The Boston Bruins added another local player to their roster; selecting Woburn native and 6-foot-2, 179-pound center Riley Duran in the sixth round (182nd overall) of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft Tuesday. As Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney pointed out though, being a local kid wasn’t the only reason Riley Duran, who starred at Lawrence Academy for the last four years, was drafted by the Bruins.
“In Riley Duran’s case, we like the player,” Sweeney said. “We like the path that he has, we like the competitiveness. He’s played two positions, he’s playing center right now. We think he can also play the wing which he played an awful lot. And he has growth and opportunity in his game that we covet. And the background check that we’ve worked, he’s a young man that should be able to play in his home environment.”
Duran’s local ties may have not been the sole reason he was drafted by the team he grew up cheering for but growing up 20 minutes from TD Garden gave him the chance to not only cheer on the Bruins but also learn how to be a better player. Duran referenced another local Bruin, Weymouth’s Charlie Coyle when asked what NHLers he tried to emulate.
“Strengths to my game is just, I love to compete, I love to get the puck low,” said Duran. “I love to get the puck to the net. One of my favorite players growing up was Charlie Coyle. He was a Boston guy. I just always remembered watching him play at BU for half that year and then following him on to his pro career.”
Riley Duran will play for Youngstown (USHL) this season but is slated to attend Providence College for the 2021-22 season. Duran is excited to play for what he feels is one of the better coaching staffs in NCAA Division 1 Hockey.
“Nate Leaman, Rolston, and Beal, they’re awesome people, they’re great coaches,” Duran said. “I know they really get on you there and that’s what I need. They have great structure in their game and that’s how I play my game, they play a tough game and they love to compete.”
While Duran has some time before he reaches the NHL, the forward repeatedly expressed his excitement to have an opportunity to play for his beloved Bruins.
“It couldn’t have worked out better with such a great organization,” Duran said. “Tons of history and from the day I was born, I was a Bruins fan and still am now. I’m just so excited to be a part of this organization.”
Duran was the final pick of the 2020 NHL Draft for the Bruins after they drafted Mason Lohrei (Round 2, Pick 58), forward Trevor Kuntar (Round 3, Pick 89), defenseman Mason Langenbrunner (Round 5, Pick 151) and then traded their seventh round pick to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a 2021 seventh round pick.