The Boston Bruins didn’t have a second-round pick on the second day of the 2021 NHL Draft after moving it to Buffalo in the Taylor Hall trade, but they still managed to stockpile a group of solid prospects with their handful of picks.
“As the draft moved along, we were able to hit a bunch of spots, for us. We went with excitement, high-end offense and skill, right away [with first round pick Fabian Lysell]. We got some size in the middle with the second pick. We picked up a goalie with the third pick. Then we went back to maybe a little bit more of some speed and offense with the next pick,” said Boston Bruins Associate Director of Amateur Scouting Ryan Nadeau. “Went with a big strong D-man after that. And then a big centerman [in Gasseau] who has come a long way. Played at Shattuck, then went to the National Program, he’s going to go to Fargo next year and then to BC. And to get Ty Gallagher, who is an active and involved defenseman.
“We kind of, sort of, hit a few different areas. Even in terms of leagues. It’s not necessarily planned. Last year, it ended up being – I think we went All-American sort of. This year, it’s just how it goes and how your draft board plays out and where the draft fits. I think from an overall standpoint, having seven picks was good too. We haven’t been able to always have that many picks. So, it gave us a few more swings and sort of allowed us to round it out a little bit.”
The B’s selected 6-foot-2, 185-pound Oshawa Generals center Brett Harrison with the 85th overall pick in the third round, a player that showed in his highlights that he’s a lethal scoring touch around the net.
Somebody can really shoot the puck https://t.co/NP4xOXFsC8
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) July 24, 2021
The Ontario native spent some time in Finland this past season when the OHL cancelled their entire season due to COVID-19 and scored a pair of goals for Team Canada in a gold medal-winning performance at the 2020 World Junior Championships.
“I’ve always been a Bruins fan. It just ran through the family as my grandpa was best friends with Gary Doak. It was a dream come true when I saw my name pop up and a moment that I’ll never forget,” said Harrison, who also said his father is good friends with Jack Studnicka’s father with both families in Ontario. “I can play in all areas of the ice and all positions. I’m a centerman, but I can also play both sides of the wing as well. I have a very high hockey IQ and a really great scoring touch. I find the soft areas in front of the net and in the slot. I love going to the dirty areas and producing on my chances in front.”
In the fourth round the Boston Bruins selected 6-foot-3 Swedish goaltender Philip Svedeback (117th overall), who is slated to play for the USHL’s Dubuque Fighting Saints this season after playing in a Swedish junior league last season. Interestingly, the Bruins didn’t even call Svedeback about being drafted as he was preparing to play Team Finland in a summer showcase tournament that Finland ended up winning big.
“Knowing how goalies are and it being a game day, I didn’t know that we necessarily needed to throw it at him right there,” said Nadeau, of refraining from contacting the young Swedish goalie. “I’m sure he’s obviously going to find out [he was drafted] and it’s an event that we cover, so an amount of our staff is heading there tomorrow.
“I’m in there in the middle of the week and then Jamie Langenbrunner, so we’ll be able to communicate and touch base with these guys. That was kind of an awkward one, to be honest. I can’t ever remember a situation of a kid playing a game on a draft day.”
In the fifth round, the Boston Bruins selected 18-year-old Swedish forward Oskar Jellvik (149th overall), who projects to be more of a middle-6 forward possibility with some offense and a physical edge to his game. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound forward posted six goals and 12 points in 13 games for Djurgardens IF of the J20 Nationell last season and had one assist in four games for Team Sweden at the Under-17 World Junior championships.
Jellvik sounded pretty pumped to be drafted by the Bruins and said he knew plenty about the city of Boston and it’s relationship with his sports teams.
“I would describe myself as an offensive player with an edge in the offensive zone,” said Jellvik. “My best ability, I would say, are my skills with the puck and my hockey sense to find my teammates. I haven’t been to Boston. But I know the city sports-wise with the teams there. The college teams, like Boston University, and the Patriots and Tom Brady. I think the town is a great town to be in, if you play sports.”
Yes, it certainly is Oskar.
In the sixth round, the Boston Bruins selected 6-foot-4, 215-pound defenseman Ryan Mast, a Michigan kid playing for the Sarnia Sting that participated in a showcase tournament for scouts that featured dozens of draft-age OHL kids that had their junior seasons wiped out by COVID-19. Mast has some puck-moving and offensive ability on the back end, but the size and strength project him to be a Brandon Carlo-type shutdown guy at the next level.
“I’m a big right-handed, two-way defenseman,” said Mast. “I think I value playing the defensive end a lot, but I can get involved jumping in the rush too and making plays offensively. It’s [about] being a versatile, two-way defenseman.
“A Bruin that I think is a good one [for me to look up to] is Brandon Carlo. Similar body types and he’s definitely someone I can learn from by watching him.”
In the seventh round, the Bruins finally scratched the usual itch to select some US-born college hockey players that are their usual bread-and-butter with their draft picks. They first picked California native Andre Gasseau (213th overall), a 6-foot-4, 205-pound power forward headed for Boston College in 2022-23 after playing for the USHL’s Fargo Force this upcoming season.
“Two-way power forward, trying to bring that big presence throughout the middle, carrying the puck and analyzing the game with and without the puck in the offensive zone, defensive zone. Just trying to do all of the little things right,” said Gasseau, when describing himself as a hockey player.
“Drafted or not drafted, I’m just going to put in the work. Just keep pushing and doing my best. It was getting a little nerve-wracking [at the end of the draft], but Boston chose me.”
Then they drafted the requisite Boston University player as they selected defenseman Ty Gallagher, a Michigan-born blueliner with a big shot that holds the record for the most goals scored (24) by a defenseman in US National Development Team Program history.
After scoring ✌️ goals last night at the #U18MensWorlds, Ty Gallagher now holds the record for most goals scored by a defenseman (24) in NTDP history!!
— USA Hockey (@usahockey) April 28, 2021
It’s a skill that should serve him very well at BU and in the Bruins, organization afterward provided he can improve some of the skating and defensive deficiencies in his game at this point in his career.
For his part, the 18-year-old Gallagher sounded pretty excited to be drafted by the Bruins and to be getting ready for a collegiate career playing for the Terriers.
“I thought I had a great phone interview with Boston. A lot of connections through BU,” said Gallagher. “I feel like that was a huge part in this process. I’m just excited. I love Boston. I love the program and the organization of the Bruins. I’m excited.
“I can play a two-way game and I can be counted on in any situation. Whether it’s penalty kill, blocking shots or playing on a top line, trying to create offense and win a game, win a hockey game. I think I make a really good first pass and break the puck out of the zone really well and just love to create offense with our playmaking ability as well as locking it down in the defensive zone. I’d say I’m just a versatile two-way defenseman who can play in any moment of the game.”