Bruins Prospect News and Notes

TheRealness

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I think Senyshyn will hit as a prospect, but that will depend on their patience with him. If they are patient, I have high hopes. If not, there is concern about a flame out.
 

TheYaz67

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The prospect pipeline has been crucial so far this year - just saw mention of the fact that the Bruins have already used 10 players aged 24 or younger this season....
 

RoDaddy

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And I think I read that B's rookies have more points than any other team this year. I mean, did anyone expect Heinen to be this good?!
 

Dummy Hoy

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I thought he’d be go9d, but I hadn’t really seen him in college and didn’t realize how well he does all the little stuff.
 

kenneycb

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I’m still concerned about them hitting a wall. This run has come during a soft spot in their schedule and they’re winning games they should, which is always good. But they have I think 9 games in 18 Days, so it will be interesting to see how they respond and if they try to cycle in some new people to keep the legs fresh. Thank god we don’t have to worry about the goalie situation.
 

Eddie Jurak

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2014: Pastrnak, Donato, Heinen, Bjork
2015: Zboril, DeBrusk, Senyshyn, Carlo, Lauzon, JFK

This could go down as maybe the best back to back drafts since...

1979: Bourque, McCrimmon, Crowder, Krushelnyski
1980: Pederson, Fergus, Kasper
 

cshea

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I’m still concerned about them hitting a wall. This run has come during a soft spot in their schedule and they’re winning games they should, which is always good. But they have I think 9 games in 18 Days, so it will be interesting to see how they respond and if they try to cycle in some new people to keep the legs fresh. Thank god we don’t have to worry about the goalie situation.
DeBrusk played 91 games last season; Heinen 89. The AHL schedule is fairly vigorous, they have weekends where they play 3 games in 3 days. I think they should be able to handle it from a fatigue standpoint. They should be pretty well adjusted.

The college kids may be a bit more of a concern. Bjork’s longest season was 41games in college. McAvoy played 48 between BU, Providence and the Bruins last year plus another 10-20 games for the WJC and world championship team. He played a ton of hockey last year, so I don’t think it will be too much of a problem but certainly something to keep in mind as the season wears on.

They do have players at the ready to cycle through if they choose to. Cehlarik should be healthy soon, Vatrano isn’t the worst guy in the world to plug in for a game or two, and they have options in Providence at F and D if need be.
 

veritas

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2014: Pastrnak, Donato, Heinen, Bjork
2015: Zboril, DeBrusk, Senyshyn, Carlo, Lauzon, JFK

This could go down as maybe the best back to back drafts since...

1979: Bourque, McCrimmon, Crowder, Krushelnyski
1980: Pederson, Fergus, Kasper
As it stands now, the 1st round of 2015 is still a pretty big failure, although there's still some time for those guys to develop. Despite that, the Bruins have been very good overall at drafting and developing talent since 2014 (or even since 2012 when they drafted a #1 goalie, a solid 2nd pair defenseman, and also Matt Grzelcyk...).

Given how much depth they have right now, I really don't understand why they're not using a heavy rotation, esp on back to back games. If Vatrano isn't better than one of the bottom 6 on the second game of a back-to-back, he's not worth being on the team. All of their defensemen are either children, elderly, or injury prone. With Grz looking like an NHLer and McQuaid back, everyone should get a few healthy games off. I know that's not how hockey culture works, but eventually a team is going to try incorporating scheduled rest days for all players, and I think it's going to work.
 

lexrageorge

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As it stands now, the 1st round of 2015 is still a pretty big failure, although there's still some time for those guys to develop. Despite that, the Bruins have been very good overall at drafting and developing talent since 2014 (or even since 2012 when they drafted a #1 goalie, a solid 2nd pair defenseman, and also Matt Grzelcyk...).

Given how much depth they have right now, I really don't understand why they're not using a heavy rotation, esp on back to back games. If Vatrano isn't better than one of the bottom 6 on the second game of a back-to-back, he's not worth being on the team. All of their defensemen are either children, elderly, or injury prone. With Grz looking like an NHLer and McQuaid back, everyone should get a few healthy games off. I know that's not how hockey culture works, but eventually a team is going to try incorporating scheduled rest days for all players, and I think it's going to work.
DeBrusk is an every day player on the 2nd line, while Senyshyn is prospering in Providence, on a similar growth curve as Heinen. That hardly qualifies as a "pretty big failure".

