Bruins Prospect News and Notes

veritas

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Pronman is a lot higher on Zboril and Frederic than I am, and lower on Steen and Lauzon.

Lauzon is a pretty low ceiling guy, so while he may be more likely to be a borderline NHLer than a lot of the players ranked above him, he doesn't really have much upside. If we're lucky, he turns into a left handed Kevan Miller.

I love the report on Kyle Keyser. Goalies are impossible to judge accurately based on CHL stats, I didn't realize how highly thought of his skills were.

I think Beecher and Studnicka are by far the most important prospects they have. They need at least one of those guys to develop into a top 6 forward as Bergeron and Krejci decline.
 

burstnbloom

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B’s drop to 29th in Pronman’s annual farm system rankings. He had them at 27 last year. It is behind the Athletic paywall.

https://theathletic.com/1126838/2019/08/13/2019-nhl-farm-system-rankings-no-29-boston-bruins/
He has the prospect rankings as:

1. Jack Studnicka
2. Urho Vaakanainen
3. John Beecher
4. Kyle Keyser
5. Trent Frederic
6. Karson Kuhlman
7. Jakub Lauko
8. Jakub Zboril
9. Pavel Shen
10. Oskar Steen
11. Jeremy Swayman
12. Zach Senyshyn
13. Cam Hughes
14. Peter Cehlarik
15. Curtis Hall
16. Axel Andersson
17. Matias Mantykivi
HM: Jeremy Lauzon, Victor Berglund

Pronman defines a prospect as 27 or younger with less than 25 games of NHL experience in the previous season or 50 games overall experience. Thus Clifton, Bjork and JFK “graduated.” He had Donato as their top prospect last year and he’s obviously moved on.

Pronman has always been pretty low on the Bruins. They have a lot of high floor low ceiling types, and no real blue chippers. The weirdest ranking/discrepancy to me is Lauzon as an afterthought. The Bruins at least have him above Zboril on the depth chart.
I used to think Pronman just hates the Bruins but its really that their development style is in contrast to what he considers "valuable." He consistently gives "skill" players more benefit of the doubt because ( I think) he believes they have more of a way to make an impact in the NHL, whereas guys like Carlo or Vaakanainen will always be too dependent on being sound defensively. There is a long history of Pronman having Bruins prospects rated lower than other evaluators though this year pretty much everyone is down on the system.
 

Steve Dillard

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burstnbloom

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Not just him. Sporting News has them at 26th. Maybe it really is not personal, but instead just that reaching for players well ahead of their consensus ratings is not a great strategy.

NHL farm system rankings: Best, worst prospect pipelines for 2019-20, from 1 to 31
The farm is not at its peak right now but Pronman is traditionally very down on the Bruins. His pessimism towards their drafts/development system is well documented over the years. That said, Dom had a study on all player development programs in the nhl from 2013 to present and the bruins represented the most productive system in hockey. There is a clearly a disconnect between the tools prospect evaluators and the Bruins draft strategies. It's hard to argue against the Bruins. For all the well publicized criticism them get for 2015 they drafted the best player in the draft in 2014 @ 25 (then donato, heinen and bjork the rest of the draft), Debrusk and Carlo in 2015 (and likely 2-3 more NHLers from that draft), the best D in the 2016 draft @ 14 and have a number of picks since then that are overperforming their draft position (Studnicka, Lauko, Shen, Andersson.)

So, sure this offseason the press hasn't been great to the bruins farm system, but they keep churning out good players without the fanfare. The truth of their development ability is probably somewhere in between the fandom and the toolsy prospect evaluators.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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The farm is not at its peak right now but Pronman is traditionally very down on the Bruins. His pessimism towards their drafts/development system is well documented over the years. That said, Dom had a study on all player development programs in the nhl from 2013 to present and the bruins represented the most productive system in hockey. There is a clearly a disconnect between the tools prospect evaluators and the Bruins draft strategies. It's hard to argue against the Bruins. For all the well publicized criticism them get for 2015 they drafted the best player in the draft in 2014 @ 25 (then donato, heinen and bjork the rest of the draft), Debrusk and Carlo in 2015 (and likely 2-3 more NHLers from that draft), the best D in the 2016 draft @ 14 and have a number of picks since then that are overperforming their draft position (Studnicka, Lauko, Shen, Andersson.)

