By: Mark Allred | Follow me on Twitter / X @BlackAndGold277

Last night, the Boston Bruins had the 25th selection in the 2024 National Hockey League Entry Draft, and they added much-needed developmental depth to the organization’s center position. With the pick at 25 at the iconic Sphere in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Bruins select forward Dean Letourneau from St. Andrews College.

Last season, the 6′-7″, 214-pound right-shooting center appeared in 56 games at the U18 AAA level and posted 61-66-127 numbers, along with 74 penalty minutes. The 18-year-old Letourneau will play for the Boston College Eagles for his freshman year of NCAA hockey this fall. Dean will join fellow Bruins prospects Andre Gasseau (C) and Oskar Jellvik (C/LW) as both get set for their junior years with the Eagles this fall.

Brock Otten, the director of Scouting for the website, wrote the following paragraphs in his yearly scouting report to prepare for the 2024 NHL Entry Draft. This information gives the reader a better idea of this player’s upside and insight into what the individual needs to work on as Letourneau continues to develop.

What to make of Dean Letourneau?

That is the question many scouts are asking themselves this year. The big forward oozes upside thanks to improving mobility and high-end skill, however, he has also not been tested in the way that many others in this class have been. The St. Andrew’s College program is a highly respected prep school out of Aurora, Ontario. They have played a part in the development of many high-end prospects. However, it is also true that SAC’s level of competition is not terrific, with many stops on the schedule including AAA programs with few, if any, NHL prospects. Complicating things is Letourneau’s shoulder injury sidelined him at the end of the season, preventing him from closing out the year with Sioux Falls of the USHL. Many scouts, including us, were hoping to see him finish the year against a higher level of competition for comparison reasons.

Regardless, Letourneau is an impressive athlete. Given his size advantage at the prep level, one might expect him to be physically overwhelming the competition, but that is not the case. If anything, there’s further room for him to learn to use his size more consistently to dominate high traffic areas. Instead, he’s consistently beating defenders with skill, showcasing creativity, strong finishing ability, and excellent o-zone awareness. Compared to a year ago, his skating has improved by leaps and bounds, as he has worked to lengthen his stride and add more power to help him drive the net and push pace.

Headed to Boston College, originally the plan was for Letourneau to play a full year in the USHL with Sioux Falls next year. However, that plan has apparently been altered with Will Smith turning pro; Letourneau will play at BC next season. Patience is the key here. But said patience could pay off in a big way if he continues his upward trajectory. Prep and high school players haven’t performed incredibly well when selected early in recent years, however, Letourneau’s upside is simply too tantalizing to pass up. – Otten

Thoughts on the Selection From Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney

Below are some quotes from General Manager Don Sweeney in his media availability at the close of the first round of the NHL Entry Draft last night. Rounds two through seven continue today.

Well, what stood out is obviously the frame of the player and his skill set; I’ll tell you the truth, not so much just the positional side of things, but he moves really well at that size. He’s got very, very good hands. He’s got a very heavy shot. Most people talk a little bit about the quality of the competition and the level at which he’s played. It’ll be a big jump for him to Boston College next year.

The opportunity is right in front of him, with Smith leaving, so we think that’s going to be a great development opportunity for him to continue to grow and fill in the gaps in this side, so you think the gates, that hurdle, well I think it gives them a competitive advantage, albeit the pace is obviously going to be challenging, he’s played a couple of games out in the USHL. That would have been the path originally that they would have chosen, but the opportunity to go into BC with a nice plan in front of him, in terms of what that opportunity is going to be.