After falling flat at the tail end of the season, the Bruins have the 14th overall pick and the chance to draft an impact player. New general manager Don Sweeney can restock the cupboard with a potential franchise altering player. Malcolm Subban and Zane McIntyre, fresh off of an outstanding season at North Dakota, are the future in net for the Bruins. While David Pastrnak’s dominance dances in the head of fans, the Bruins are short on high-end talent developing in the minors. They have a decent amount of depth in the system, especially on defense, but lack difference makers. Whomever the Bruins decide upon will be a key cog in the future of the Black and Gold.
Below are three players who the Bruins could wind up drafting in Florida on June 26.
Timo Meier, Right Wing, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
If the Swiss product tumbled to the 14th overall selection, Sweeney should be thanking his lucky stars. An immensely talented scoring winger, Meier finished fifth in the QMJHL in goals. His sense for the game is impeccable. He possesses a lot of patience with the puck, and has the ability to manipulate defenses with his slick moves and vision. He can play on a skill line with his quick wrist shot and ability to create space, but also work on grinding lines with his all-around effort. With good size (6’1″, 209 lbs), Meier has all the qualities to be an impact player in the league. He has all the traits to be a core part of a contender for years to come.
Jansen Harkins, Center, Prince George Cougars (WHL)
This is who I envision the Bruins selecting. Harkins is everything that the Bruins crave in a forward. He combines his slick skating with the ability to command the ice. Harkins plays a 200 foot game, not being afraid to be scrappy and go into the dirty areas. His game is strong in all three zones. Harkins takes care of business defensively, staying in the right position and consistently uses his body to gain the advantage. His speed and skating allow him to control the middle of the ice, while his extraordinary vision sets up his teammates. Between having a nose for the net and possessing the will to outwork opponents, Harkins is dangerous in the offensive zone as well. Patrice Bergeron? David Krejci? He certainly fits the mold.
Jakub Zboril, Defense, Saint John Sea Dogs, (QMJHL)
With Zdeno Chara nearing the end of his career at age 38, the Bruins need need to start to picture the future without the captain. Who will command the blue line when Chara hangs his skates up?
Torey Krug? Dougie Hamilton? Matt Bartkowski?
Alright, not Matt Bartkowski.
In Jakub Zboril, the Bruins would get a two-way defender who is a good skater and sees the ice well. He plays with a chip on his shoulder who is physically dominant along the boards. Zboril’s 6’2″ frame allows him to punish forwards who come up the ice with their head down. In addition to his defense-first attitude and physical prowess, Zboril is a fluid skater with a deceptively strong wrist shot. With a couple years to develop, Zboril could be a top four defenseman in the league.
Cam Kerry is on Twitter. He is a legendary third-line grinder on his school’s junior varsity hockey team, and will not be drafted by the Bruins (or any other team for that matter).