Boston Bruins history for June 22 involves quite a lot of draft dates.
1991: The 1991 Entry Draft is held at the old, now demolished, Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo. The big controversy here is over number 1 pick Eric Lindros, who refused to sign with the team that drafted him (Quebec Nordiques) and eventually went to Philadelphia in exchange for Peter Forsberg. But a less controversial thing of note is that Dan Kesa, Milan Lucic‘s uncle, is drafted in this class. Here are the Bruins’ selections.
Glen Murray (16th overall): Murray actually played two stints with the Bruins, first from 1991 to 1995 and then from 2001 to 2008. In between those times, he played for Pittsburgh and Los Angeles, but it was with Boston that he had his best offensive season in 2002-03. He had 92 points that year and even went to the All-Star Game. But in 2008, the Bruins put him on waivers and then bought him out to free up salary cap space. This led to a controversy. A few months later, Murray had ankle surgery and claimed that he needed the procedure because of an injury sustained during play. The NHLPA doesn’t let teams buy out injured players, but then Murray also shopped himself around to other teams in summer 2008 claiming he was healthy. Arbitration led to Murray’s claim being ruled against, but the Bruins had to pay out $1.383 million for 2008-09 and 2009-10.
Jozef Stumpel (40th overall): Stumpel also played two separate stints for the Bruins, first in 1991 to 1997 and then in 2001 to 2003. He had a 76-point season in 1996-97 that was only just eclipsed by a 79-point season the next year as part of the Los Angeles Kings. After the lockout, he joined the Florida Panthers for three years, was bought out in 2008 (much like Murray) and went over to play in the KHL. He has also represented Slovakia in many international tournaments, including three Olympics.
Marcel Cousineau (62nd overall): Cousineau never minded the net for the Bruins in his career. He did spend a great deal of time with the Toronto Maple Leafs organization, especially their AHL affiliate, and did much the same with the New York Islanders and the Kings before spending time in the KHL and returning to the Quebec senior leagues. He last played in 2004-05.
Brad Tiley (84th overall): Tiley never suited up for the Bruins. His play career consisted mainly of time with AHL teams, IHL teams and stints in Germany and Austria. He has also assistant coached the junior team in his hometown of Owen Sound.
Mariusz Czerkawski (106th overall): Czerkawski was the first Polish-born and trained player to play in the NHL. Like some of his fellow 1991 draft class Bruins, he did two tours of duty in Boston, first from 1993 to 1996, then 2005-06. Offensively his best seasons came as part of the Islanders and he also went to the All-Star Game with NYI. Short stints with Montreal and Toronto were followed by the Bruins getting him back off waivers, but that was it for his NHL days. He then went to Switzerland for two seasons and retired.
Gary Golczewski (150th overall):
Jay Moser (172nd overall):
Dan Hodge (194th overall):
Steve Norton (216th overall):
Steve Lombardi (238th overall):
Torsten Kienass (260th overall): Not much is known of these late picks.
1996: The 1996 NHL Entry Draft is at the old Kiel Center (Scottrade Center) in St. Louis. This is the last draft featuring the old Winnipeg Jets; the relocation to Phoenix would be made official nine days later. Marco Sturm, who would later become a Bruin, is drafted by San Jose.
Johnathan Aitken (8th overall): Though Aitken was drafted so high, he only played three games with Boston, although he played 135 with the P-Bruins over two years. He also briefly spent time playing in the Czech Republic, returned to the NHL with the Chicago Blackhawks, did more AHL time and played one more year in Austria before retiring.
Geoff Peters (46th overall):
Eric Naud (53rd overall):
Jason Doyle (80th overall): Not much is known of these three picks.
Trent Whitfield (100th overall): At first, Whitfield refused to sign with the Bruins. Instead he went with St. Louis and spent most of his time with the AHL Peoria Rivermen, but in 2009 he went back to the Bruins and signed with them. With his experience, he became captain of the Providence Bruins and did spend much of the season there, though he played in Boston’s 2010 playoff run. An injury to his Achilles tendon led many to believe he’d miss 2010-11 altogether, but he recovered to play 45 games in the minors and went along with the 2011 Stanley Cup run. He was given a Cup ring and a spot in the team photo, but no engraving on the Cup itself. This season, he was still with Providence and played once with Boston.
Elias Abrahamsson (132nd overall):
Chris Lane (155th overall):
Thomas Brown (182nd overall):
Bob Prier (208th overall): Not much is known of these later picks.
