For the first time since 2007 the Bruins will pick in the top half of the first round using their own pick. If there's an upside to missing the playoffs, it's the increased odds at drafting a future asset. And what a time to own a top-15 pick with such a deep draft - assuming 2015 lives up to the hype.
If you missed any of the first 13 picks, you can get caught up with all of the past picks, including profiles, here. And now, on behalf of the Boston Bruins, we at Stanley Cup of Chowder would like to congratulate Chicago on doing their Chicago thing, and we're excited to select Timo Meier (RW/C) of the Halifax Mooseheads out of the QMJHL.
The Swiss-born Meier represents a bit of a departure from the Bruins' drafting strategy of late, which has been dominated by NCAA and SHL selections. In fact, Meier would be the first CHL skater selected by the Bruins in the top three rounds since Anthony Camera was chosen with the 81st overall pick in 2011. But as the best player available, we're happy to select the Mike Bossy Trophy winner (given to the Q's top professional prospect).
After posting a 17-17-34 line in 66 games during his inaugural season in North America, Meier exploded with 44 goals and 46 assists (90 points) in 61 games. He also had two goals and four assists in six games at the World Junior Championship playing on a line with Kevin Fiala. With size (6'1'', 209 lbs.) and skill, the right winger could address immediate and long term needs for the Bruins. Though the team is currently heavy on left-shot wingers, Meier's potential makes him hard to pass up. Here's what his coach in Halifax Dominique Ducharme had to say about Meier:
He's got great size and he plays like a train. He can go through the checking because he's really strong. He's also got a powerful shot and with the way he skates, he's tough to stop. He's a pretty complete player.
Sounds like a perfect fit for the Black and Gold.
What the Scouts Say
As evidenced by his Mike Bossy Trophy, Meier is highly regarded as a prospect and snagging him with the 14th pick would be somewhat of a coup.
Ranked #13 by Hockeyprospect.com
Ranked #14 by ISS Hockey
Ranked #14 by Future Considerations
Ranked #13 by McKeen's Hockey
Ranked #10 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)
Ranked #12 by TSN/McKenzie
"He's a solid and strong skater both with and without the puck, has high-end hockey sense and reads the play very well. He is very effective in 1-on-1 situations."
Big Swiss is never neutral; always a hard driving force who looks to push the action and get pucks to the net. Big improvement in his game has come in seeing the ice and using his linemates a lot better. Uses wide body effectively on the cycle, and to gain and hold territory around slot. Has a very heavy shot that handcuffs netminders. Powerful stride with straight ahead speed, but lacks some lateral agility. Strong on stick and well balanced - tough to knock off the puck.
"Meier has really taken his game to the next level this season. He displays a nice shot, ability to make skilled plays with the puck, strong boards play and a willingness to engage in the dirty areas on the ice...At the World Juniors and even before that with his play starting in November really has been impressive as he has continued his strong game both creating offensive chances and playing more of a consistent power game than he showed us last season or even at the beginning of this season."
A physically dominant winger with the ability to play in a skill or character role. In the offensive end, Meier is very aware and gets himself into spaces where he can easily make seeing eye passes or snap hard, accurate shots. Can impact the game in a number of different ways, and is very consistent in his efforts. All-in-all, the kind of versatile player that you can put on a skill line, and trust to create dangerous chances, or on a shutdown line, and trust to help stop pucks from going into your net.
What the Numbers Say
According to The Projection Project, 68% prospects with comparable size and scoring to Meier have become NHL players, which is to say 200 NHL Games Played by Draft Year + 5 or 100 GP for players who have not yet reached Draft year +5. Thirty two percent have failed to appear in 200 games by age 25, earning the label of bust.
Of those 54 NHL players, 31 (57%) have put up seasons of 55 or more points (placing them in the "elite" and "first line" categories). This bodes well for avoiding a Zach Hamill redux (four points in 20 games played for the 2007 8th overall pick).
Point comparisons in Draft year -1 and Draft year puts Meier alongside names such as Jeff Carter, Justin Williams and Jason Pominville.
Those comparisons are on the higher end, but feel free to visit The Projection Project to see who else stacks up favorably to Meier.
According to Hockey-Reference, Meier would be the first Switzerland native to play for the Bruins.
Meier speaks four languages (Swiss, French, German and English). Chara, as a reminder, speaks seven.
Our own Paul Wheeler recently wrote up a profile of Meier, give it a read.
Check out some highlights of Meier playing for Halifax:
Now that you've seen what Meier can do, do you agree with the selection? Let us know in the poll!