Vitals: 5'10", 192 lbs
Acquired: Drafted 5th round (131st overall) in the 2012 draft by the Boston Bruins.
Current Team: Providence Bruins
Seth Griffith is the Rodney Dangerfield of the Bruins prospect pool. The former-lacrosse phenom would only be ranked 157th among North American skaters in his first draft eligible year and would ultimately be passed up entirely for selection despite a season for the London Knights that saw him post nearly a point per game. Griffith "rebounded" the subsequent year to lead his team in scoring outright. In the process, he leapfrogged fellow Bruins prospect and much-higher-pick Jared Knight on the depth chart, keeping among the OHL leaderboard all season, but still only landed an NHL suitor in the 5th round. He would wind up the Bruins spoils from the rights to Benoit Pouliot, perhaps fitting that he should be the return for another routinely underrated player. In his final season with the Knights, Griffith would out-pace 12th overall selection Max Domi's sophomore effort.
Entering the pros this past year with all kinds of questions surrounding his size and skating ability - despite being larger and faster than erstwhile Providence mainstay Carter Camper - Griffith would have a breakout rookie campaign for the Baby-B's, finishing second in overall scoring and fourth in per-game rate only trailing Spooner, Khokhlachev and Nick Johnson. And yet he didn't manage so much as a sniff at a call-up while lesser offensive lights like Cunningham and Lindblad got a look. Not to mention the continuing adventures of Jordan Caron, who has compared unfavorably at every level.
Despite this season's show, his coach thinks him unfit for NHL action at this point in time. Per Cassidy: "I think he needs more time. I hope he proves me wrong because I know the right hand shot forward is in demand here." He would cite Griffith's strength and quickness as detracting factors, valid concerns certainly, echoing Kirk Luedeke's 140 character review:
Up: Silky-smooth hands; high-end vision and offensive hockey sense; natural scorer— Kirk Luedeke (@kluedeke29) September 8, 2014
Down: Below average size, strength; average skater- lacks jump in first steps and top gear.— Kirk Luedeke (@kluedeke29) September 8, 2014
It shouldn't come as much surprise that Butch is insistent on holding Griffith back another year in the A and is a bit higher on the prospect of 32 year old pugilist Bobby Robins getting a crack than Griffith.
What we said:
|Rank||Change from 2013||M. Leonard||Cornelius||Nolan||Dan||Giesse||Sean||Sarah||Kristian||Servo|
Last season's rankings saw much more consistent voting among the Chowderheads, with Griffith falling routinely around the pre-teens. What accounts for the major shift this year? He answered the main question about transitioning to pro hockey pretty emphatically. Care to answer for yourself SARAH?
Tick "can he compete against full-grown men" off the undersize prospect checklist. Still putting on muscle and having added 20+lbs over his draft weight (unless that's from hitting fro-yo with Fraser), Griffith seems determined to shed the stature-based reservations about his game. Now what remains is the "tweener" question. He's a productive player at the AHL level, but will it translate - and will he get a chance to find out given the prospects around him?
Only a second year pro, Griffith has a couple years before the clock runs out on his big-league dreams. He has the raw talent, he's working on his deficiencies, but looks like he's hurtling toward square-peg status in the Boston system. Yet with a cap crunch in full effect and a position specific depth problem, the right-hand shooting Griffith may make for a dark horse candidate to make the team by grace of Julien's handedness fetish. However, whether this predilection outweighs an instance on grinding defensive forwards in the bottom six will remain to be seen despite lip service from management.