So, sure this offseason the press hasn't been great to the bruins farm system, but they keep churning out good players without the fanfare. The truth of their development ability is probably somewhere in between the fandom and the toolsy prospect evaluators.
This is a good way to describe it.

Aside from the Kessel picks, they haven't had a top 10 pick in over a decade. Because of that team success, they've never really been in position to sell at the deadline and recoup extra picks and prospects. They've also traded Rd 1-3 picks fairly regularly so they aren't getting as many bites at the apple. A low ranking of pure prospect quality is fine as long as people look at the context.
 

cshea

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They’ve traded two 3rds (16,17), a first (18), and a 2nd (19).

They seem to be placing a premium on skating which has led them to picking high floor, perhaps low ceiling guys. Beecher and Vaakanainen are two guys that were touted as excellent skaters and will almost certainly have NHL careers but the questions will be if they have enough offense for a top 6/4 role at their positions. Lauko was deemed one of the best skaters in his draft. Andersson can also skate well, and going back to 2015, the only thing everyone agreed on was Senyshyn’s skating ability. We’ll see where it gets them, but their current strategy seems to be to draft elite skaters and go from there. Pronman listed 19 players, 7 of which have already played in an NHL game, 2 more could make it this year.

I haven’t gone roster by roster but the Bruins also seems to be one of the better teams at finding NHL players in the undrafted free agent market. Krug is one of the best all time. They had Connor Clifton and Karson Kuhlman playing in the SCF last year and both look to have NHL careers ahead of them, albeit not super stars. Kevan Miller has been a useful pro, ditto Frank Vatrano even though he has moved on.
 

burstnbloom

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Agree with Cshea. They've done a really good job of filling in the gaps and getting value on the roster with undrafted free agents and later draft picks. Much better, in fact, than most of their NHL counterparts. They certainly don't have a lot of game breaker types but I'm on board with taking guys like Beecher who have many paths to the NHL over Kaliev who absolutely will need to score at a high level or become Brandon Pirri.

It's really the one part of the Sweeney era where I don't have a ton of gripes. Would it be nice to have Boeser, Chabot and Debrincat? Absolutely yes, but I'm pretty happy they have Pastrnak and McAvoy over Nikita Scherbak and Jakub Chychrun.
 

TFP

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B’s drop to 29th in Pronman’s annual farm system rankings. He had them at 27 last year. It is behind the Athletic paywall.

https://theathletic.com/1126838/2019/08/13/2019-nhl-farm-system-rankings-no-29-boston-bruins/The weirdest ranking/discrepancy to me is Lauzon as an afterthought. The Bruins at least have him above Zboril on the depth chart.
He addressed this today and admitted he had him too low.

I’ve rated a lot of players during the farm ranking series and received a lot of … let’s call it feedback on various players evaluations. Most of the time I don’t budge because the arguments don’t sway me. But one player I think I might have underrated was Bruins defenseman Jeremy Lauzon. I maintain what I said in that his offensive upside is limited, but with his skating, compete level and how he looked up with the Bruins, he should have been higher on their team ranking.
 

cshea

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I know it’s not Pronman’s responsibility, but it was pretty funny that when the article first posted they used a photo of Connor Clifton instead of Lauzon. They’ve since fixed it.

There’s also a clip of Lauko dangling through the wickets of Axel Andersson in the article.
 