The young, old, and injury prone defenseman are playing quite well over the last month to 6 weeks or so once the entire team got the injury bug out of its system. I wouldn't be surprised if they do try to incorporate some sort of rotation once they clear the holiday break. Vatrano is injury insurance, and his presence doesn't hurt anything, nor is he blocking anyone.
 

Salem's Lot

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Sorry, that's absurd.
But wait! Matt Barzal has a bunch of assists skating around the perimeter and getting it to Jordan Eberle or Tavares on the power play, playing for a team that doesn't ask him (or anyone else) to back check. So ergo, all of the guys we picked ahead of him are busts before they're 20. At least noted prospect experts like Joe Haggerty tell me that so it must be true!
 

cshea

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Failure is probably too strong, but it does look like the Barzal/Connor critics were right. I’m loathe to bring it up, but it does look like those 2 can play. There is also Brock Boeser who was picked at 24 and is now tearing it up for Vancouver.

That said they have 2 NHL contributors from that draft already and another 3 in Providence developing. I’d stop short of calling it a failure. There are hits and missed in every draft. There are guys taken ahead of the Bruins trio that look like whiffs early on (Strome, Gurianov, Meier, Crouse), and there are guys picked later that look like real players (Boeser, Aho, Barzal, Connor). That’s the nature of the draft. I’ll be happy if the Bruins get 4-5 NHL players out of the 15 draft, and they already have 2.
 

lexrageorge

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Part of the problem is that Senyshyn was forced to play another year in the juniors last season, when he really should have been in the AHL from a development perspective.
 

MiracleOfO2704

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Part of the problem is that Senyshyn was forced to play another year in the juniors last season, when he really should have been in the AHL from a development perspective.
Meh. Consider the reason he was a surprise at 15: he’d played a lot of 4th line minutes with the Soo Greyhounds. That he only just started playing top-6 minutes in 2015-16 lends itself to keeping him in the OHL for his overage year. Besides, a CHL schedule is way more rigorous than NCAA, so it’s not like he’s going to have the shock of an 80+ game season going to Providence.
 

PedroSpecialK

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I don't have any real issue with how round 1 of 2015 panned out, especially with the reports circulating around draft day that they had a deal with multiple 1sts going to Arizona to allow the B's to step up and draft Hanifin at #3. I don't pin another team getting cold feet on the FO, and ultimately they thought they'd get maximum value (once that deal fell apart) by holding onto the picks.

Debrusk looks to be a player, Zboril was drafted right around where he was billed to go - not to mention the prospect pool was crying out for a defenseman - and Senyshyn is coming along in Providence. Senyshyn in particular was always going to be on a slower development path. Tacking on the haul of Carlo, Forsbacka-Karlsson, and Lauzon in round 2, and it could be argued that draft has set the Bruins up for the next 1-4 years (and has already paid dividends as of 2016-17 with Carlo).

Regarding Connor and Barzal, it sucks to see players picked after the Bruins' crop excel, but that's going to happen in every draft. Connor in particular seemed to take a huge leap forward in the year following the draft, exceeding his USHL production rates as a (slightly overaged) freshman at Michigan before going pro.

This is lightyears away from, say, trading down from a position to pick Parise and drafting Mark Stuart.
 

lexrageorge

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Meh. Consider the reason he was a surprise at 15: he’d played a lot of 4th line minutes with the Soo Greyhounds. That he only just started playing top-6 minutes in 2015-16 lends itself to keeping him in the OHL for his overage year. Besides, a CHL schedule is way more rigorous than NCAA, so it’s not like he’s going to have the shock of an 80+ game season going to Providence.
I should have clarified: I'm fairly certain there wasn't much choice. Senyshyn wasn't ready for the NHL in 2016, and he didn't meet the age requirement for AHL.

My point was that he had already scored 45 goals in 66 games in OHL in 2015-16, and so there really wasn't a lot to be gained by another year in Sault Ste-Marie. The AHL is a step above the OHL, and he likely would have benefited from the higher level of competition. Probably doesn't matter much. He still has the potential to be a Top 9 forward, and if so, that would mean the first round is even further from being a "big failure".
 

cshea

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Neely and Sweeney actually did media today. They wait until the Thursday before Christmas weekend to do it, but hey it is something.

