Did Bruins Draft Represent Shift In Scouting Hierarchy?

As the Bruins wrapped up another seemingly successful draft day on Saturday, an interesting pattern may have developed in their early portions of their last two draft classes. Tyler Seguin, Jared Knight, Ryan Spooner, Dougie Hamilton, Alex Khokhlachev, and Anthony Camara all have one thing in common, they were all drafted out of the Ontario Hockey League.

At first glance, this may not seem very significant at all. The OHL comprises a large number of draftees and in turn NHL players year in and year out. But a quick look at the Bruins drafting history since the year 2000, and a not so distant hiring may not be so coincidental.

In the June Drafts between 2000 and 2009, only 2 players selected by the Bruins in the first 3 rounds - Goaltender Michael Hutchinson in the 3rd round of the 2008 draft and Defenseman Matt Lashoff in the 1st round of the 2005 draft - were from the OHL. The other 27 players taken in the first 3 rounds during that period were from other leagues.

There were 5 different sources of talent that the Bruins tapped into more frequently than the OHL. In the first 3 drafts that were clearly in the Peter Chiarelli era (there's some question as to who was running the 2006 draft board), Hutchinson represented the only OHL player taken, including two somewhat questionable first round picks with Zach Hamill in 2007 (the next pick was OHL player Logan Couture a Calder nominee this past season) and Joe Colborne in 2008 (ahead of Michael Del Zotto, another OHL draftee).

Where this becomes interesting is that in January of 2008, the Bruins hired Michael (brother of Peter) Chiarelli as a scout in January of 2008. One would imagine that it would take a year or two for a scout to start making their mark on a team's draft board, which would bring us to 2010's draft.

Now, to be fair, 2 of the 6 players the Bruins have drafted out of the OHL the past 2 years, Seguin and Hamilton, were absolute no-brainers regardless of what league they had played in. But for the Bruins to go 4 for 4, when they had gone 2 for their previous 29 in regards to the OHL, would seem to indicate a shift in the organization's scouting philosophy. At the very least, it's something to keep an eye on.

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