Salem's Lot

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There’s really no reason why he shouldn’t play in Providence this year. I wouldn’t be shocked if he helps the big club this year.
 

burstnbloom

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I really hope they keep Lauko in Providence. He could still learn more about his offensive game in the Q but his future is figuring out how to be a buzz saw at speed against guys that want to kill him. He can overpower 17 year olds in the Q and its a run and gun league. I'd prefer to see him grinding it out in the A to see what he can do against adults who don't take kindly to a pest flying down the wing at 100mph.
 

cshea

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Looks like Lauko is sticking for now, he’s still practicing with Providence. Divver has him on the 4th line.

Bjork - Frederic - Hughes
Carey - Studnicka - Steen
Fitzgerald - Gaunce - Senyshyn
Lauko - Shen - Lantosi/Koppanen

Cehlarik cleared and is on the way down to join Providence so that could change things.
 

cshea

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First prospect check-in as most leagues are underway. The Bruins don’t have a ton of prospects outside the organization right now. There’s a Providence thread I’ll update with those players.

QMJHL

Axel Andersson- 7 games 0-6=6

NCAA

John Beecher- 6 games 1-3=4
Jack Becker- 5 games 3-1=4
Quinn Olson- 3 games 1-1=2
Dustyn McFaul- 4 games 0-0=0
Cameron Clarke- 5 games 0-2=2
Curtis Hall- Season hasn’t started
Jeremy Swayman- 6 games .940 save percentage

Beecher and Becker are linemates at Michigan.

Europe

Roman Bychkov- 19 games 3-3=6
Matias Mantykivi- 8 games 0-0=0
Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson- 14 games 2-4=6

Bychkov is playing in the KHL minor league system. Mantykivi in the top Finish league. Included JFK in the event he comes back.
 

McDrew

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I'm really hopeful that being back in Sweden helps JFK figure himself out. It seemed like he was trying to fit into every mold the team needed, rather than figuring out the role he did well and developing that.
 

veritas

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He's 20 years old (will be 21 in January -- really old for juniors), but I just noticed Cederic Pare is lighting the Q on fire right now. 18-19-37 in 16 games with a plus 21. Leading the league in goals by 5.

It's nothing to get too excited about, but he's now a bit of an intriguing prospect.

edit: I guess he's going back into the draft because he wasn't offered an ELC by the Bruins. So, nevermind.
 

BigMike

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He's 20 years old (will be 21 in January -- really old for juniors), but I just noticed Cederic Pare is lighting the Q on fire right now. 18-19-37 in 16 games with a plus 21. Leading the league in goals by 5.

It's nothing to get too excited about, but he's now a bit of an intriguing prospect.

edit: I guess he's going back into the draft because he wasn't offered an ELC by the Bruins. So, nevermind.
Yeah apparently his skating never improved at all. His best chance a the league was as a 4th line grinder, but he can't skate enough to make it as that.

But what this offensive burst is showing that Alexis Lafrenière is the real deal. He's just dominating the league, and with mediocre talent around him
 

cshea

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Beecher scored twice last night in Michigan’s 4-1 win over UNH. He leads a bad Michigan team in scoring with 4-4=8 in 13 games. Jack Becker also scored, 4-2=6 in 12 games for him.
 

cshea

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Haven’t updated this in a while. Let’s do a pre-deadline inventory of the system.

NCAA

John Beecher- 22 games 7-5=12
Jack Becker- 22 games 6-3=9
Curtis Hall- 17 games 13-2=15
Quinn Olson- 23 games 3-6=9
Cameron Clarke- 21 games 1-3=4
Dustyn McFaul- 24 games 1-4=5
Jeremy Swayman- .934

QMJHL/USHL

Axel Andersson- 39 games 2-20=23
Jake Schmaltz- 36 games 9-1

Europe

Matias Mantykivi- 29 gams 3-1=4
Roman Bychkov- 50 games 7-25=22
Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson- 31 games 5-8=13

Providence

Jack Studnicka- 46 games 17-18=35
Trent Frederic- 45 games 7-19=26
Oskar Steen- 46 games 6-10=16
Zach Senyshyn- 28 games 3-4=7
Jakub Lauko- 18 games 4-4=8
Jakub Zboril- 44 games 2-10=12
Urho Vaakanainen- 42 games 4-8=13
Daniel Vladar- .930

Thay covers most of the important prospects.
 

j44thor

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Production wise that is pretty underwhelming.
Outside of Stud/Vaak, does anyone else have value?

