(Photo: Alan Sullivan)
If anyone was wondering what Don Sweeney was going to do as General Manager of the Boston Bruins, they may be wishing they hadn’t asked. For a vocal majority of the fans, today’s announcements of trades of Dougie Hamilton and Milan Lucic resulted in an 8.7 magnitude on the Richter scale. Heads were scratched. Fists were pounded. And everyone had an opinion.
The Hamilton trade seemed to have the most people asking questions—fans and media alike.
“We extended Dougie a very significant contract offer, and it didn’t lead us to where we thought we’d be able to…with him being comfortable being a part of our group long term,” Sweeney told assembled media at the NHL Draft. “So that sort of changed the course a little bit.”
The Calgary Flames gave up the 15th, 45th and 52nd picks in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft for the rights to Hamilton who becomes a restricted free agent on July 1. For more on the Calgary side of things, you can read Allison Gallagher’s piece “Flames Acquire Dougie Hamilton from Bruins for 15th, 45th, and 52nd Draft Picks” which includes quotes from a conference call including Hamilton that took place shortly after the announcement.
The trade of Lucic to the Los Angeles Kings netted the Boston organization with the 13th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, goaltender Martin Jones and prospect Colin Miller, who spent the past season with the Calder Cup-winning Manchester Monarchs.
“We felt all along that Tuukka [Rask] was put in a tough spot last year,” Sweeney said about his current plethora of goalies. “And we’re very comfortable now.”
When it all shook out the Bruins had three picks in a row in the first round of the draft—a first in NHL Draft history—and some suspected that Sweeney was planning to create a package that would allow him to move up in the draft. There was some speculation that his goal was to get high enough to grab Boston College defenseman Noah Hanifin (who went 5th to the Carolina Hurricanes). However, that didn’t happen and instead the Bruins used all three of their draft picks and acquired a defenseman, a left winger and a right winger with those picks.
There was little surprise when Sweeney announced the acquisition of Jakub Zboril with his first of those picks. Zboril is a gritty player who has fast feet.
“We think he’s a solid two-way player,” reported Directory of NHL Central Scouting, Dan Marr. “His game with the puck, without the puck, there aren’t many holes in his game.”
The Saint John Sea Dogs blue liner finished third in scoring among rookie defensemen in the QMJHL. In 44 games he compiled 33 points (13 goals and 20 assists).
With their 14th pick, the one the Bruins had originally, Sweeney announced the selection of Jake DeBrusk a left winger from the Swift Current Broncos of the WHL. This was another smart choice for Boston given his production and hard work.
“His work ethic is off the charts but what also helps are those 42 goals he scored,” reported NHL Central Scouting’s Peter Sullivan. “He’s a 40-goal score who does the dirty work in front of the net. His greatest strength is his compete level.”
During his second season with the Broncos, in 72 games, he led the team with 81 points (42 goals and 39 assists). His father is Louie DeBrusk who played 401 result season NHL games with the Edmonton Oilers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Phoenix Coyotes and Chicago Blackhawks from 1991-2003,
The third choice with the 15th overall pick was used to select Zachary Senyshyn of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Expected not to go until the second round, some were surprised by this choice. The right winger is known for his speed though, and while Bruins head coach Claude Julien doesn’t like to hear it, the Bruins have sometimes been out-skated in critical moments.
“Senyshyn is a hard working up and down winger. [He] is a powerful skater who flies down the wing and can be difficult to contain due to his speed,” according to HockeyProspects.com. “[He] is the type of player who could turn into a solid up and down winger who does a lot of the little things right, while providing a little bit of offense at the NHL level.”
The OHL rookie finished second in that league both in goals (26) and points (45) in the 66 games he played for the Soo.
As things stand, the Bruins have three picks in the second round of the draft and one each in rounds three through seven to complete Sweeney’s inaugural draft as GM. Of course by the time the second round begins at 10 am on Saturday those numbers could have changed.
Regardless, this season’s development camp, which will take place Tuesday July 14 through Friday July 17 at the Bruins practice facility—Ristuccia Arena—in Wilmington, Massachusetts, will be the first look at these new acquisitions for many Bruins fans. On-ice practices are open to the public.