Looking Ahead: NHL Entry Draft

Derrick Pouliot could easily be a top-15 pick in the Draft this year. (Photo Courtesy: Arian Durst/Flickr)

Without picks in the third and fourth rounds in the 2o12 NHL Entry Draft, the Bruins are rumored to want to make the first one count, according to Hockey Journal’s Kirk Luedeke.  Similar to that of Bill Belichick of the Patriots in April, in order to get the best, it may take some maneuvering on the draft board.

Taking an in-depth look we have to assume hat the Bruins are going to be looking for a defenseman with Zdeno Chara being well over thirty, the reiteration of prospect Dougie Hamilton will surely benefit from a strong future asset in the Organization.

Slater Koekkoek, Derrick Pouliot, Brady Skjei and Olli Maatta are all perfect fits for the Bruins and their style of play. However if they remain where they are in the Draft, the likeliness of these four still being available come the twenty-fourth pick is highly unlikely.  If they are able to move ahead, any of the mentioned above could potentially be the future of Boston.

Perhaps the best fit out of the four d-men would be Derrick Pouliot, (no there is no relation to Benoit) he’s a point producer and a puck-mover. He’s also a great two-way defenseman who has the ability to see the entire ice and has a strong hockey sense.  He has the potential to be in the top-15 of the Pittsburgh Draft and with any luck Boston can hope that he is still available come their pick.

“I’m more of an offensive defenseman,” said Pouliot. “I’m a good skater and have good vision on the ice. I can move the puck well and find my teammates with strong passes. I also sharpened up my defensive game this season and made strides towards being someone that my team can count on to make plays in any situation.”(via hockeyjournal.com)

While he may not be an option for Boston, his ability and skill set will surely benefit ANY team that picks him up and is someone to definitely keep an eye on in the Draft.

While the last time the Bruins took a Swedish player from the draft it didn’t turn out well, that may not be the case for the Bruins this season.  Taking a look at who is available as we move lower on the list defenseman Ludvig Byström comes to mind.

Byströmis 6-foot-1 and around 200 pounds.  He’s mobile and has the ability to move the puck. (More than Joe Corvo could do) His biggest asset is his ability to retrieve the puck and transition it offensively.  He’s a crisp passer with poise and patience making him a strong candidate for Boston.  While he isn’t flashy, he’s effective.  The downside-he may have already hit his peak.  Since being one of the best in 2011 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tourny in Slovakia he has been struggling. His biggest issue is being effective in the defensive zone and trying to do too much. He needs to tone it down and focus on the simpler part of the game.

One scout compared him to a young Dennis Seidenberg who is lacking physicality and edge. However, this is exactly the type of project that Boston could benefit from. With a little work and developing he could easily be molded into a similar type player in later years.

There are still twelve days until the draft and plenty of things can still happen, we’ll just have to wait and see. Just think Bruins fans, only 117 more days!

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