Sad that Senyshyn doesn't even appear capable of living up to his floor of Daniel Paille.
 

Salem's Lot

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Production wise that is pretty underwhelming.
Outside of Stud/Vaak, does anyone else have value?

Sad that Senyshyn doesn't even appear capable of living up to his floor of Daniel Paille.
They don’t have any true high end prospects, but they have plenty of guys that can and probably will be good bottom 6 forwards, 2nd/3rd pair defenseman and back up goalies in the NHL on Entry-level/RFA contracts. Studnicka has the chance of being a 2nd line center on a good team if everything breaks right. That is extremely valuable in a hard cap league. The only true mistake they’ve made is drafting Senyshyn over Barzal, which has been rehashed a million times and hopefully Sweeney and Neely learned from that.
 

cshea

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They’ve drafted late and traded a bunch of 2’s and a 1 in recent years so yeah, it’s a little slim. They’ve mostly hit on the high picks with the exception of Senyshyn and Zboril.

I think Frederic is coming along nicely. He’s passed last seasons point total in 10 less games, is 3rd on the team in shots but has been a bit unlucky shooting just 6.6%. Steen’s been hot of late, points in 3 of his last 5 games with a 3 pointer in his last game. Lauko’s got upside and is one of the youngest players in the AHL but he’s been hit by the injury bug.

Beecher’s doing OK playing as a freshman on a bad team. Hall looks somewhat intriguing with 13 goals in 17 games, plus he made the WJC team. Swayman is in the midst of a very strong NCAA career.
 

Grogan's NeckRol

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They’ve drafted late and traded a bunch of 2’s and a 1 in recent years so yeah, it’s a little slim. They’ve mostly hit on the high picks with the exception of Senyshyn and Zboril.

I think Frederic is coming along nicely. He’s passed last seasons point total in 10 less games, is 3rd on the team in shots but has been a bit unlucky shooting just 6.6%. Steen’s been hot of late, points in 3 of his last 5 games with a 3 pointer in his last game. Lauko’s got upside and is one of the youngest players in the AHL but he’s been hit by the injury bug.

Beecher’s doing OK playing as a freshman on a bad team. Hall looks somewhat intriguing with 13 goals in 17 games, plus he made the WJC team. Swayman is in the midst of a very strong NCAA career.
I saw Beecher live earlier in the season and I think the bolded is right. Size and speed as advertised but I was surprised at his vision. Better team and that would translate to more points.
 

kenneycb

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Hall is making a run at the Cy Young with a 13-2 stat line going into the home stretch of the NCAA season. Those guys always give me pause.

Curious on Swayman. Numbers look really good for a fringe tourney team but I feel like college goalies have an especially high degree of variance. Still waiting on Zane McIntyre's breakout...
 

Salem's Lot

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Hall is making a run at the Cy Young with a 13-2 stat line going into the home stretch of the NCAA season. Those guys always give me pause.

Curious on Swayman. Numbers look really good for a fringe tourney team but I feel like college goalies have an especially high degree of variance. Still waiting on Zane McIntyre's breakout...
He’s been good. They play zero defense in front of him.
 

Salem's Lot

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Zack Senyshyn has goals in consecutive games in Providence. Hopefully this is the start of getting there offensively. I’m not ready to write this kid off yet.
 

cshea

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Zack Senyshyn has goals in consecutive games in Providence. Hopefully this is the start of getting there offensively. I’m not ready to write this kid off yet.
I’m not ready to write him off as an NHL contributor but I don’t think it’s going to be through scoring. He’s almost 3 full years in at the AHL. 33 goals in 173 games. 26 and 24 points in his first 2 years in 66 games. This year he is on a 66 game pace of...24 points. He kind of is what he is offensively. Guys don’t usually break out after 3+ years in the A.

