By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
After watching the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft as spectators, Don Sweeney and the Boston Bruins will get in on the action Wednesday, with five picks over the final six rounds.
“Our guys are now excited,” Sweeney said Tuesday night. “They sat around all night monitoring and getting excited about the potential players that we’re going to have the opportunity to draft tomorrow. And we need to do a good job.
“They’ve worked awfully hard prior to the shutdowns of the leagues and certainly, since then, they’ve covered a lot of ground and a lot of meetings. And they’ve done a good job, put us in a position to have a really solid list. We feel the draft is deep and we’ll find good players when we pick and possibly, if I do my job, I can try and accumulate a few more picks. Again, it remains to be seen. But again, some of the teams control a volume of those picks and we’ll see where we land.”
(By the way, and just in case you didn’t know: the Bruins were spectators on Tuesday night because traded their 2020 first-round pick, along with David Backes and prospect Axel Andersson, to the Ducks this past deadline in exchange for winger Ondrej Kase. The Ducks used that pick, No. 27 overall, to draft forward Jacob Perreault.)
For the Bruins, barring a trade-up, the fun will begin with their second-round choice, the 58th overall selection.
In need of some more scoring pop, there’s no shortage of talent around where the B’s are picking. One name that could be of potential interest: Sean Farrell. A left-shot, left-wing, Farrell isn’t the biggest guy (he’s listed at 5-foot-9), but the Hopkinton, Mass. native can certainly score, with 15 goals and 56 points in 44 games for the Chicago Steel (USHL) a year ago. Farrell will also be playing the B’s backyard next season, too, at Harvard University. The Bruins tend to like hometown talents and when they keep a close eye on their picks, and they’ve passed on so many undersized scorers (Alex DeBrincat in 2016 sticks out here) that you wonder if they’ve learned their lesson and are simply going to take the best talent available.
Some other names around the second round that could be of potential interest? Sam Colangelo. A 6-foot-2 right-shot, the Stoneham, Mass. native scored 28 goals and 58 points in 44 games for the Chicago Steel last season. He may require a trade-up on the part of the Bruins, however, as most projections have him going in the first half of the second round.
There’s also defenseman Tyler Kleven, a 6-foot-4 left-shot and University of North Dakota commit, who plays with a high-ceiling physical style that the Black and Gold’s left-side defense could certainly use.
But no matter the player available, it feels like the Bruins should enter this draft prioritizing some right-shot forwards who can put the puck home, and some left-side defensemen with size and snarl. (Honestly, they could use some more defensemen in general, regardless of handedness and size.) These have been organizational blackholes for multiple years, and it’s become increasingly apparent that they’re not getting fixed by the trade or free agent market.
The Bruins will then march ahead with the No. 89 overall pick in the third round, the No. 151 overall pick in the fifth round, No. 182 in the sixth round, and will conclude their 2020 draft with the No. 213 overall pick in the seventh round. (The Bruins do not have a fourth-round pick this year as a result of the 2019 trade deadline deal for the Devils’ Marcus Johansson.)
As for trades and draft pick stockpiling and/or maneuvering, Sweeney, whose team has been linked to just about every free agent and trade block talent, is entering the day with an open mind amid a crazy market.
“There is a lot of conversations going on,” Sweeney confirmed. “Obviously, you saw two teams find a deal and a little bit of trade movement within the draft, move backs, but again a lot of these conversations are focused around cap dynamics. And then you have free agency, so what teams are sort of jockeying in terms of re-signing their own players, Washington was able to do that in re-signing one of their players. We’re all trying to do the same thing simultaneously and it’s been a busy week.
“I know there have been a lot of conversations, but I can’t predict how many trades will actually take place.”