( Photo Credit: Brian Babineau / NHLI via Getty Images )

by Matt Barry | Follow me on Twitter @oobcards

The Boston Bruins do not have a first-round pick in the 2020 National Hockey League Draft due to including the selection in the trade that brought winger Ondrej Kase to Boston. The team now has to wait until the 58th pick in the second round to make their first selection on October 6th. The Bruins are in a championship-contending window with an aging core, which has made their draft picks more expendable. However, this scenario does make it imperative that general manager Don Sweeney find future NHL talent in the later rounds.

The Bruins have never had the 58th pick in their history. Boston has selected 57th in the draft three times since 1979. With those selections, Boston has chosen Keith Crowder in 1979, Wes Walz in 1989, and Axel Andersson in 2018. Crowder would play ten NHL seasons, nine of those with Boston. He had three seasons of thirty goals or more and scored 219 times in 607 games as a Bruin. Walz did not pan out as well as Crowder. The Calgary, Alberta native scored just nine goals in 73 games with the Bruins and had his best seasons with Minnesota. Andersson was the Bruins second-round pick in 2018 and was later included in the deal for Kase along with David Backes and the 2020 first-rounder. Andersson will now try to enter the NHL as a member of the Anaheim Ducks.

Only two players in NHL history have played more than 700 games from the 58th position in the draft. Steve Konowalchuk played 790 games totaling 396 points and Jiri Hudler played in 709 NHL games with 428 points. There is good news as the Bruins prepare to draft from the 58th slot on October 6 as Nikita Kucherov was drafted with the 58th pick by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. He has amassed 221 goals and 547 points as one of elite goal scorers in the league. By all accounts, the 2020 NHL Draft is very deep at the winger position which is an area of need for the Bruins. I would look for them to stockpile offensive talent in this draft and even consider trading for a first-round pick prior to Tuesday.

In what could be a hectic offseason for Sweeney and Team President Cam Neely, the Bruins will need to rely on their advanced scouting to make the most out of their five draft picks. Maybe at pick 88, the Bruins can get another Ray Ferraro, who accumulated 898 points in over 1,200 NHL games. Finding that type of value in the third round is once in a lifetime for sure. This NHL Draft shapes up to be far less exciting for Boston Bruins fans than in year’s past but might be just as crucial for the team’s future.