Maybe he can help as a bottom 6 type but there’s no real easy path to him becoming a regular for Boston.
 

BigMike

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So Vlader backs up Rask next year and Swayman starts in Providence?
Possibly, they really like Kyle Keyser as well.

In terms of Vladar, I personally would do that. I think with Tukka's contract up after next year the Bruins really have to see if Vladar can play. I know others are big fans of keeping him in Providence and resigning Halak, but I just can't see how the money works there
 

Salem's Lot

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Possibly, they really like Kyle Keyser as well.

In terms of Vladar, I personally would do that. I think with Tukka's contract up after next year the Bruins really have to see if Vladar can play. I know others are big fans of keeping him in Providence and resigning Halak, but I just can't see how the money works there
I forgot about Keyser. Then have him and Swayman split in Providence, and Vlader backs up Rask. Vlader has earned the look, and frankly, Halak has earned a deal with a team that he can compete for a starting job with. Vlader will likely cost at least $2 million less, and they are going to need that money.
 

Haunted

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Possibly, they really like Kyle Keyser as well.

In terms of Vladar, I personally would do that. I think with Tukka's contract up after next year the Bruins really have to see if Vladar can play. I know others are big fans of keeping him in Providence and resigning Halak, but I just can't see how the money works there
I wonder what will happen across the league with regards to the salary cap. I know it was projected to go up, but how can it, at this point? Guys like Halak will get squeezed out. Krug is hitting FA at the worst possible time.
 

cshea

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Figured I'd put a roundup together. Most of the prospects are playing, or trying to get their seasons off the ground.

NCAA

John Beecher- Michigan, 4 games 1-0=1
Jack Becker- Michigan, 4 games 0-2=2, also named captain
Dustin McFaul- Clarkson - Season starts this week
Trevor Kuntar- Boston College- season was supposed to start last week but games were canceled due to the virus.
Quinn Olson- Minnesota Duluth- Season starts this week
Curtis Hall- Yale, they are not playing this season.

I'm not sure what kind of options they have for Hall, it's probably not ideal for his development for him to be idle for a season. He is a real prospect, IMO, 17-10-27 in 28 games last season and also played for the US at the WJC's. He's 19 so I don't know if they could find a place for him in a Canadian Major Junior league but I think that impacts his college eligibility. Similarly, I think signing an ATO or some sort of contract with an AHL team to keep him playing would also impact his remaining eligibility at Yale. If they think he's ready, maybe they just sign him?

EUROPE

Matias Mantykivi- Swedish Elite League - 15 games. 0-3=3
Roman Bychkov- VHL (I think this is the KHL's version of the AHL)- 20 games, 1-3=4
Jakub Lauko- loaned to Czech League- 10 games 2-3=5
Jakub Zboril- loaned to Czech League- 10 games 0-3-3
Urho Vaakanainen- Swedish Elite League- Just loaned there on Monday, hasn't played yet. Appears to be same team as Mantykivi.
Daniel Vladar- Cap friendly says he was loaned out yesterday. Not sure where he is headed, he's Czech, so presumably the Czech League.
Oskar Steen- Swedish Elite League - 15 games 10-3=13
Robert Lantosi- Slovakian League - 9 games 1-7=8
Joona Koppanen- Swedish Elite League- 7 games 2-2=4
Victor Berglund- Swedish Elite League- 16 games 2-10=12

With the exception of Mantykivi and Bychkov, these players are all signed by Boston and will either be with Boston or Providence when the seasons start. The AHL is tentatively scheduled to begin 2/5.

