Boston Bruins 2014 NHL Draft Picks: Grades, Results and Analysis
It's not uncommon to see Stanley Cup contenders dish off draft picks for rental players in the hopes of boosting the odds of a lengthy playoff run. That's a temptation that the Boston Bruins and general manager Peter Chiarelli have largely ignored over the last few seasons, and, because of that, the franchise heads into the 2014 NHL draft with most of its own selections still in place.
Chiarelli will head to the podium to make the 25th pick in the first round—barring any unforeseen trades or moves, of course—and will make a total of six picks. The Bruins included their sixth-round pick in the trade that brought Wade Redden over from the St. Louis Blues in 2013.
Here is a detailed analysis of all five picks made by the Bruins in this year's draft.
Round 1, Pick 25: David Pastrnak, LW, Sodertalje SK (Swe-1)
The Boston Bruins typically like to draft large, strong players with their early picks. Tyler Seguin broke away from that mold and is no longer with the team, while the likes of Dougie Hamilton have stuck. With this in mind, David Pastrnak is an interesting pick for an organization that has such a tough team identity.
Listed at 5'9" and weighing in at 150 pounds, Pastrnak has a lot of work to do in the weight room before he can make it at the NHL level. Then maybe tack on an extra ten pounds of muscle because you're playing for the "big and bad" Bruins.
There's a lot of bang for the buck here though. Pastrnak is an electric forward that is shifty as they come. He's capable of making defenders look silly one-on-one, and he's a great addition to Boston's farm system.
The pick is a good one, if not a big out of character for the Bruins.
Round 2, Pick 56: Ryan Donato, C, Dexter School (High-MA)
The name of the game for the Bruins at the 2014 draft seems to be hockey IQ. Their first-round pick (Pastrnak) has a lot of skill and intelligence, and Ryan Donato fits that mold as well. While not as flashy as Boston's 25th selection, the 6'0", 174 pound pivot plays a highly developed two-way game that will fit in well with the B's.
He produced a whopping 78 points in just 30 games at the high school level, and really seemed to thrive as he received more responsibility as the year progressed.
The high school level isn't renowned for producing players like the CHL, but it's still possible to find some gems there. That's obviously what the Bruins are hoping for, and they didn't leave any no-brainers on the board to take Donato.
Round 4, Pick 116: Danton Heinen, LW/C, Surrey (BCHL)
Not to overanalyze, but Danton Heinen has his current location on Twitter marked as "in the high slot." He'll be taking his game to the University of Denver next season after scoring 29 goals in 57 games in the BCHL last year.
He captained the Surrey Eagles and carries the kind of intangibles that the Bruins aim to add in the later rounds of drafts. Heinen (believe it or not) is at his best when working in the slot and has an elusive shot that can fool goalies and defenders alike.
The 6'0", 165 pound forward still has plenty to work on before making it to the NHL, but that's the beauty of selecting college-bound players. They get four years of development at the most before hitting their entry-level contracts (if one is signed). By that point it's usually pretty clear where a player is at.
Round 5, Pick 146: Anders Bjork, LW, U.S. Development Team
Forward Anders Bjork will add some creativity to the Bruins' organization after they selected the Wisconsin native with the 146th pick in this year's NHL draft.
Bjork spent last season with the U.S. Development Team, scoring nine goals and 21 points in 28 games.
Bjork is not the first member of his extended family to be drafted by an NHL team. His cousin is Erik Condra of the Ottawa Senators.
Stickhandling and playmaking are the strengths of Bjork's game. He is still considered a raw talent who needs plenty of time to develop.
Bjork will be attending Notre Dame in the fall to start his college hockey career.
--update by Brad Kurtzberg--
Round 7, Pick 206: Emil Johansson, Defense, HV71 Jr (Swe)
The Bruins selected Swedish defenseman Emil Johansson with the 206th pick in this year's NHL draft.
At 5'11" and 194 pounds, he has average size and makes a good outlet pass out of his own zone. Offensively, he does not stand out, but he makes intelligent passes.
Defensively, Johansson tends to play the angles to maneuver forwards out of scoring position rather than using his body to take them out of the play.
His hockey sense and on-ice intelligence are his biggest assets.
Last season, Johansson scored two goals and nine points in 42 games for HV 71's junior team. He is still not ready for Sweden's top league, let alone making the jump to North America's best league.
--Update by Brad Kurtzberg--