Today is the big day, the 2012 NHL Draft, and Pittsburgh is alive with activity as all 30 teams prepare to hand out some hats and jerseys and perhaps change the course of their franchise.
The Boston Bruins, though, are probably going to be pretty quiet. They’re picking much lower this year than they did in 2010 or 2011, and probably won’t try to trade up in the first round of picks.
General manager Peter Chiarelli said that pre-draft trade talk has started to quiet down a bit. He also said that the Bruins don’t have anything significant cooking in terms of trades. (The big story of the day so far is definitely the Sergei Bobrovsky trade to the Columbus Blue Jackets.) Chiarelli estimated a 20 percent chance that the Bruins would move up in the first round.
Also, Tim Thomas has officially waived his no-trade clause, which was going to expire on July 1 anyway. This doesn’t necessarily mean anything yet, although reportedly some teams that are near but not yet at the salary cap floor have started making inquiries. Again, no moves or anything else are official yet, just the fact that his NTC is history. Stay tuned for more details.
The Rant Sports mock draft selected Dalton Thrower as the possible Bruins pick. Thrower is a pretty intriguing choice and could be a good fit for Boston. He’s a two-way defenseman who isn’t afraid to, pardon the pun, throw down with opponents and he plays in the WHL, the Canadian junior league known for its frequent fighters. But he’s often paired against the top lines of his opposing teams and, though he had an injury that affected his season, he still managed 54 points in 66 games with the Saskatoon Blades.
Other guys to keep an eye on are Slater Koekkoek (covered here before), Brendan Gaunce, Brady Skjei and Oscar Dansk.
Now, Gaunce is a center, not a defenseman or goalie, but he’s a big presence. Standing at 6’2″ and weighing 207 pounds, he had a 68-point season with the Belleville Bulls.
Skjei is also a defenseman whose skating has been equated to poetry by one NHL scout. He’s 6’3″ and 203 pounds, honing his craft with the U.S. National Team Development Program and planning to go to the University of Minnesota next year. This season, he appeared in 24 games with the NTDP and put up 12 points.
Dansk is a goalie with Brynas IF in the Swedish junior leagues. He has some North American play under his belt already because he went to Shattuck-St. Mary’s in Minnesota. He didn’t have a great time in the Swedish junior playoffs this year, but that’s just one hiccup, and otherwise he played 28 games and put up a 2.82 goals against average and a .910 save percentage. He was also part of the Swedish team at the World U18 tournament this year and won silver.
Of course, anything can happen between now and the end of the first round. Stay tuned–it could be a pretty interesting day in the NHL.