Bruins 2015 Draft Failure Will Haunt Them for Years

It has been seven seasons since Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney oversaw the 2015 Entry Draft, his first in charge of the Black and Gold. Three consecutive first-round picks had the Bruins set up to find some building block pieces for the future. Unfortunately for Sweeney, with each year that goes by, the 2015 Draft is becoming more and more of a nightmare.

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Three picks at No.’s 13, 14, and 15 had the Bruins primed to land some talent that could slide into the lineup and be the future. That has not been the case as the three picks that Sweeney made look not as good as they could have been with each passing day.

2015 First-Round Selections

Sweeney selected defenseman Jakub Zboril with the 13th-overall pick, before choosing left wing Jake DeBrusk with the 14th pick. Another forward, Zach Senyshyn, was selected 15th with the final selection in the opening round. Boston has not got what they had hoped they would from those three players.

Jake DeBrusk Boston Bruins
Jake DeBrusk, Boston Bruins (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Of the three, DeBrusk has had the most impact. From 2017-18 through the 2019-20 season, the 25-year-old averaged nearly 20 goals a season, with a career-high 27 in 2018-19. The 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons didn’t go well under former head coach Bruce Cassidy. However, in 2022-23 and with a new head coach in Jim Montgomery, DeBrusk has picked up his play at nearly a point-per-game pace.

Zboril’s path to the NHL has been a slow one and somewhat frustrating at times. In 2020-21, he made the roster out of training camp and played in 42 regular-season games. He was a steady left-shot blueliner that is consistent and does not make any glaring mistakes. He was paired with now-retired Kevan Miller, but injuries hampered Zboril’s time in the lineup and he ended up on the outside looking during the playoffs. In 2021-22, he was a nice addition to bolster the defense, mainly paired with Mike Reilly; however, he only played in 10 games.

It’s safe to say that Senyshyn has not panned out to what Sweeney would have hoped. He has played in just 16 NHL games with one goal and three points. Senyshyn is currently Germany’s DEL.

2015 First-Round Misses

I don’t think I need to remind you how much differently the first round in 2015 could have gone, but let’s take another look back at who was drafted after Senyshyn and who the Black and Gold could have had. Just a few notable names that would be helping the Bruins in 2021-22.

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Another team that had multiple first-round picks in 2015 in the first round with the Bruins was the New York Islanders. In fact, both selections were after Sweeney’s three picks. New York selected Mathew Barzal 16th and Anthony Beauvillier 28th. Who had the better first-round draft that night, despite having just two picks? 

Mat Barzal New York Islanders
Mat Barzal, New York Islanders (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Left wing Kyle Connor was picked 17 by the Winnipeg Jets, Thomas Chabot, a left-shot defenseman, was selected 18th by the Ottawa Senators, and Brock Boeser was chosen 23rd by the Vancouver Canucks. How would any of those players look wearing the Spoked-B right now?

2015 First Round Will Haunt the Bruins for Years

When news broke of DeBrusk’s trade request, that puts another spin on the 2015 first-round draft class. Already one of the more criticized classes in Bruins history, now the one part of the class that was having any kind of success wants out of Boston. Think of where the Bruins could be now and in the future with any of the names mentioned about picked after the three picks Sweeney had. This will have long-lasting effects on the organization.

Don Sweeney Boston Bruins
Don Sweeney, General Manager of the Boston Bruins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The 2015 draft class will be looked back on for decades as the one that they missed a golden opportunity on. It is going to follow Sweeney until he is done in Boston and maybe even beyond. Just when you think that the 2015 class can’t look any worse, it does.