Saturday, June 27, 2009
The Bruins entered the 2009 NHL Draft in an awkward position. There's little that they really need except for depth. And their minor league system is already full of potential 3rd line forwards and 5th defensemen. But they do carry a bit too much money on their ledgers for the shrinking salary cap.
1ST ROUND, 25TH PICK, 25TH OVERALL - RW JORDAN CARON - RIMOUSKI (QMJHL)
The Bruins did not trade up in the 1st round, but they did find a guy who seems to fit the Bruins' mold, or at least could. Caron is 6' 2" and around 200 pounds. He scored 26 times in 56 games last season. He'll turn 19 in November, so he has time to develop. He's not a stud, and he's not NHL ready. He's actually a bit of a project. One knock on him is that he has an attitude problem, and he thinks he's tougher than he truly is. But these wrinkles can be easily ironed out in the Bruins' system. Either that, or he'll be thrown out with the trash.
3RD ROUND, 25TH PICK, 86TH OVERALL - D RYAN BUTTON - PRINCE ALBERT (WHL)
One thing that was exposed in the postseason was a lack of depth at defense. To be fair, Matt Hunwick and Andrew Ference went down with injuries. But you can never have enough depth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, especially on the blue line. At 6 feet and 185 pounds, he doesn't bring much size to the position, but he makes up for it in skating and speed. He is an asset on the power play. He just turned 18 in March, so he has time to bulk up, and learn to use that speed intelligently.
4TH ROUND, 21ST PICK, 112TH OVERALL - LW LANE MACDERMID - WINDSOR (OHL)
This guy's a Boston Bruin. He only has 30 goals in 4 seasons up in the Ontario junior league, but he has 502 penalty minutes. He turns 20 this summer, is 6' 3" and 203 pounds. But the Bruins don't carry pure fighters who do nothing but mix it up with their fists. Just look at Lucic, Chara and Bitz, who can brawl with the best of them, but can also skate and perform in all three zones. So while Macdermid might entertain fans in Providence, he'll have to work on all elements of his game before getting a chance in Boston.
6TH ROUND, 25TH PICK, 176TH OVERALL - RW TYLER RANDELL - KITCHENER (OHL)
Randell's a scrapper who can check, can fight, and occasionally pick up "junk" goals when he gets near the net. His skating is suspect, and the Bruins have recently become obsessed with quality skating. If he can improve that part of his game, he has potential to be a 4th liner. But without improved skating, he'll struggle to reach Boston.
7TH ROUND, 25TH PICK, 202TH OVERALL - C BEN SEXTON - NEPEAN (CJHL)
The Bruins ended their draft with the son of the Florida Panthers' assistant GM. Sexton will play at Clarkson in the ECAC, so fans in New England can get a sneak peak when he plays at Harvard, Brown, and Dartmouth.
So that's the draft. Nothing too thrilling. A few guys who might become solid contributors in the NHL, but could also become journeyman AHLers. Almost every one of these guys has one major aspect of their game to work on, but I think one or two will eventually become staples for the B's down the road.
Boston.com's Bruins Blog
Josh Beckett continued his streak of shutout innings with 7 innings of scoreless work, and 6 strikeouts. He wasn't at his absolute best, but he was more than good enough to earn his 9th win. He's 7-1 since the start of May.
In the last three weeks David Ortiz has his 7 HR, with 14 RBI, and a .333 average. What makes me happy is that he's turning on balls and pulling them to right field. His solo shot Friday night was a blast in a park that's unfriendly to HR hitters. And it was off a solid pitcher who was having a very good night.
Ortiz's hot streak has come at a perfect time, because Mike Lowell might be missing some time. Youkilis was at 3rd last night, and Lowell is likely to skip the remainder of the Atlanta series. He might even come up to Boston to get an injection of lubricant for stiffness in his hips.
Man of the Game:
Josh Beckett - 7 IP, 0 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 6 K
Tim Wakefield gets a chance to make his All-Star case on a national stage this afternoon. He faces Javier Vazquez.
AP Photo/John Amis