The Bruins Should Add Another Goaltender In The 2020 NHL Draft

( Photo Credit: NHL.com )

By: Mark Allred | Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

The National Hockey Leagues 2020 Entry Draft round is set to be online and the festivities opening up this Tuesday evening at 7pm ET. Rounds two through seven will take place on Wednesday morning at 11:30 ET. Round one can be viewed on NBCSN and Network LiveStream of the opening round festivities seen HERE and the remaining rounds can be seen on the NHL Network on October 7th,2020.

Per NBC Sports hockey writer Sean Leahy in an article published on October 4th, 2020, which can be seen HERE and below. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this is what the NHL’s 2020 Draft procedure will look like moving forward.

NHL Draft order procedure

Round 1
Picks 1-15: Determined by Phases 1 and 2 of 2020 NHL Draft Lottery
Picks 16-27: Teams eliminated in Rounds 1 and 2 of 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, in inverse order of 2019-20 regular season points percentage
Picks 28-29: Teams eliminated in 2020 Conference Finals, in inverse order of 2019-20 regular season points percentage
Pick 30: Team eliminated in 2020 Stanley Cup Final
Pick 31: 2020 Stanley Cup champion

Rounds 2-7
Picks 1-7: Teams who did not participate in the Return To Play, in inverse order of 2019-20 regular-season points percentage
Picks 8-15: Teams eliminated in 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers, in inverse order of 2019-20 regular-season points percentage
Picks 16-27: Teams eliminated in Rounds 1 and 2 of 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, in inverse order of 2019-20 regular-season points percentage
Picks 28-29: Teams eliminated in 2020 Conference Finals, in inverse order of 2019-20 regular-season points percentage
Pick 30: Team eliminated in 2020 Stanley Cup Final
Pick 31: 2020 Stanley Cup champion

The Boston Bruins currently have five selections in the seven-round entry draft. While the organization should address future needs at the wing position with their second-round pick, I believe a goaltender should be taken either in the third or final three rounds of the virtual draft. The Boston organization has one more year of Jaroslav Halak, and Tuukka Rask under contract at the NHL level, and in the developing depths have Kyle Keyser (ELC Two Years Remaining), Jeremy Swayman (ELC Three Years Remaining), and Dan Vladar (Recently Signed Three-Year Extension). Although the minor-pro ranks of the organization seem to be sufficient with future projects in the crease, adding another couldn’t hurt. Below are my thoughts about who the B’s should select if still around, of course.

Nico Daws

( Photo Credit: guelphstorm.com )

The 19-year-old 6′-4″ 203-pound Daws went undrafted in his first year of eligibility (2019) when the NHL Central Scouting had him at 16 in their final rankings, moving up from 19 in their mid-term evaluation for North American Goaltenders. This year the German-born and dual Canadian citizen moved up to the number one spot for NA netminders after a stellar career year in his third season with the OHL’s Guelph Storm.

Nico posted a 2019-20 regular-season record of 23-8-6 with a 2.48 goals-against-average and .924 save percentage. His Guelph Storm who finished the regular season sitting sixth in the Western Conference with a 32-23-3-5 and 72 points in 63 games played and clinched a 2020 OHL postseason birth cut short by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Probably a stretch due to Nico’s final 2020 North American goaltending rankings, but if he’s still available when the Bruins make the 89th selection in the third round, I think he’d be a substantial future addition. Daws can technically go back to Guelph as an overager to continue his development for the 2020-21 OHL season but can also create a gap with the plans the Boston club has for the future concerning Halak and Rask. Not a bad backup plan to bolster the goaltending depth, in my opinion.

Below is what the great folks at EliteProspects.com had to say about the young netminder in their 2020 NHL Draft Guide.

Daws plays with great positional awareness, staying deep because his size enables him to simply get in front of the puck. He doesn’t leave shooters with a lot of open area, and he doesn’t allow a lot of rebounds to test his speed and recovery. His posture is excellent, taking up shooting room at the top of the net. -EliteProspects 2020 NHL Draft Guide

Drew Commesso

( Photo Credit: NHL.com )

Drew is an 18-year-old 6′-2″ 181-pound Massachusetts native entering his first year of NHL Draft eligibility. From the ages of 14 to 16, Commesso spent time manning the crease for the South Shore Kings (Tier III Junior League USPHL), the St. Sebastian’s School (USHS-Prep School), and the Cape Cod Whalers (U-16 Midget League) before joining the national program.

