Don Sweeney’s first draft as GM of the Bruins was in 2015, when the Bruins made three consecutive first round picks from No. 13-15. Winger Jake DeBrusk has been the only one to crack the NHL so far, while the 16th overall pick in that draft looks better than any of them right now.
The uncertain future of the Bruins’ collection of first-rounders in the 2015 draft, which is a significant piece of the team’s on-the-fly rebuilding process, caused 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Felger & Mazz to circle back to that summer and wonder if the team blew a big opportunity to replenish themselves with young talent.
Defenseman Jakub Zboril and forward Zach Senyshyn have yet to make the jump to the NHL since being drafted 13th and 15th, respectively, two years ago. Meanwhile, 16th overall pick Mathew Barzal is on a tear in his first full season in the NHL. The Islanders center has scored seven goals and 26 points in 27 games. Felger & Mazz allude to some “highlight” plays that the skilled 20-year-old has made.
Here he is from Tuesday night against the Lightning, basically blowing by the entire team and scoring:
He also set up the game-winner for the Islanders with this nifty feed to Jordan Eberle:
So, yes, there are some highlights.
Michael Felger is concerned that the Bruins whiffed on Barzal, who looks like a serious Rookie of the Year candidate.
“Their whole rebuild is centered around, if not that draft, the draft in this run, this last couple of years where they’ve been a borderline playoff team,” said Felger. “It’s all been centered around that. You’ve got to hit on these picks.”
Felger is starting to believe the “people in the game” who have told him that the Bruins “blew” the 2015 draft. Even if they hit on DeBrusk and at least one of their other picks pans out, it certainly looks like they (and several other teams) missed on Barzal.
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