Boston Bruins

Jan 14, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Minnesota Wild left wing Kirill Kaprizov (97) celebrates his game-winning goal during the overtime against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

By Ty Anderson,

The already-criticized-to-death 2015 NHL Draft is about to get a whole lot worse for the Boston Bruins.

By now, the screams about the Bruins’ first-round missteps have been heard loud and clear.

With a first round full of NHL regulars and all-star talent, the Bruins grabbed just one NHL regular in Jake DeBrusk at No. 14 overall. Zach Senyshyn (the No. 15 overall pick) was waived and went unclaimed last week, and No. 13 overall pick Jakub Zboril is finally getting the first real NHL run of his career in an attempt to salvage the round. If the 23-year-old Zboril is successful and grabs hold of a full-time NHL gig, the round looks a touch better, even if it came with a later arrival date than originally thought.

Still, and by now, you know the others players that could’ve been picked by the Bruins there. There’s forwards Mathew Barzal, Kyle Connor, Travis Konecny, Brock Boeser, and Colin White, along with defenseman Thomas Chabot. That’s in the first round alone.

But while you moan about what you could have been had the Bruins nailed their draft, feel free to say hello to the newest name that appears set to haunt you: Kirill Kaprizov.

Drafted with the No. 135 overall pick in 2015, Kaprizov made his long-awaited NHL debut for the Wild on Thursday, and wowed with two primary assists and the overtime game-winner in a 4-3 win over the Kings.

Kaprizov outright jumped Kings defenseman Drew Doughty on a 50-50 puck to make that goal happen, too.

A strong start is a strong start, and perhaps it’s not wise to panic after just one night. (Just ask Petr Kalus how that worked out for him.) But Kaprizov’s hype has been building for a long time, and his pro experience is certainly worth it, as the electric wing put up 98 goals and 195 points in 209 appearances, along with 11 goals and 31 points in 47 playoff games, over his final four years in the KHL.

Kaprizov was also a stand out at the 2018 Olympics for the Olympic Athletes of Russia team, with five goals and nine points in six games for a Russian squad that captured gold over Germany.

And so, whatever, big deal. There’s another talented player from the 2015 NHL Draft. That’s not something you can hold against the Bruins and be considered a well-adjusted human being.

In most instances, you’re bang-on, and in most cases, retroactive drafting is all too easy and straight-up lazy.

But the Bruins actually had the rights to the No. 135 overall pick, and traded it to the Wild for a fifth-round selection in 2016. So, quite literally, the Bruins were the team in possession of the Kaprizov pick. Oof. This isn’t the first time this has happened (the Bruins originally possessed the fifth-round pick ultimately used by Dallas to draft Jamie Benn in 2007), but this’ll certainly hurt more than whiffing on players who interviewed poorly or weren’t ranked higher than their draft slot until they burst onto the NHL scene.

The Bruins didn’t even gain anything extra out of moving back a year, and instead just swapped their current fifth for a future fifth, and then used that pick on Cameron Clarke the following year. Clarke, a 6-foot-2 defenseman, spent his collegiate career at Ferris State University and then went unsigned by the Bruins. He’s currently in Wichita, where he’s put up three points in 12 ECHL games for the Thunder over two seasons.

Like I said: Oof.

Consider it another whiff in a draft that’s provided more than a few, from the players the Bruins passed on to picks wasted on never-was forwards like Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson (No. 45 overall) and Jesse Gabrielle (No. 105 overall), and now to the traded-for-nothing pick that’s turned into a thriller for the Wild.

Please, somebody, make it stop.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.