In the 2019-20 campaign, Commesso played for the United States National Team, where he appeared in 11 games for the USNTDP club posting an 8-2-0 record with a 2.01 GAA and .917 Save% in the USHL. With the U.S. National U-18 team in the same season, Drew played for his USDP program with increased results posting an 18-7-0 record with a 2.05 GAA and .920 Save%. Commesso is the second-highest ranked for NA goaltenders per NHL Central Scoutings Final 2020 rankings.

Commesso, who’s set to be a freshman for the 2020-21 season, is committed to play for the NCAA Boston University Terriers. I believe if the Bruins do, in fact, want to make additions to the crease depth, Drew would be a solid plan “B” if they happen to strike out on selecting a player like Daws mentioned above. What I like about the Commesso idea is the Bruins scouting staff won’t have to go far to keep tabs on him. Also, another factor is that Drew will most likely play college hockey for three to four seasons as most do, but in the case for the B’s, that might be a suitable timeframe for future plans and availability in the minor-pro system.

Below is what the great folks at EliteProspects.com had to say about the young netminder in their 2020 NHL Draft Guide.

He posted some of the best numbers we’ve seen in the USNTDP in a while. Commesso plays a more aggressive game inherently, but he does a great job staying on top of plays and reading through traffic. He rarely gets caught moving across the crease, owning every inch of space with confidence. He skates at a higher level than most of his fellow draft-eligibles. -EliteProspects 2020 NHL Draft Guide

Samuel Hlavaj

( Photo Credit: Vincent L. Rousseau )

Hlavaj is an exciting prospect for a 19-year-old 6′-3″ 214-pound goaltender. The Slovakian native has had decent numbers when it comes to international play overseas. He first came to North America in the 2018-19 season and joined the Lincoln Stars of the USHL. In 22 games for the Stars that year, he didn’t exactly have a good year playing on the smaller ice surfaces posting a 3-18-1 record and a 4.58 GAA and .862 Save%.

Last season Samuel needed a much-needed change in his development and certainly got a massive boost of confidence as he joined a new league in 2019-20. Hlavaj would once again play in another country, which would be his third in the last two years. Samuel took his talents to the QMJHL’s Sherbrooke Phoenix club and quickly changed his draft stock with a solid season in the crease. With his new Phoenix club, the big netminder posted a record of 33-3-2 with a 2.25 GAA and .915 Save% and took home honors earning the Jacque Plante trophy with the leagues best goals-against and the Raymond Lagace award for best defensive rookie of the year.

With Hlavaj and the small sample size of his great play in his QMJHL rookie season, it’s not out of the realm of thinking that he could be available if the Bruins wanted to select him in the later rounds of the 2020 draft. A player like this and addition to the developing depths of the Bruins organization would be a low-risk high reward scenario if they so choose to go this avenue. Samuel has another season of Canadian Hockey League eligibility and slated to return to the Phoenix club, which gives the B’s options for the future if space is available in the ECHL or higher American Hockey League with the Providence Bruins.

Below is what the great folks at the HockeyProspect.com website had to say about the young netminder in their 2020 NHL Draft Guide. You can purchase the HP 2020 Draft Black Book HERE.

Hlavaj is an intriguing, goaltending prospect. If he can make adjustments to his technique, he’ll improve his chances of reaching the NHL. He has excellent tools with his size, competitiveness, and glove that should translate well to professional hockey. Another thing that he’ll need to improve upon is his focus. He tends to lose concentration and get distracted by things around him a bit too often.

Bryan Thomson

 ( Photo Credit: Marissa Baecker / Getty Images )

Thomson is an 18-year-old 6′-4″ 181-pound netminder from Saskatchewan, Canada, and is entering his first year of NHL Draft eligibility. He spent his first full season playing for the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the WHL last season and had a decent rookie campaign. With the Hurricanes, the big goaltender had a 16-7-1 record with a 2.83 GAA and .898 Save%.

In my opinion, this would be a sixth or seventh-round selection for the Bruins if they wanted to maximize as much as they can addressing defense and forward needs with the three to four previous round selections. I can see a lot of potential in this player, and he, like a few mentioned above, can go back to their Canadian Junior program for further development while the Bruins organization gauges his future. Just by the way Bruins goaltending coaches Bob Essensa and Mike Dunham have worked with hard young netminders, you can get the best out of any player regardless of the round they were picked in.

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