On Zboril/Senyshyn- He’s happy with their progress in Providence. Zboril getting big minutes in Providence. Senyshyn coming on of late, they want him to work on rounding out his game instead of being a one trick pony PP specialist. He said ideally that when they call players up they want it to be for the long haul. Near the end of last season he sat down with DeBrusk and told him that they were very happy with his progress, had no doubts he could play for them for a game or 2, but they wanted him to be fully ready to come up to compete and win a job and last the season. They try and put the kids through all situations to they have more complete games when they come up (PK, defending leads, etc). That said, the development curves for players are different. Carlo and McAvoy jumped in; took DeBrusk and Heinen longer.

He also didn’t seem too enthused about cashing in some prospects for established veterans.
 

Salem's Lot

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Neely and Sweeney actually did media today. They wait until the Thursday before Christmas weekend to do it, but hey it is something.

On Zboril/Senyshyn- He’s happy with their progress in Providence. Zboril getting big minutes in Providence. Senyshyn coming on of late, they want him to work on rounding out his game instead of being a one trick pony PP specialist. He said ideally that when they call players up they want it to be for the long haul. Near the end of last season he sat down with DeBrusk and told him that they were very happy with his progress, had no doubts he could play for them for a game or 2, but they wanted him to be fully ready to come up to compete and win a job and last the season. That said, the development curves for players are different. Carlo and McAvoy jumped in; took DeBrusk and Heinen longer.

He also didn’t seem too enthused about cashing in some prospects for established veterans.
That last paragraph is my favorite part of the interview. They could build something really good here with this prospect pipeline if they're patient.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Meh. Consider the reason he was a surprise at 15: he’d played a lot of 4th line minutes with the Soo Greyhounds. That he only just started playing top-6 minutes in 2015-16 lends itself to keeping him in the OHL for his overage year. Besides, a CHL schedule is way more rigorous than NCAA, so it’s not like he’s going to have the shock of an 80+ game season going to Providence.
Not to nitpick, but he didn't play an overage year in the OHL - he would have been an overager if they had sent him back this year.
Regarding Connor and Barzal, it sucks to see players picked after the Bruins' crop excel, but that's going to happen in every draft. Connor in particular seemed to take a huge leap forward in the year following the draft, exceeding his USHL production rates as a (slightly overaged) freshman at Michigan before going pro.
"Excel?" IMO, the jury is still out on whether they will ultimately be better than DeBrusk.
 

PedroSpecialK

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Agreed, early returns would’ve been a better term to use, but there was an immediate overreaction by fans (myself included)to condemn the B’s for taking neither of those guys
 

Eddie Jurak

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Agreed, early returns would’ve been a better term to use, but there was an immediate overreaction by fans (myself included)to condemn the B’s for taking neither of those guys
I remember, and I'm not saying that they won't ultimately be better than the guys the Bruins took. I just think the jury is still out. DeBrusk is just seeming to hit his stride in the NHL over the past dozen games or so, and Senyshyn is more of a toolsy project but already showing signs of improvement. There are a lot of good players who hadn't made any impact by 2.5 seasons after their draft year, Brad Marchand (3rd leading goal scorer and 9th in points in his draft year) for one obvious one.
 

burstnbloom

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I've seen a fair amount of Barzal and about 5 games of Connor. They have better numbers (marginally for Connor), but I'm not overly impressed with either of them. Barzal is fast and he's pretty slick but he seems like he can be pretty easily neutralized by good checking teams. He puts up a ton of points on the power play and has 20 of his 32 points against bottom 15 teams. He's good and I'd be happy to have him, but people talk about him like he's Steven Stamkos, but he's probably Matt Duchene. I think if the narrative was that hes a good player and not a superstar, I'd be more into him. Connor, I am not impressed with. He is invisible if he doesn't score, he plays with other slick skating shooters but they are terrible defensively and get hemmed in all the time. He's a dirt poor man's Phil Kessel. I think I prefer Debrusk now and I definitely do going forward. I don't stress Boeser. He is awesome and it would be great to have him, but he's developed better and quicker than anyone would have expected and they would have been similarly panned for choosing him as they were for choosing Debrusk. Either way, I'm so sick of re-litigating the 2015 draft. This team took probably the best player in the 2014 draft at 25, the third best player in the 2016 draft at 14 and guys like Carlo, Heinen and Bjork with later picks and we're still complaining about their drafting prowess because of Kyle fucking Connor?
 

veritas

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Ok, "pretty big failure" was way too harsh, I admit, but glad I got some chatter going here. "Below expected value for picks 13, 14, and 15" is probably more accurate. And in my next sentence I said the Bruins have been very good overall at drafting since 2014. So I'm not sure who's complaining about their drafting prowess here. I don't think it's unfair to point out that they didn't do great with those picks when someone claims it's part of the best back to back drafts since Bourque/Pederson, which is an equally hyperbolic statement.

