Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss. But at least we drafted the foreign exchange student from ‘Can’t Hardly Wait’! You remember him, right? The one who is taught to ask everyone to touch his penis?? Look at the headshot, and then look at the GIF. Go ahead…tell me I’m wrong.
The first round of the NHL Entry Draft has come and gone. And, like most previous editions, things didn’t deviate much from the norm. Despite the fact that opinions on the top 10 prospects seemed to vary quite a bit, there were no major surprises with how things rolled out. No major trades shook things up, even though the reveal of the underwhelming 2014-2015 salary cap numbers seemed to slap a handful of teams – including our Bruins – right in the face.
The fact that no surprises occurred is indicative of the somewhat archaic way that NHL decision makers think. Whereas trades and big reaches are the norm in the drafts of North America’s other big sports, NHL GM’s refuse to step outside of their comfort zone. The Chicago Blackhawks, for example, were just hit with the initial contract extension demands from Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. While each player won’t sign at $12 mil AVPY, they’re still going to get a hefty raise from their current $6 mil cap hit. Patrick Sharp has been mentioned in rumors all week, including being dangled to Florida as part of an attempt to land the top overall pick. It didn’t happen. How about the second overall pick, which was held and used by the Buffalo Sabres? Patrick Kane, a Buffalo native, could have been moved for that #2 pick and then some, allowing Chicago to relieve their cap pressure AND set themselves up for free agency and the future. It didn’t happen.
And then…news of a big trade broke. James Knee-l was going to Nashville! Pittsburgh had moved up into the lottery portion to…No? Nashville kept their pick? Nevermind, then.
Similarly, the Bruins could have made a big splash and moved up to that coveted top 5 area. All throughout the offseason, we’ve seen the same names brought up as possible trade bait: Brad Marchand, Johnny Boychuk, Chris Kelly, Adam McQuaid. Milan Lucic, and his $6 mil salary, has also recently been added into this mix – especially by my cohorts here at DOY. One name that I haven’t heard, though, is one that I think makes the most sense: David Krejci. Cap Geek puts his value at $5.25 mil for 2014-15, which would go a long way towards giving the B’s breathing room under the salary cap. I, for one, believe that Carl Soderberg can handle second line center duties in the NHL, and trading Krejci would have allowed the B’s to move into that top area to land a top tier prospect at the very least. At the same time, money would be freed up for Iginla, Krug, and Reilly Smith. Alas, this didn’t happen, either, and the Bruins (for the time being) remain in their precarious position as free agency looms.
So the B’s stood pat at #25. We’ve been saying that they would mostly likely target a speedy, skilled winger – and they certainly didn’t disappoint.
David Pastrnak, W
6’, 170 lbs
Sodertalje, Swedish League
ISS Ranking: 31
Pastrnak is a Czech by birth who, like so many other European prospects, chose to play junior hockey in Sweden. The Swedish junior league is thought of as THE top league on European soil, and the top choice for Euros not wanting to venture overseas to the CHL. However, these prospects are typically harder to gauge. How will their skills translate to smaller North American rinks? Will they be able to stand up to the rigors of physical play?
Pastrnak has most of the traits that you look for in a wing prospect. He’s praised for his hockey sense, his hands, his speed, and – perhaps most important to Boston fans – his work ethic. He has experience playing for the Czech Republic in all of the big world tournaments, including the WU18’s and WJC. He’s known for a quick, quick shot, and he comes from a good hockey pedigree. Having a father who played pro hockey in Europe probably taught David quite a bit about the dedication required to be a pro hockey player. All in all, he’s an intriguing prospect with many things going for him.
As for weaknesses…well, he’s a shade under 170 lbs. He’s going to have to put on at least 15-20 lbs to be able to withstand the physical demands of the NHL. This will almost assuredly be done as he matures and is exposed to better diet and weight regimens. He also needs to make better choices in regards to hats. Shit like this can get you killed in Boston…
Check out his highlights and let us know what you think! Are you happy with the pick?
– The only real ‘fall’ of the night was Kasperi Kapanen, who finally settled at #22 and Shittsburgh after initially being projected as a Top 12 pick.
– It really does seem that goalies are the running backs of the NHL Draft. None were selected in the first round, even though Boston College’s Thatcher Demko is typically regarded as a franchise netminder. He should be a great value pick early in the 2nd round on Saturday.
– Speaking of value picks, Ivan Barbashev is still on the board! One of the top 3 prospects in the QMJHL this year and the favorite in our preview series, he fell all of way out of the first round. Whether or not that’s an indictment of Barbashev or the quality of the Q this year remains to be seen.