Anders Soderberg (234th overall): Soderberg spent the entirety of his career playing in his native Sweden–he is still playing today–and he won the SEL equivalent of the Lady Byng in 2006-07.
2002: Round one of the 2002 NHL draft happens at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Rick Nash goes first overall and Boston’s first round pick doesn’t happen until number 29. They select Hannu Toivonen, who would make his NHL debut in 2005 when Andrew Raycroft was disputing his contract. His first season was shortened by an injury and his second one started inauspiciously, so he was sent down to Providence. Eventually he was traded to St. Louis, played a year back home in Finland, returned to St. Louis, played in Chicago and then went to a Swedish team for two years including 2011-12. At the end of the most recent season, though, financial hardships in the club forced Toivonen to be bought out with no word on where he is going next.
2003: Rounds two through nine of the 2003 NHL draft occur at the Gaylord Entertainment Center in Nashville. Here are the Bruins’ selections:
Patrice Bergeron (45th overall): Bergeron has stayed with Boston ever since his drafting. In 2005, when the club was not doing well at all, then-GM Mike O’Connell decided it was time to model the club after Bergeron instead of Joe Thornton. This decision seems to have paid off. He was seen wearing the A as soon as the 2006-07 season. He overcame a severe concussion suffered in October 2007, sat out the rest of 2007-08 and returned to full form for 2008-09. He even had his first (and only, to date) fight during the 2009 playoffs. He scored his first hat trick in January 2011 and winning the Stanley Cup in 2011 admitted him to the Triple Gold Club. More recently, his play this season earned him the Selke Trophy.
Masi Marjamaki (66th overall): Marjamaki never came to terms with the Bruins and went back into the draft in 2005, being selected by the Islanders. While he did play some time with the Islanders and with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, soon he was scratched for so many games that he asked the team to go back to Finland. They said yes and today he still plays with Ilves Tampere.
Byron Bitz (107th overall): Bitz played four years at Cornell before signing on with the Bruins in 2007. He spent one full season just in Providence and split his second pretty evenly between parent and affiliate clubs, becoming well-known among Bruins fans for his physical style. However, he was traded to Florida in exchange for Dennis Seidenberg and Matt Bartkowski in 2010 and was hobbled by injuries soon thereafter. In fact, injuries erased the 2010-11 season for him and the Panthers made him a free agent, so he signed on with Vancouver and the AHL Chicago Wolves.
Frank Rediker (118th overall): Rediker had a great junior career and even won the Memorial Cup in 2005, but he began to suffer knee problems at that time. He played a few games for the ECHL Stockton Thunder in 2007, though that’s the most recent play time to date for him.
Patrik Valcak (129th overall): Not much is known of Valcak.
Mike Brown (153rd overall): Brown minded net for Providence for three seasons as well as playing on a wide variety of ECHL teams. In 2008 he played a season in Germany, returned to America, then took some downtime and decided to go to the Australian leagues, where he is today.
Nate Thompson (183rd overall): Thompson entered the Bruins organization in 2005 and debuted with Boston in 2006-07. However, he spent all of 2007-08 in the minors and was claimed off waivers by the Islanders in 2008. He spent another season with the Isles before another waiver claim, this time in 2010, had him going down to the Tampa Bay Lightning. He still plays there today.
Benoit Mondou (247th overall): Mondou is another draftee who never played for the Bruins because he never signed a contract. Instead, he was picked up by the New Jersey Devils, though he bounced between their ECHL and AHL clubs. Eventually he quit the NHL altogether for European hockey in Austria and Switzerland.
Kevin Regan (277th overall): Regan, a lifelong Bruins fan, never played for Boston, though he was called up a few times. However, he did play in Providence after graduating from the University of New Hampshire, where he’d become the all-time leader in save percentage for goalies in Hockey East and got a dual finance-economics degree. He also played for three ECHL teams and then moved to Italy to play in the Italian leagues, where he is today.
2007: Round one of the 2007 NHL draft happens at Nationwide Arena in Columbus. Patrick Kane goes first overall and the Bruins have the eighth pick, which they use to select Zach Hamill. Hamill played mostly for Providence, except for occasional callups to Boston (20 games total over three seasons), but in May he was traded to the Washington Capitals for Chris Bourque.
2011: The Stanley Cup makes a visit to the 2011 NHL Awards in Las Vegas. There is some more hardware to give to the Bruins that night, too–Tim Thomas takes home the Vezina Trophy.
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