(Photo Credit: Bill Sikes/Associated Press)
By: Mike Cratty | Follow Me On Twitter @Mike_Cratty
Don Sweeney and the Bruins brass find themselves in unfamiliar territory heading into the 2020 NHL Entry Draft on Oct. 6-7. Their picks go as follow:
Second round: 58th overall
Third round: 89th overall
Fifth round: 151st overall
Sixth round: 182nd overall
Seventh round: 213th overall
One may wonder if Sweeney will try to accrue some more draft capital. Personally, I don’t think they will specifically target picks. Rather they’ll acquire a pick(s) in a larger deal of some sort. Jake DeBrusk (7) and Tuukka Rask (10) found themselves on TSN’s latest trade bait list earlier today. Draft picks would likely be involved in a deal involving them. If DeBrusk is to be moved at any time, I think it will be for a defenseman not named Oliver Ekman-Larsson. I don’t think Rask will be traded.
TRADE BAIT: Every team has an incredible number of balls in the air, but as @frank_seravalli writes, the Edmonton Oilers are a significant team to watch in the 2020 version of the NHL’s off-season…
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) October 1, 2020
I could see Sweeney trying to get back into the first round, but it won’t be easy. I think moving up in the second round is much more likely. It depends on if Sweeney thinks he can swoop in, make a move upwards, and target a player of interest.
Exactly four months ago to the day, I put five names out there as potential Bruins in the second round. While at the time I knew Tyson Foerster was a far-fetched option, unless they move up, I don’t think he’ll escape the early portion of the second round. Everyone else on the list; Jaromir Pytlik, Luke Evangelista, Ozzy Wiessblatt, and Eamon Powell will more likely be available at 58.
Another player I could see as a Bruin is Carter Savoie. Below is what the EliteProspects 2020 Draft Guide has to say about him:
“Savoie reads defenders like few other players in the draft. He is acutely aware of opposing sticks and actively baits them. Savoie is deceptive; he looks off his targeted play and keeps the same grip on his stick, whether he’s passing, dangling, or shooting. Savoie fires with power, precision, and with some trickery; using screens to his advantage.” -EliteProspects 2020 NHL Draft Guide
Admittedly, I am not very familiar with Savoie and his style of play, but that description sounds pretty enticing. Typically you see mentions of speed, puck handling, and hockey IQ, but this description is a lot different and catches my eye.
— Dave Dawson (@DaveDawson7) December 22, 2019
Bruins prospect Quinn Olson was selected in the second round from the AJHL’s Okotoks Oilers. He then went the NCAA route to the powerhouse University of Denver. Savoie is taking the same route this year but spent this past season with the AJHL’s Sherwood Park Crusaders. The two will be teammates. Fun fact: top 2022 draft-eligible, and brother of Carter, Matthew Savoie will also be making his way to the University of Denver in the near future. Could Quinn Olson and Carter Savoie be Bruins teammates someday as well? We’ll see.
With all of this, I’ll give my updated top-5 potential Bruins at pick 58, in no order of likelihood:
A certain player has caught my eye as a potential target at pick 213, and it’s defenseman Ryker Evans of the WHL’s Regina Pats. In the limited sample of game film I have seen of him, he reminds me a lot of Matt Grzelcyk. Check out the video below and focus on how he handles and shoots the puck in the offensive zone, as well as how he moves laterally and you’ll see.
(Video Credit: Regina Pats on YouTube)
It is always hard to gauge where a lot of players will go in the late rounds, but I suppose Evans could be available. Merrimack College defensemen Zach Uens and Declan Carlile are interesting potential defensive targets at 213. Bruins brass could have a good read on them due to their close proximity at Merrimack. I am very intrigued to see how the draft pans out for Don Sweeney and the Bruins. Draft day is only five days away.