Wow! What a series, right? The hockey world was shocked to see the Kings prevail in 5 games to win the Stanley Cup against the New York Rangers! Ugh…No. Despite multiple overtime games, the series was pretty boring and uneventful, and almost everyone’s prediction of domination from the west came to fruition. Gary Bettman’s wet dream of having the two largest media markets collide for hockey’s ultimate prize largely fell flat. While you’ll read in the press nothing but positives regarding the ratings, they were still down compared to last year’s Boston-Chicago series, which is somewhat surprising considering the fact that both markets are well established players. Alas, there is no more hockey left to be played, and the offseason is officially upon us. In the coming weeks, the NHL will gather to hand out individual hardware, followed by….
THE NHL DRAFT!
See what I did there? Quite frankly, very few people actually care about the NHL draft. It doesn’t have the appeal of the NFL, where you KNOW that the guys you see picked in the first round will be playing next year. It’s instant gratification for the fans! On the flip side, only a handful of NHL first rounders will be seen next year, and even fewer will make an impact. While it’s not quite MLB’s “see you in 4-6 years” way of developing, most of these guys are going to take some time. That’s just how it is when you’re typically drafting 18 year old kids.
Don’t expect anything instant from whomever the Bruins select in the opening round on June 27th. Even with the early playoff bounce, the President’s Trophy ‘victory’ has Boston picking at number 25. Hooray for empty accomplishments! Over the past 10 years, that 25th pick has been littered with the likes of Rob Schremp, Patrick White, Greg Nemisz, Quinton Howden, and Stuart Percy – not exactly household names. The only two guys selected in that spot that don’t make you want to give up all hope are Andrew Cogliano and Patrik Berglund, and even those guys are merely solid contributors and not great players, per se. It should be noted that one of the names I purposefully omitted is the person chosen the last time that Boston held the 25th pick. That man? Jordan Caron.
In short: don’t expect miracles.
Still, we’ll be bringing you brief tidbits up until the draft on guys that Boston might realistically target in the first round this year. That means ‘no’ on guys like Aaron Ekblad, Sam Reinhart, or Michael Dal Colle. That means ‘yes’ on guys who offer the types of qualities that the Chiarelli braintrust is said to be seeking to develop and add to the roster: namely speed and skill. We don’t have special access to Bruins scouts, nor do we have any indication about what trades might be made leading up to the draft. In fact, this draft can go totally unexpectedly, and NONE of these guys could even be available…resulting in a waste of time for everyone involved – including you, the reader! But this is a hockey blog, and frankly I’m bored.
Sonny Milano, LW
6’, 183 lbs
US National Development Team
ISS Ranking: 18
I’m going to start by profiling the kid whom I think would be a fantastic pick for the Bruins at 25, but it would be considered a long shot. No, that doesn’t mean it’s unrealistic for Milano to be on the board when the Bruins pick. It just means that opinions are all over the place with him, and he could be long gone if some GM/scouts are totally enamored with his skill package. hehe…Package.
In 2013-14, Milano rode shotgun on a line centered by 2015 uber prospect Jack Eichel. He was able to rack up 86 points (29 g, 57 a) in a mere 58 games. In the WU18’s, THE best tournament for evaluating draft-eligible players, Milano helped continue the US dominance of the event with a 10 point performance in 7 games. Originally a commit to the University of Notre Dame, he has since switched to Jerry York and the BC Eagles, meaning that Bruins scouts wouldn’t have to go far to see their prospect in action.
Milano would be a welcome addition to a Boston team looking to add speed and organizational depth on the wing. His skating has been called ‘exceptional’ by many, and he oozes skill like a Michel Therrien ass-pimple oozes pus. That means he has a lot of skill, for those of you not on board with the ‘Michel Therrien is a gross individual’ meme. In fact, Milano first gained public notoriety for a stickhandling video he made at the tender age of 14. In order to win a pair of skates from Bauer, Milano put on what can only be called a clinic showing some of the things he could do with his stick. I don’t know about you guys, but the only stickhandling video I would have been able to make at 14 would have involved the Sears catalog, severely chafed hands, and tremendous shame. Milano was able to parlay HIS skill into some new blades! (see below)
So, if he’s so great, then why do most rankings/mock drafts have him in the lower half of the first round? Well, most feel that Milano is selfish and immature. Apparently all of that skill leads young Sonny to try and do too much on his own. Also, his skills in his own zone leave a lot to be desired. Both of those shortcomings would have to be addressed to become a solid player in the NHL – especially for a team like Boston. One knock that CAN’T be used on him, though, is that he’s the product of his line. Besides the aforementioned Eichel, highly touted Alex Tuch – who himself is projected as a high first round pick – played on that same line with Milano. Last year people were knocking Jonathan Drouin as being a product of Nathan Mackinnon, too….
Bottom line: The Bruins would be lucky if Milano were on the board when they select at 25. Given those tantalizing skills, I’d definitely take the gamble and hope the rest of his game rounds out.