There’s a slim to none chance that any winger the Bruins take in the first round of tonight’s NHL Entry Draft in Vancouver will break camp with the Bruins next fall and fill the void on the wing in the Bruins top-six forward group that they’re openly trying to solve via a trade and maybe free agency. However, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t keep adding to their organizational depth on the wing and that’s exactly what they will try to do in the draft this weekend when they pick 30th overall and after that. Here’s a look at what wingers the Bruins really need to take a look at if they’re somehow still available when they make their first round pick Friday night.
Samuel Poulin (LW Sherbrooke QMJHL) – This is a case of wishful thinking as our first annual Boston Hockey Now Mock Draft written by Jim Biringer, had Poulin being taken by the Nashville Predators with the 24th pick overall and Poulin is going before the Bruins pick at 30th overall in most mock drafts, but if he was to slip to them, the Bruins likely would accept such a gift. The 6’2, 207-pound winger had 29 goals and 47 assists for the Sherbrooke Phoenix this past season. Poulin, 18, has been ranked as high as 22nd (NHL Central Scouting) and 32nd (EliteProspects.com). One NHL scout told BostonHockeyNow:
“He’s molded like a Patrice Bergeron or Jonathan Toews because he is a hard-working, two-way player that’s a leader.”
That sounds like a player the Bruins – who pride themselves in two-way players – would love and be salivating over if he starts to drop. Poulin is from Laval, Quebec and if we’re not mistaken, the Bruins had another Quebecor fall into their laps in the second round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft in Nashville, TN didn’t they? 16 years later, could they once again beat their archrivals, the Montreal Canadiens to a future star from Quebec?
Bobby Brink (LW Sioux City, USHL) – Brink is getting plenty of love and in our mock draft, he goes to the Washington Capitals at 25th overall. There’s a solid chance though – better than Poulin – that Brink falls to the Bruins at 30. The 5’8, 159-pound Sioux City Musketeers winger was originally ranked 19th in most polls but has dropped in the rankings because he is a late 2001 (July 8) and because of his size. Many feel Brink is still far from NHL ready but his raw skill still has him going in the first round still.
The Excelsior, MN native could be the first Minnesotan taking in the draft. He had 35 goals and 33 assists in 43 games for the Musketeers last season.
“Not the best skater,” one NHL scout told BostonHockeyNow. “He makes up for that though with his raw skill and tenacity to get to the net despite his size.”
Brink will play for the University Of Denver in 2020-21.
Nolan Foote (LW Kelowna Rockets WHL) – Nolan Foote is the son of former Colorado Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote and while he’s not a defenseman, he hits just like his Dad and at 6’3, 187 lbs, is a force to be reckoned with every time he hops over the boards. Nolan’s Dad, of course, won two Stanley Cups with the Av’s and his winning pedigree can be seen in his son Nolan who had 36 goals and 27 assists in 66 games with the Kelowna Rockets.
Foote is ranked 37th by NHL Central Scouting and most experts have him going around there or in the second round. So why would the Bruins take him earlier? Well, what’s the Bruins’ biggest organizational need both now and in the future? Yep! A power forward. Foote could become exactly that at the NHL level and he’s worth taking a chance on earlier than most have him pegged.
Of course, there’s always the chance the Avalanche – who own the fourth overall and 16th overall picks – could trade down to keep the family tradition alive in Colorado.