We’re counting down the Top 10 prospects in the Bruins’ system this summer! These prospects are guys of all ages/levels who simply haven’t made the full-time jump to the NHL yet. To view the full series, click here.
In any Top 10 list, there will always be a few entries who don’t quite make the cut.
As we count down the Top 10 Bruins prospects, there were several slam dunks, a few “maybes,” and then a few guys who almost cracked the Top 10, but ultimately fell short.
In the inaugural post in this series, we take a look at those three of those guys.
Honorable Mention - John Beecher
2019 Draft - 1st round, 30th overall - University of Michigan (NCAA)
The Bruins’ most recent first-round pick (and probably their last for a couple years) finished his freshman season at the University of Michigan a few months ago, and it was a successful first campaign for the kid.
The 19-year-old forward scored 9 goals and recorded 7 assists in 31 games for the Wolverines.
Beecher also got a look for the United States and the World Junior Championships, but it wasn’t his best showing; he was pointless in 5 games.
Beecher was projected as a multi-year project, so there’s no real cause for concern. The kid is 6’ 3”, 219 pounds at the age of 19. As he continues to grow into his size and grow into his game, an increase in production will come.
While he won’t challenge for a spot in the NHL for a few years, next year will be a year to watch for Beecher.
A little over 0.5 PPG is a solid number for a freshman, and the Bruins will be looking to see him increase that figure as a sophomore.
Honorable Mention - Victor Berglund
2017 Draft - 7th round, 195th overall - Lulea (SHL)
The 20-year-old defender had himself a pretty decent season for Modo Hockey, recording 10 goals and 12 assists in 52 games. This was Berglund’s second season in the Allsvenskan, and he showed improvement, which is a good sign.
However, this coming season will be the big test for Berglund, and importantly for the Bruins, for Berglund’s overall development.
Why? He’s going to be playing for Lulea in the Swedish Hockey League, his first stint in Sweden’s top professional division. The SHL is widely viewed as the second or third best league in the world, so Berglund will be tested against some pretty good competition.
Honorable Mention - Samuel Asselin
Free agent signing - Atlanta Gladiators (ECHL)
The diminutive forward enjoyed a successful first professional season after joining the Bruins organization from the Canadian junior ranks.
Asselin skated in 53 games for the Gladiators, and was highly productive: he recorded 26 goals and 26 assists. Asselin did appear in 5 games for the Providence Bruins as well, and while he didn’t score, he did record 3 assists.
Asselin’s size may keep him from making the jump to the NHL level, but it’ll be worth it for the Bruins to give him a look at the AHL level next season. He’s clearly showed that he can produce in the ECHL, and deserves a shot to take the next step.
Honorable Mention - Jake Schmaltz
2019 Draft - 7th round, 192nd overall - University of North Dakota (NCAA)
The late-round pick spent the last two seasons playing in the United States Hockey League, a step many college players take before heading to school.
Schmaltz had a pretty decent season with the Green Bay Gamblers, recording 13 goals and 19 assists in 47 games. This was a significant step up from his prior season in the USHL, where he recorded 18 points in 60 games.
Any sort of development is encouraging, and the Bruins will be watching Schmaltz with interest when he takes the ice for the University of North Dakota in the fall (maybe).
Honorable Mention - Curtis Hall
2018 Draft - 4th round, 112th overall - Yale (NCAA)
The 20-year-old had himself a great season at Yale, producing at nearly a point per game. Hall recorded 17 goals and 10 assists in 27 games.
Hall also earned himself a World Junior Championships roster spot for Team USA, and he scored once in five games.
Honorable Mention - Quinn Olson
2019 Draft - 3rd round, 92nd overall - University of Minnesota-Duluth (NCAA)
Like Beecher and Schmaltz, Olson had a nice little start to his collegiate career. The 5’ 11” forward scored 7 goals and added 8 assists for the Bulldogs.
Bruins prospect guru Kirk Luedeke had this to say about Olson in the Scouting Post back in April:
His numbers for a true freshman- 7-8-15 in 31 games- nearly .5 per game- are solid if not spectacular, but bode well for him going forward, as he will earn more ice and have an expanded role going forward. He’s a buzzsaw forward- comparable to Karson Kuhlman– in the style of hockey he plays.
Like Beecher and Schmaltz, it was a solid start for the kid’s first year in American college hockey.