The tale of the Boston Bruins 2012 NHL Draft is yet to be told but that won’t stop analysts from fantasizing over the best-case scenarios for the Black and Gold. Not wanting to buck the trend, here are the top-four ‘dream’ scenarios for the B’s on Day One of the 2012 NHL Draft:
4.) The Bruins Trade Down into Value-Country!
As I pointed out yesterday, the B’s should be exploring scenarios where they trade the 24th pick. One of the ideal candidates in this situation might be Carolina – who own two second-rounders: The 38th and 47th picks.
As a result, the B’s then pick-up one of the ‘next tier’ of blueliners: Ville Pokka, Dalton Thrower, Damon Severson, Mike Matheson or Ludvig Bystrom. While these players each possess significant flaws, concerns or minimal upside – they represent solid early-second-round value.
With the additional pick, the B’s would take a swing at one of the bigger risks in the draft (such as Boo Nieves or Mackenzie MacEachern) with a high degree of boom/bust potential.
The Pros: The B’s would be getting some serious bang for the buck.
The Cons: They’d miss out on an opportunity to draft one of their ‘target’ defensemen.
The Odds: There’s a decent chance this could happen. Columbus, Nashville, Colorado and Carolina (along with Northeast Division-rivals Montreal and Buffalo) possess multiple second-round picks and may look to trade-up. Still, 24 isn’t exceedingly high and organizations may resist the urge to swap multiple second-rounders for it. 1 in 10
3.) Defensive Slippage
The best mid-first-round blueline talents are Cody Ceci, Olli Määttä, Slater Koekkoek, Derrick Pouliot and Matt Finn. Each projects very solidly as a middle-pairing defenseman with decent offensive upside – and several arguably possess first-pairing potential.
The chances the B’s will be able to land any of these young men are quite slim probably on the order of a one-in-four chance. However, if any one of them were to slide on down to 24 … or even multiple members of this group, well – Boston fans ought to be jumping for joy
The Pros: Getting a target player this deep is always a plus – the B’s would continue to build one of the better prospect corps – particularly for a perennial contender.
The Cons: There really isn’t one. Cross your fingers.
The Odds: Ceci and Määttä are almost certainly gone by 24… Pouliot, too. Koekkoek, Lindholm and Finn are wild-cards in that scouting services (and likely, teams) have wildly differing estimations of their talent level and upside. Any one of that trio could end-up in sporting the spoked-B on Friday night, but it isn’t inevitable. 1 in 5
2.) Keith Bleepin’ Yandle
This was the tweet that launched a thousand fevered dreams. Bruins fans have been enamored with Yandle for much of the past two calendar years. It’s not just that he’s one of the League’s premier puck-moving defensemen – he’s also a local kid (from Milton, MA) who’s making a very reasonable $5.25 million annually for the next four seasons.
Even with Hamilton coming up through the system, the B’s would certainly love to acquire his services. Obviously, the 24th pick alone wouldn’t come close to acquiring him from the Coyotes – it would probably take a package including David Krejci, one of the B’s top prospects and the pick. Perhaps more. But if Boston was somehow able to weasel him out of Phoenix it would be a massive win for the organization.
The Pros: One of the game’s best offenses would be adding a great powerplay distributor and puck-mover from the back-end – it’s a scary thought.
The Cons: Yandle’s hefty price-tag which likely includes the B’s top-scorer from their Stanley Cup-run will nauseate even his biggest fans in the Hub of Hockey.
The Odds: Aside from a few in the rumor-mongering community, there hasn’t been a definitive indication that Yandle is ‘officially’ back on the block. Coupled with the ‘feeding-frenzy’ of potential suitors and inevitable elevation in trade-value – and it becomes a far less probable development. 1 in 100
1.) Trading (and Trending) Up!
Should one of the best defenseman in this class begin to fall into the teens, the B’s should be standing at the ready, hoping to pull the trigger on a deal which could land them a premier blueline talent.
The obvious headliner in this situation would be Morgan Rielly, the Draft’s undisputed top offensive-defenseman.Peter Chiarelli & Co. would be salivating at the opportunity to swoop in and acquire Moose Jaw’s dynamic rearguard.
It would be the epitome of a draft coup d’état as last season’s defending champs secure a devastating prospective one-two defensive punch with some nifty movement. Just envisioning a future with both Hamilton and Rielly patrolling the B’s blue line would evoke some interesting Pavlovian responses in Bruins Nation… but can it be done?
The Pros: Boston’s double-barreled defensemen prospect corps would be the envy of the League.
The Cons: It would cost the B’s an arm and a leg (perhaps both of each)… likely leaving their organizational depth quite Weeble-like.
The Odds: First of all, Rielly isn’t likely to fall. Neither is Jacob Trouba – who’s undoubtedly also up for consideration in this scenario. In either case, the chance of teams passing on one of these young men becomes less and less likely as they become more and more obviously the best players available. The teams they fall to would be under considerable pressure to take the gift – and ignore Boston’s trade offers. It could happen – but it won’t. 1 in 500
While a few of these scenarios fail plausibility tests, they represent the best possible (and somewhat plausible) outcomes for the Boston Bruins 2012 NHL Draft. So grab some horseshoes, toss a roll of quarters in a fountain, pick some four-leaf clovers and rub a Budai’s belly – ‘cause the Bruins need it tonight.