With some clarity as to the continuation of the 2019-20 NHL season finally expressed, the wheels can now continue to turn toward setting up for the NHL Draft this off-season.
Whenever the NHL decides to hold the event, the Bruins likely won’t be making a first-round selection barring any late or dramatic trades into the top-31 picks (if that’s even allowed in this weird set-up).
So with Boston’s first selection slated for late in the second round, they can begin planning for who they might want to add to their minor-league rotation.
The primary need for the Bruins is a winger with speed and play-making ability.
Boston has had success with its late second-round picks in the past – most recently seeing Jeremy Lauzon make the jump to the NHL roster.
So which wings may be around late in the second round for Boston to pick? Here’s a list of the top five potential prospects Boston could be looking at for the draft.
Ozzy Weisblatt – Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)
Weisblatt had an up-and-down 2018-19 season, his first in the CHL ranks, recording just 39 points in 64 games on a team that reached the Memorial Cup after winning the WHL. This season, Weisblatt exploded for 70 points in 64 games, including 45 assists.
His work-rate has drawn the attention of many pro scouts while his puck-handling ability and ability to penetrate the opposing defense could see him go as high as the late first round.
If he begins to slip late into the second round, Boston may want to claim the winger who could become an immediate presence in the AHL.
Daniil Guschin – Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL)
In his second season at the USHL level, Guschin recorded 22 goals and 25 assists in 42 games. The 5-foot-8 winger is diminutive in size but his speed and grittiness (as well as an ability to put pucks in the net) make him a can’t-miss prospect.
At one point, Guschin was thought to be a potential first-rounder, though the lack of a combine this year has seen his stock slip.
Still, his talent has him champing at the bit to play professionally, and he could even crack an AHL roster as early as next year. For now, though, the KHL remains his likely first stop.
Alexander Pashin – Tolpar Ufa (MHL)
A solid skater, the young Russian just finished a full season at the pro level in Russia, recording 39 points in 37 games.
More impressive was his plus-21 rating for the season, meaning he makes a mostly positive impact when he is on the ice. One major concern is his size, as that may not translate well to the faster and more physical play he will see in the NHL; however, many scouting reports describe Pashin as a player who will not shy away from contact or back out of a puck battle.
If Boston takes a chance on Pashin, his time in the AHL will be important to see how he adapts to the North American game.
Carter Savoie – Sherwood Park Crusaders (AJHL)
An incoming freshman at the University of Denver, Boston likely wouldn’t see Savoie enter its organizational ranks until at least 2022.
Still, having a winger like the 5-foot-10 Canadian at its disposal could come with some future benefits. After all, Savoie scored 53 goals in 54 games last year in the AJHL, amassing a total of 99 points for the season and 172 in two years in the league.
His goal-scoring jumps off the charts, though for a long time it has been Savoie’s play-making that has gotten him noticed. His offensive abilities are clear, and Savoie would be a steal if he sticks around until the end of the second round.
Sean Farrell – Chicago Steel (USHL)
A former member of the U.S. National Team Development Program, Farrell had 56 points in 44 games for Chicago last year and was one of the top offensive players in the USHL for the 2019-20 season.
The Hopkinton, Mass. resident has is a left-handed shot and is committed to Harvard for next season. Should the Bruins take a chance in the local product, they’ll be able to easily monitor his development close to home in Cambridge.
Farrell’s most valuable assets are his anticipation and hockey IQ, which make him one of the more prolific young passers in the game. He’s projected for a late second-round pick and he may just be around when the Bruins go on the clock.
What a fairy-tale ending that would be for the Massachusetts product...