( Photo Credit: The Boston Globe )

By: Craig Eagles | Follow Me On Twitter @Eags37

It’s been a long and winding road for Jakub Zboril. 

Any mention of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Zboril’s name comes to the forefront of the conversation. There are two things that come to mind when people hear his name, “Draft day bust” or “untapped potential.” 

The departure of longtime B’s captain and future Hall of Famer Zdeno Chara has opened the door for the former 1st rounder to finally prove his worth. There’s no question Zboril’s progression has been somewhat slow or perceived to be slow, but if the B’s first game of the 2020-2021 season is any indication, the organization, and its crazed loyal fanbase can certainly live with #67’s style of play. 

The Brno, Czech Republic product wasn’t flashy by any means last night, but he moved the puck effectively and efficiently. Zboril played a solid game, and at this point of his journey with the Black and Gold, that’s all the organization, and the fanbase want to see from him.

Like so many young defenders, “a less is more” approach has always been needed considering his style of play. Decision making with and without the puck has been a cause for concern for the twenty-three-year-old rearguard throughout every level in the game. 

Zboril was out there late in regulation and in overtime, which is a huge indicator that the coaching staff trusts him. His decision to go down the half boards in the offensive zone in overtime could have led to a stellar offensive opportunity, but it turned into a golden scoring chance for the Devils. 

For some, Jakub Zboril will always be considered a draft day bust. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and projections, but for now, patience is the key. It’s undeniable Zboril possesses all the tools to be a solid two and a half zone transitional defenceman at the NHL level, but let’s face it, he’s never going to be a massive point-getter, but he can certainly chip in from time to time. 

You see, that’s where the untapped potential comes into play. It’s all about confidence and belief. Right now, Zboril understands the opportunity. He understands that this is it, that this is his big chance to prove his true value at the NHL level. 

Zboril didn’t try to do too much last night, which is a massive win in my books. In years gone by, especially during his junior days with the Saint John Sea Dogs, the youngster would have tried to push the envelope. 

That didn’t happen last night, which in my opinion, is another indicator of future success in the Bruins Top 6. Consistency has been a huge factor in Zboril’s game. His time in Providence has certainly helped that aspect of his game as well.  If Zboril were part of any other organization, he would have already been in playing in the NHL. 

Given the Bruins depth at the position, there was just no room for him up top. Zboril deserves a lot of credit for putting in the time and work down on the farm and staying positive. Jay Leach and the entire Providence Bruins coaching staff definitely prepared him for all the rigors of the NHL level. 

Jakub Zboril is finally getting an opportunity to patrol an NHL blueline, which after last night is a promising development for the organization and the player. 

Bruins Draft day bust or untapped potential? The verdict isn’t out just yet, but let’s give it some time. By the way, with all the rumors circulating around Mass native Keith Yandle, Don Sweeney could be auditioning Zboril for a potential trade asset.