For me, Barzal is the big miss. I've only seen a couple games, but he's looking like a stud both from what I've seen, his point totals, and the underlying numbers. Yeah, he gets a lot of points on the power play, *and* he is a much better 5v5 player than DeBrusk right now. And he's historically been a better player, at every level. So I think the onus is on the DeBrusk supporters to provide evidence to why they think he'll be better. I don't see any. The argument that Barzal is perimeter player, here are the 5v5 individual and team shot charts for him and DeBrusk this season, the data strongly contradicts that assessment:

http://hockeyviz.com/fixedImg/shotLoc5v5/1718/NYI/barzama97/wrap

http://hockeyviz.com/fixedImg/shotLoc5v5/1718/BOS/debruja96/wrap

http://hockeyviz.com/fixedImg/teamShotLocOffWi/1718/NYI/barzama97/wrap

http://hockeyviz.com/fixedImg/teamShotLocOffWi/1718/BOS/debruja96/wrap


Also, there actually aren't really a lot of very good players who struggle in the AHL at 20. It's a red flag for a forward not to be able to be anywhere close to a point per game. Marchand is a pretty big outlier when it comes to players developing later in their careers, and he was a much better AHL player than DeBrusk/Senyshn/Zboril at 20.

But overall, I'm impressed with their drafting and development process. It's a crapshoot for even the best teams, which I think the Bruins are one of. I like the fact that they're not afraid to trust their scouts over conventional wisdom, but it's still worth discussing when that doesn't go right.
 

burstnbloom

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Ya i wasn't saying, and I don't think anyone is saying, that Debrusk is better right now than Barzal. I just am not nearly as impressed as the "he's the best player on the islanders" crowd. I think he's a good player who has offensive and PP value. It's the Connor and chabot lament that pisses me off.
 

Eddie Jurak

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"Below expected value for picks 13, 14, and 15" is probably more accurate.
And still ridiculously premature.

I don't think it's unfair to point out that they didn't do great with those picks when someone claims it's part of the best back to back drafts since Bourque/Pederson, which is an equally hyperbolic statement.
I think it is crazy to judge a draft negatively based on where the players are less then 2.5 seasons after the draft.

Also, you are misinterpreting my comment - I said it could go down as the best back to back drafts since 1979 and 1980, not that it already was the best since then.

For me, Barzal is the big miss.
Could Barzal be a miss? Sure. But it is wrong to write about that as if it is a certainty. DeBrusk is just now establishing himself as an NHL player. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to judge him against guys who are moving a little faster - there's no iron law of prospect progression.

We don't know what the next 3-5 years are going to bring for any of these players, and yet you treat it like a certainty.
 

MiracleOfO2704

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I think any talk of grading 2015’s draft now is a fools’ errand, and for two reasons:

-defence men tend to have funny development tracks. Dennis Seidenberg is a wonderful example, bouncing from franchise to franchise for a LONG time before pairing with Chara in Boston and hitting his stride.

-Senyshyn was a known project. As I said earlier, he was a young, raw kid on a deep Soo Greyhounds team, so his minutes were tough to come by. It’s also why I didn’t worry about him staying in the OHL last year despite his breakout 2015-16. It’d Be good for him to prove his track is upward, and it appears that it’s going that way in Providence as well.

Come back to us in 3 more years, and maybe we can start discussing where 2015 falls on the grading curve.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I think any talk of grading 2015’s draft now is a fools’ errand, and for two reasons:

-defence men tend to have funny development tracks. Dennis Seidenberg is a wonderful example, bouncing from franchise to franchise for a LONG time before pairing with Chara in Boston and hitting his stride.

-Senyshyn was a known project. As I said earlier, he was a young, raw kid on a deep Soo Greyhounds team, so his minutes were tough to come by. It’s also why I didn’t worry about him staying in the OHL last year despite his breakout 2015-16. It’d Be good for him to prove his track is upward, and it appears that it’s going that way in Providence as well.

