The First Round of the NHL draft starts tonight (7:00 PM ET, Versus) and the Boston Bruins have the 9th overall pick that they acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Phil Kessel deal. Drafting this high again means that they are going to get to add another very good prospect to the system.
In fact, many people believe there is a group of 9 that have separated themselves from the rest of the field in this draft. That includes one of the best prospect reporters in hockey, TSN's Bob McKenzie. McKenzie had this to say about the top of this draft in his draft preview:
It would appear there's a fairly strong consensus top nine in this draft. Niagara defenceman Dougie Hamilton at No. 6, Niagara teammate and offensive centre Ryan Strome at No. 7, Kitchener offensive defenceman Ryan Murphy at No. 8 and Swedish centre Mika Zibanejad at No. 9 kept turning up in top 10, over and over and over again. Swedish defenceman Jonas Brodin rounded out TSN's top 10, but there was a gap between the top nine and the rest of the field.
The top 5 in his rankings are Red Deer's star center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins at No. 1, Skelleftea defencemen Adam Larsson at No. 2, Saint John center Jonathan Huberdeau at No. 3, Kitchener winger Gabriel Landeskog at No. 4 and round out the top five is Drummondville center Sean Couturier at No. 5.
This is very good news for the Boston Bruins because they are very likely going to get one of those top 9 players unless they go off the board with the pick or trade down. This #9 pick will complete the Phil Kessel deal that was made two years ago which ended up netting the Bruins center Tyler Seguin with second overall last year along with winger Jared Knight early in the second round. The Bruins only have one pick in the first round this year because they traded away their own pick to those same Maple Leafs along with Joe Colborne and a 2nd round pick in next year's draft in exchange for Tomas Kaberle. Overall, the Boston Bruins have 6 picks in this draft: #9 in round 1, #40 in round 2, #81 in round 3, #121 in round 4, #151 in round 5 and #181 in round 6.
Now let's take a look at the first round mocks and see who people around the internet have the Boston Bruins taking with the #9 overall pick. First round mock draft round-up after the jump.
||Position||Team/League||Notes (if available)|
|NHL.com (Mike Morreale)||Nathan Beaulieu||D||St. John (QMJHL)||Fills need along aging blue line; transitional dynamo with speed, poise and great shot; 45 pts in 65 gms|
|NHL.com (Adam Kimelman)||Nathan Beaulieu||D||St. John (QMJHL)||Has good size (6-2, 174) and high level of offensive skill, very good in own end|
|NHL.com (Steven Hoffner)||Sven Baertschi||LW||Porland (WHL)||Skilled forward with great hands, lots of fun to watch|
|NHL.com (Devan Persaud)||Ryan Murphy||D||Kitchener (OHL)||Murphy's offensive game drawing comparisons to a young Bobby Orr -- makes him the perfect Bruins pick|
|TSN.ca||Jonas Brodin||D||Farjestads (SEL)||Boston probably wanted Murphy, but they're not getting him here. Brodin would be a very useful player for Boston's blue line. - Pierre McGuire|
|ESPN.com||Ryan Murphy||D||Kitchener (OHL)||Boston mines the OHL as well as anybody -- the Bruins went that route with last year's top three picks. A powerplay will struggle no longer when Murphy makes the jump up. He'll do what Boston hoped Tomas Kaberle would: distribute the puck on the point, along with jumping into or even leading the rush. And a small guy on the blue line is a luxury the Bruins can afford.|
|Kirk Luedeke||Ryan Murphy||D||Kitchener (OHL)||Desperate for a power play QB and offensive star from the blue line, the Blue Jackets figure they won’t make the same mistake with Kris Russell and take the most dynamic scoring D since Phil Housley. (Note: He had Murphy going to Columbus, but believe Philly will not pick Strome)
|MyNHLDraft.com||Ryan Murphy||D||Kitchener (OHL)||Ht/Wt:5.10/160 lbs|
|Red Line Report||Nathan Beaulieu||D||St. John (QMJHL)||The Kaberle experiment hasn’t worked out as hoped, so
he won’t be back. Time to re-load with some young blood on the blue line.
|The Hockey News||Ryan Murphy||D||Kitchener (OHL)||B’s playing with house money, so why not tab undersized D-man with mad power play skills?|
|Mock Draft Mania||Mika Zibanejad||C||Djurgardens (SEL)||Zibanejad played well at the SuperElit level, and the Bruins like taking talented centers and working from there, either putting them on the wing or letting them grow into the job of anchoring a line. And with PJ Axelsson in the past and David Krejci now, there’s a willingness to give time to hardworking forwards from Europe|
|ProHockeyNews||Nathan Beaulieu||D||St. John (QMJHL)||Click here to read full article about Bruins draft strategy|
|Hockey's Future||Ryan Murphy||D||Kitchener (OHL)||A future powerplay quarterback, Murphy will bring much desired offense and mobility to the Boston blue line.|
|SBNation||Ryan Murphy||D||Kitchener (OHL)||Murphy is a mobile undersized defenseman, who is listed between 5'10" and 5'11" and 166 lbs and 176 lbs (depending what you read). The 18-year-old blue liner has great offensive ability and likes to jump up into the play. According to scouts, Murphy's skill set makes him a tremendous asset on the power play. The biggest knocks on Murphy seem to be his defensive zone play and lack of size.|
|NHLHotStove.com||Ryan Murphy||D||Kitchener (OHL)||The 5’10" 166 lb. defenseman may be just what they need on the blue line, and with Tomas Kaberle possibly walking away as a free agent, it is crucial that the Bruins add a similar player into the defensive mix.|
|SportingNews.com||Ryan Murphy||D||Kitchener (OHL)||He would eventually provide the Bruins’ power play with a much-needed boost.|
|DraftSite.com||Ryan Murphy||D||Kitchener (OHL)||N/A|
|LitterBoxCats.com||Duncan Siemans||D||Saskatoon (WHL)||A smooth skating defensive prospect with some offensive potential, Siemens would be a few years out from joining the Bruins in the NHL, but will likely mature into a top-6 defenseman.|
|Rotoworld.com||Nathan Beaulieu||D||St. John (QMJHL)||In 65 games for the Sea Dogs in 2010-11, Beaulieu potted 12 goals and added 33 assists. He has good vision and is able to make the all important first pass. Scouts have drooled over the patience he portrays in his game as he has the ability to buy time for himself and make good decisions with the puck.|
Ryan Murphy seems like the consensus pick around the internet, what are your thoughts on that potential pick? If he is not available who do you think the Bruins should pick? Would you prefer a defencemen or a forward?