By: Mark Allred ( @BlackAndGold277 )
The 2015 NHL Entry Draft was a significant step for the Boston Bruins organization as a way to restock the developmental system in the minor-pro levels of the franchise. After seemingly poor drafting, questionable trades, and failing to continue consecutive playoff appearances, former Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli was fired on April 15, 2015, and he left behind an organization desperate of a “rebuild” or retool.
On May 20, 2015, The Boston Bruins hired former player and recent ten-year director of player of development Don Sweeney to get this organization back to it’s winning ways, and one of his first tasks was the daunting effort to rebuild the depth of younger assets in the minor affiliations. The 2005 NHL Entry Draft from the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida was where the new GM was to make a bold statement with his intentions of adding future talent in the organization’s pipeline. With aggressive trades, Sweeney acquired the 13th pick from the Los Angeles Kings and the 15th pick from the Calgary Flames to go along with their original 14th selection they earned with a non-playoff 41-27-14 96 points 2014-15 regular season.
With that being said, a few of my followers have reached out and asked me to put together an article about the progression of the three selections that were taken in the first round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. As a person that pays close attention and watches many games of the Bruins prospects, here’s my personal evaluation and listed below in the order they were drafted in.
With the 13th pick, the Boston Bruins select defenseman Jakub Zboril
This selection was an obvious move to address defensive needs in the immediate future. The 6′-0″ 201-pound two-way defenseman has been described from many scouts in the QMJHL as an inconsistent player but a work-in-progress nonetheless. Although inconsistency might not be a great thing to hear of a developing player, his progression has taken a “roller coaster” ride of sorts as he’s been known to work on certain aspects of his game on a yearly basis. One year he seems more of an offensive defenseman while the next year he works on being a more “stay at home” type of defender. Situations like these aren’t bad things because when he enters the Bruins organization, full-time he’ll be taught to be more of a complete player as he rises through the ranks in pursuit of an NHL job.
The Brno, Czech Republic native is currently in his third season with the Saint John Sea Dogs of the QMJHL, and in 114 career games in the Canadian Juniors, he’s contributed 25-46-71 numbers, a career +24, and 142 penalty minutes. In my opinion, I’d like to see the 19-year-old Zboril play a full season next year in the AHL with the Providence Bruins as he’ll be eligible to play as a 20-year-old per the CHL-NHL agreement. A full season of minor-pro hockey will only benefit his game and the organization moving forward as current NHL Bruins contracts come close to expiring.
EliteProspects.com’s Curtis Joe had this scouting report below on Zboril in 2015 and is a proper evaluation of his game.
Jakub Zboril is a smart, fleet-footed two-way defenseman that plays to his strengths in all three areas of the ice. While he doesn’t aim to impress, he does all of the little things right and plays with an edge. The neutral zone is his launching pad: he is able to take off into the offensive end, or backcheck quickly into his own end. Very sound positionally. Smooth skater with lots of energy to burn. Not afraid to lay the body, or take a hit to make the play; can and will stand up for teammates. Possesses good hands and awareness on the ice, as well as a hard shot that is quite accurate. All-in-all, a complete defenseman that is relied upon to offset any oncoming attacks, as well as create chances in the opposing end. – See more at: http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=112379#sthash.t56LHsFN.dpuf
With the 14th pick, the Boston Bruins select forward Jake BeBrusk
This selection stunned the hockey world and Bruins fan alike, but after more than a year to evaluate this pick was to address future needs and not who was best available at that certain time of the 2015 NHL Draft. As a diehard fan that pays attention to the next generation of players, it was tough for me to see DeBrusk picked while a player like Kyle Connor was still available.
The 6′-0″ 183-pound Edmonton, Alberta native had a successful WHL career spending time with the Swift Current Broncos (168 Games), and the Red Deer Rebels (37 Games). In 205 game in the WHL the left winger appeared in 205 games contributing 78-107-185 numbers before making the leap to the minor-pro level of the Bruins organization. In 27 career games with the Providence Bruins gritty forward has 4-8-12 totals. He currently leads the AHL in shots in this his rookie season with the top minor-pro affiliate of the NHL Bruins.
DeBrusk is a Bruins type of player that isn’t afraid to get in the dirty areas along the boards and a strong ability to crash the net while possessing the puck. He’s a great depth addition and a work-in-progress but in my opinion, not NHL ready for at least two years.
EliteProspects.com’s Curtis Joe had this scouting report below on DeBrusk in 2015 and is a proper evaluation of his game.
A two-way winger with good mobility and scoring ability. Willing to battle in the dirty areas and can always find the puck and make the smart play below the hashmarks. Shows good creativity and deception with the puck. Good individual skills and makes good use of any time and space found. DeBrusk won’t beat you up physically, but he can definitely beat you up on the scoreboard. All-in-all, a competitive two-way winger with the natural goal scorer’s instincts. – See more at: http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=84242#sthash.E8fRDSmK.dpuf
With the 15th pick, the Boston Bruins select forward Zachary Senyshyn
Another questionable selection but one that might work out in the long run. When looking at the current roster and players that are currently under contract, the right wing position is a little thin and Senyshyn could be a great asset moving forward. The 6′-3 194-pound Ottawa, Ontario native is currently playing for the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and is playing his third season in the Canadian Junior team. In his rookie year with the Greyhounds, he was playing on a heavily talented core and put up 26-19-45 numbers in a fourth line role. His second year in a top-six role he exploded offensively contributing 45-20-65 numbers.
This season Senyshyn got off to a slow start after being returned to his respected Greyhounds team after a decent NHL Bruins training camp, but his sluggish start offensively may have something to do with his health over the summer offseason. He missed the Bruins annual development camp with a case of Mono and missed the B’s rookie camp with the emergency removal of his appendix. In his first 13 games, he went 5-2-7 but has turned his game around going 11-9-20 in his last 11 games. In 160 career OHL games, Senyshyn has posted 88-51-139 totals and could come close to his totals from last season with the Greyhounds.
Senyshyn will be eligible for the AHL or NHL next season and in my opinion another player that will benefit greatly with a full season of learning the Bruins system in the minor levels of the organization. He has great skills and an explosive stride and should be a great asset in future years.
EliteProspects.com’s Curtis Joe had this scouting report below on Senyshyn in 2015 and is a proper evaluation of his game.
A smart offensive winger that can be a difference maker in games. Very fluid skater and is constantly moving around to get in advantageous positions offensively, as well as defensively. Has a creative streak, as well as refined puck skills. Has the size to be a physical factor in the game, and knows when and how to use it. Will need to work on rounding out his defensive game, transitioning quicker, and keeping puck possession, but he knows where he can improve, and strives to do so on and off the ice. All-in-all, a cunning, motivated offensive forward whose presence pays dividends for his team at the end of the day. – See more at: http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=245108#sthash.O9annWIP.dpuf