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Prospect Watch: Draft picks start hot in college

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Multiple Bruins’ draft picks are leading scorers for their teams this year.

NHL: NHL Draft
John Beecher.
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Over the past few draft cycles, the Bruins have been leaning more toward collegiate talent in their prospect search. With five current draft picks in college from the past three years, the Bruins have a well of young talent developing in the states.

Here’s a look at how Boston’s college draft picks are doing this season.

John Beecher

This year’s first-round pick is off to a strong start at Michigan though his team isn’t fairing so well (5-9-2). Beecher leads the Wolverines in scoring with four goals and four assists in 14 games thus far. He missed the last two games, a road split at Wisconsin, with an injury following an impressive showing in a road series at New Hampshire.

Michigan has its hands full this season in a loaded Big Ten conference that has three teams ranked in the top 20 and in-state rival Michigan State on the rise.

The Wolverines close out their first half slate with a weekend series at home against number-six Penn State on December 6-7, with Friday’s game airing on FS1.

Jeremy Swayman

The 2017 draft pick is off to a strong start in his junior year and has played all but seven minutes for the Maine Black Bears this season. He currently ranks second in the Hockey East with a .938 save percentage and has Maine in a three-way tie for fourth place heading into their December slate.

Swayman and Maine host 11th-ranked UMass for two games this weekend and close out the first half on Tuesday against Yale and fellow Bruins draft pick Curtis Hall.

Curtis Hall

Another leading scorer on a struggling team, Hall’s five goals is the most on the Yale roster this season. The Bulldogs (2-7) are struggling through nine games, and have been without Hall for the past two games due to injury.

Hall has seen improvement at the faceoff dot this season, winning draws at an even 50 percent including 28-18 in his last three games.

Dustyn McFaul

The defenseman and his Clarkson team are off to a strong start having allowed just 26 goals in 14 games this year. The freshman McFaul has played in 12 of his team’s 14 games, registering two assists and skating at a plus-one for the season.

A stay-at-home defenseman, McFaul has primarily been playing on the bottom pairing or as the extra skater for the Golden Knights. After hosting upstate New York rival St. Lawrence on Saturday, McFaul and Clarkson will head to the upper peninsula to face Michigan Tech in a two-game slate on December 13-14.

Quinn Olson

It has been a slow start to life in college hockey for the Canadian third-round pick from 2019. In 11 games for Minnesota-Duluth, Olson has more penalties (four) than points (1-2—3). Primarily featuring on the Bulldogs third line, his lone goal of the year and of his collegiate career was a game-winner against Minnesota on October 26.

Olson and the Bulldogs face Omaha this weekend in their final series of the semester. He’ll head to New England at the end of the month when Minnesota-Duluth faces Merrimack in a two-game series from December 29-30.