Are the Boston Bruins in on former Philadelphia Flyers first-round pick Jay O’Brien, who became an unrestricted free agent last Monday?
If former Boston University center and Hingham, MA native Jay O’Brien was still on the board when the Boston Bruins picked 30th overall at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, he could’ve been a Bruin by now.
“They liked him a lot,” an NHL amateur scout told Boston Hockey Now on Sunday. “Obviously, easy to say now, but I think a lot of people were stunned he wasn’t there when the Bruins picked, or even early in the second round.”
Instead, O’Brien was taken 19th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers, and the Boston Bruins wound up drafting then-Michigan center John Beecher. Just over four years later though, the Bruins, and every NHL team that was targeting O’Brien before the Flyers drafted him, have the chance to sign the 5-foot-11, 185-pound center after the Flyers didn’t sign him by last Monday. So could O’Brien, who had eight goals and 24 assists in 39 games for the Terriers last season, become the second NCAA free agent not retained by his draft team last week that the Bruins sign this offseason?
“I don’t know now,” the aforementioned NHL Amateur scout told BHN. “He is small and has a hard time getting to the net.”
That’s pretty much what another amateur scout told BHN as well.
“Just an average player for me,” the scout said on Sunday. “Not skilled enough for me to drive the skill bus and not heavy enough or big/strong enough to be the 4th line type I’d like to have.”
In that case, could O’Brien play the wing for the Bruins or another NHL team?
“Maybe,” the scout said. “I think he could at some point, but right now is an AHL player to me.”