle. If the Bruins take a centreman, they would most likely remain in Providence to develop for some time.
Boston’s Draft Needs: Defenseman
The Bruins defensive core pretty much has the exact opposite problem of their centreman. The Bruins defense is very young and inexperienced. It may seem odd to make it a priority to draft another young and inexperienced d-man to play in Boston, but similarly to the potential centreman prospect, they would not have to immediately produce for the big club.
Young NHL players sometimes have the job security of seasonal retail employees. Essentially if they work well, they get to stay for a long time, but if they do not work well, they are cast aside. There are a lot of question marks around the young Bruins defense. Building up the defensive prospect core would help to alleviate concerns if some of the current young Boston d-men do not pan out. Boston already just lost a young defender in Jeremy Lauzon in the expansion draft. Boston potentially immediately could draft Lauzon’s replacement.
Are There Really Any Pressing Needs For Boston?
The Bruins have been one of the most consistent teams in the NHL over the last half decade. Thus, Boston’s draft needs are not exactly crucial. The only major issue the team has had was their forward depth. That however seems to have been alleviated by bringing in players like Craig Smith and Taylor Hall. As of now too, Hall is expected to sign a 4 year contract with Boston, it is now just a matter of time before there is official word.
Do not expect any flash picks or moves by Boston in this years entry draft. Boston should mainly seek to add to their prospect pool. Perhaps a highly touted prospect like defenseman Luke Hughes or centreman Mason McTavish could fall into Boston’s lap. If those players do not go Boston’s way though, the Bruins have no real reason to worry. There is a good chance any of the players called for Boston over the next two days will not see an NHL game for a few years.
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