What a ride that was for the Boston Bruins at the 2013 NHL Draft. In the huge one-day draft, where the first round took ages and the subsequent ones were as fast as a Zdeno Chara slap shot, six new draft picks became part of the Black and Gold. They gave us the first glimpse of the special 90th Anniversary patches that will be affixed to Bruins sweaters this year and represent a varied skill set, although many of the picks have Swedish league time on their resumes.
Here’s a quick rundown of each new Bruin.
Linus Arnesson (60th overall): Read more about Arnesson here. The Bruins chose a defenseman with their first pick.
Peter Cehlarik (90th overall): With this third-round pick, the Bruins went for one of the youngest players available in the draft pool. Cehlarik, a left-winger, is still just 17 years old! The youthful Slovak is currently in the Swedish Elite League, working the different levels inside the Elitserien’s Lulea organization–kind of like Arnesson within Djurgarden. But he came up in his native Slovakia, playing for three full seasons with the MsHK Zilina U18 team before a trade to Lulea J18 in 2011. His most productive Zilina year was 2010-11, when he stacked up 15 goals and 18 assists in 40 games.
In 2011-12, he began moving around inside the Lulea tiers, from J18 to J20, and he made it all the way to the bigs for eight games and a six-game playoff run this past year. He’s been productive on every level, but was nearly a point per game with Lulea J20 this year. He’s also represented Slovakia in U17 and U18 tournaments, being named one of the top three Slovaks for 2012-13. (Seth Jones was one of the three top Americans in 2011-12, to give you an idea of the caliber of winners here.)
He’s already racked up other achievements, too: the most points by a U18 junior player and a playoff silver medal, all this season. Again, he’s 17 years old. There’s surely more to come from this young talent.
Ryan Fitzgerald (120th overall): Read more about Fitzgerald here. He fits the mold of a hometown boy and is committed to Boston College.
Wiley Sherman (150th overall): Another New Englander, Sherman hails from Greenwich, Conn and was born in May 1995. This young defenseman has played three seasons with the prestigious Hotchkiss School, putting up four goals and six assists in 26 games this season. He also had four games with Fairfield Blues Midget AAA. He’s committed to Harvard University for 2014-15. He said has been watching Bruins games all year, touted his stay-at-home style and hinted at an upcoming leadership role–I’d say with Hotchkiss this next school year.
Anton Blidh (180th overall): The Bruins used their timeout when making this pick because the computer was having trouble registering it and his selection was definitely out of left field, but actually a pretty good-sounding one.
Blidh, a Swedish winger born in March 1995, is in the Elitserien Frolunda organization. (Fun trivia: both Henrik and Joel Lundqvist have played for Frolunda.) Much like Arnesson and Cehlarik, he has been at different interior levels, the U16, J18 and J20. His most productive showing so far has been 2012-13 with Frolunda J20, when he picked up 17 goals and 10 assists in 47 games. He’s also been in a TV-pucken tournament like Arnesson and represented Sweden at the U18 Worlds. With the U16 Frolunda squad, he won playoff gold in 2009-10, then bronze with J18 in 2011-12.
He also has a habit of wearing a Boston Red Sox hat in his pictures.
Mitchell Dempsey (210th overall): The lone Bruins selection who’s in the CHL juniors system, Dempsey is a left-winger and February 1995 baby. He’s with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, often called the Soo Greyhounds. He had 44 points (17 goals, 27 assists) in only 29 goals with the minor midget Cambridge Hawks in 2010-11, his most productive outing to date, though he’s just now entering his third year of juniors. He’s also been part of a tournament just like many of his fellow newest Bruins, representing Ontario in the 2012 World Under 17 Challenge and winning bronze.
If you’re excited about all these new picks and want to see more from them, it won’t be long before development camp.