USHL

Mason Lohrei- Green Bay - 5 games 2-4=6
Jack Schmaltz- Green Bay - 5 games 3-2=5
Mason Langenbrunner- Sioux City - 3 games 0-0=0
Riley Duran - Youngstown - 3 games 0-0=0

These are all 2020 picks except for Schmaltz (2019). Lohrei was our top pick this year and is going to Ohio State next season. Langenbrunner is committed to Harvard. As an Ivy, Harvard is not playing hockey this year so I don't know if that altered plans for this year but he's obviously still playing in the USHL.

I believe that covers everyone. I didn't include JFK, Koko and Cehlarik who are playing overseas but I think have passed the prospect threshold and are unlikely to return. The rest of Providence is idle until training camp. The Bruins do not have a prospect playing major junior hockey in Canada.
 

cshea

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Who should we be getting excited about? I'm so out of touch with the Bruins farm system.
It's a bottom 5-10 system so there isn't a ton to get excited about. Their top prospect is Jack Studnicka who we saw in the playoffs. Vaakanainen is probably #2. Both of those guys will be in Boston or Providence this season. Zboril's been around forever and it appears is on the verge of getting his shot. Reports were good out of Providence last year so we'll have to see how it goes.

Of the players I listed, Beecher is the highest drafted player. He was their first round pick in 2019. Big center who can skate. Should play in the NHL but his offense is a question mark and will end up determining if he's a top 2 or bottom 2 center. I like Lauko. He's a scoring winger who was a 3rd round pick in 2018. He had an injury riddled 2019 season, but did play 22 games for Providence and was one of the youngest (if not the youngest) players in the league. Curtis Hall is a real prospect, IMO, but I don't know where he'll play this year, if he plays at all. Mason Lohrei was their top pick this year. He was considered a reach by most pundits so make of it what you will. He's a big left shot, mobile defenseman. He was drafted as an overager (he's 19, turns 20 in January). Vladar has made it to the NHL, albeit under less than ideal circumstances, but has had a strong start to his pro career.

The rest are too early to tell.
 

cshea

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Kuntar scored twice in a 9-0 BC rout of Providence on Saturday. He's off to a nice start in his college career, 3-1=4 in 4 games. I believe BC is among the higher ranked teams in college hockey so nice to see him contributing early on.

On the flip side, Beecher is off to a sluggish start with 1-1=2 in 8 games and only 9 SOG. The caveat here is i'm only checking box scores and haven't seen a minute of him play. The box scores don't always tell the full story, but I was hoping for a bit of a step up in production from Beecher. On some line charts Michigan has put out there, he's been centering their top line. Offense was always going to be a question mark with him.

Not too much action elsewhere. The Finish league shut down due to the virus so Vaakanainen and others playing in that league are now idle again. Vaak had a goal in 2 games before the shutdown. Zboril seems to be doing well in the Czech league, 1-7=8 in 15 games so far. Mason Lohrei and Jake Schmaltz are tied for the early team scoring lead for the Green Bay Gamblers with 8 points each in 6 games. So that's nice.

WJC' season is coming up and as far as I know are still going to be played. My internet detective skills indicate the Bruins should have 3 players in the tournament. Beecher for the US, Mantykivi for Finland and Bychkov for Russia.
 

cshea

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I haven't been including Zech because he's technically not a Bruins prospect. He's only signed to an AHL deal and his rights are not owned by Boston. He could turn a strong AHL performance into a deal with Boston like Connor Clifton did but as of now he's not Bruins property.
 

Lupe Whalewatch

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WJC' season is coming up and as far as I know are still going to be played. My internet detective skills indicate the Bruins should have 3 players in the tournament. Beecher for the US, Mantykivi for Finland and Bychkov for Russia.
Beecher just tested positive for Covid and was taken off US roster.
 

cshea

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Kuntar scored again last night for BC, so he continues his strong start, 4-1=5 in 6 games.

Lohrei continues his hot start as well, 4-7=11 in 8 games to lead his team in scoring. 2019 7th round pick Jake Schmaltz is 2nd with 5-4=9 in 8 games.