Come back to us in 3 more years, and maybe we can start discussing where 2015 falls on the grading curve.
Exactly. There is a lot of potential here. We can take as a given that not all of it will pan out. But what we have seen to date and what is in the pipeline looks promising, and it is just to early to know for sure how it all turns out.

I'm not meaning to knock Barzal or anyone else, either. Even if he ends up being the best player taken at or after 13, this could still be a great draft for the Bruins and Zboril/DeBrusk/Senyshyn could still be good value for 13/14/15.
 

cshea

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Bjork assigned to Providence:


Probably the right move. Someone needed to be sent down to activate McQuaid. This will get him some regular ice time, which is more beneficial than an extended stay in the press box. The B’s have 3 games and then the bye week, so this will at least keep him playing. I’m sure he’ll be one of the first up when the need arises.

He has shown flashes, but I think he’s been a bit skittish at times. Seemed like he was rushing decisions when he had the puck.
 

lexrageorge

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The assumption is that Bjork got concussed when he got hurt in November, and he clearly hasn't been the same since. I agree he's much better off getting steady ice time in Providence for a couple of weeks at least.
 

cshea

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In a related story, Providence is loaded. They are in first place and now added Cehlarik and Bjork.

Top 6 is something like:

Agostino - JFK - Cehlarik
Beleskey - Czarnik -Bjork

Those 2 lines could probably hold their own in the NHL. Then they still have Senyshyn, Fitzgerald (injured) and the D prospects.
 

TheRealness

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It's the right move. Spooner has been a different person, let alone player this year, with his willingness to physically engage, and he deserves that spot. I love Bjork, but he could use time in the AHL to quiet his game down.
 

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Why? He’s not blocking anyone.
Not only is he not blocking anyone but he's a really good AHL player. It would be great if all the guys that won't play for the big club this year get the experience of a deep playoff run in the AHL. Agostino helps them do that.
 

Salem's Lot

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In a related story, Providence is loaded. They are in first place and now added Cehlarik and Bjork.

Top 6 is something like:

Agostino - JFK - Cehlarik
Beleskey - Czarnik -Bjork

Those 2 lines could probably hold their own in the NHL. Then they still have Senyshyn, Fitzgerald (injured) and the D prospects.
I can't wait to see Donato centering those two in May.
 

TheRealness

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Jaw meet floor!
You know how much I don't like Spooner's game, but he seems to have grown a pair of balls over the summer. I am skeptical it will last, but he deserves the spot for now. He's much more willing to battle, which he never was prior, and he seems to have grown comfortable playing at either forward spot. I think he's been playing RW on Krejci's line, and has looked comfortable there.
 

joe dokes

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You know how much I don't like Spooner's game, but he seems to have grown a pair of balls over the summer. I am skeptical it will last, but he deserves the spot for now. He's much more willing to battle, which he never was prior, and he seems to have grown comfortable playing at either forward spot. I think he's been playing RW on Krejci's line, and has looked comfortable there.
I see much the same thing. My Spooner ceiling has always been adequate (and often maddening) 3rd line center with above average offensive skills and little else. Which, to my eyes, is why he so often looked lost at wing. Maybe he's been told, or figured out, that he's not playing center anytime soon for the Bruins, not no way, not no how, and his play is a function of buying in since its permanent.
Whatever the reason, a skilled player *should* do well with Krejci, and if DeBrusk doesn't hit a wall, he's a good and tough on the other wing. Its nice for him to have a real spot that he's playing well at, since he is good on the PP.
 

TFP

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They’re getting to the point where they need to fish or cut bait in trades with some of them to maximize value, which is an awesome “problem” to have.

That’s defintiely Sweeney’s biggest challenge the next 2-4 years, identifying who to keep and who to move. I’m gaining more confidence that he’s up for the challenge.
 

TheShynessClinic

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Between here and everywhere.
Trent Frederic with a hat trick for Team USA in the World Junior Bronze Medal game versus Czech Republic.
His first goal was awesome.

Playing high on the penalty kill, he poke-checked the puck away from the defensemen, got a great jump and a step on the defender, protected the puck, and fired a mid-stride laser shortside on the goalie.

Everyone here (myself included) absolutely trashed this pick when they made it..but man he's looked great lately.