By: Lucas Pearson | Follow Me On Twitter @LucasPearson_
With the new division alignments and the moves made in the offseason, the Bruins will be able to see a lot more of some players they would normally see one to three times a year. We won’t be seeing the likes of Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, and Auston Matthews, but there are plenty of stars to take their place to bug the Bruins.
Just because the Bruins missed out on the Taylor Hall sweepstakes doesn’t mean we won’t get our fair share of the former 1st overall pick. Hall signed an $8 million, one-year contract with the Buffalo Sabres this offseason, and he’ll be a joy to watch next to Jack Eichel. The winger has done quite a bit of moving around over the past few years, but that has not stopped his scoring. Over the past three seasons, Hall has scored 66 goals and 182 points in 174 games while picking up a Hart Trophy for his troubles. I don’t really know how the Sabres will fair in such a competitive division, but Hall will make his mark, that’s for sure.
There will be a lot of eyeballs on this past year’s first overall pick, and why wouldn’t there be? If you’re getting comparisons to the likes of Sidney Crosby and Jonathan Huberdeau, you most certainly have a lot to offer. The number one overall pick from this past year’s draft has enjoyed tearing up the QMJHL the past three seasons. Most recently, he led the league with 112 points in just 52 games. As an 18-year-old in the World Juniors last season, he was featured on the gold medal-winning Team Canada’s first line and finished fourth overall in points despite playing two fewer games than nearly everyone in the tournament. I’m super excited to see how he does with a young team around him.
From one first overall pick to another. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t watch too much of Jack Hughes last season, but I’ve always been intrigued by what I’ve seen. He led the U18 World Juniors in points just two years ago and, as a 17-year-old, averaged a point per game in the U20 World Juniors that same year. Hughes tore up the USDP as well, notching 34 goals and 112 points in just 50 games. However, that success hasn’t really translated to the NHL.
His numbers won’t jump out at you, he had just 21 points in 61 games and a -26 rating to boot, but there is a ton of promise in the centerman. The fatigue of an NHL season certainly got to the youngster, tallying just four points in his final 24 games. But he did have a 31 game stretch where he scored six goals and 17 points, which is a big step in the right direction. He’s still very, very young, but this upcoming season is a big one for Hughes’ development.
Well, this is a bit strange. I originally made this article to highlight a few players the Bruins only got to see a few times a year that they would see on a more normal basis. But now here I am, writing about someone we’ve seen play almost 1200 times over the past 14 seasons. Zdeno Chara has ended his storied Bruins career and has signed with the Washington Capitals. We saw Tom Brady in a Buccaneers uniform, we saw Mookie Betts in a Dodgers uniform, and now we will get to see the Bruins captain in a Washington uniform. Despite how old Chara has gotten, he makes a huge difference on the back end. Let’s see how much of a difference he will make on both the Capitals and Bruins’ defenses.
Thank you Z.