After 27 long days (or at least what felt like that long), the 2021 NHL Entry Draft came to an end Saturday.
Technically, the next step is to wait literal years and see which teams made the shrewdest moves to draft the players who make immeasurable impacts on their NHL clubs. It doesn’t work that way, of course, and we’re left to participate in one of the silliest follies of sports spectatorship: judging drafts.
For the Boston Bruins, that means trying to evaluate seven players, the oldest of which turned 19 years old two months ago. Furthermore, it’s hard to have an opinion on players you just heard of for the first time days ago.
As such, we lean on the so-called experts. Before that, though, here’s a quick refresher on Boston’s seven picks.
First round, No. 20 overall: RW Fabian Lysell (Sweden)
Third round, No. 85 overall: C Brett Harrison (OHL)
Fourth round, No. 117 overall: G Philip Svedeback (Sweden)
Fifth round, No. 149 overall: LW Oskar Jellvik (Sweden)
Sixth round, No. 181 overall: D Ryan Mast (OHL)
Seventh round, No. 213 overall: C Andre Gasseau (USA U-18)
Seventh round, No. 217 overall: D Ty Gallagher (USA U-18)
Now, a few takeaways with help from the smarter people.
— The Bruins’ front office and scouting department have been unafraid to reach for picks in the first round. This year, though, they might have benefited from a player falling to them at No. 20 where they grabbed Lysell out of Sweden.
As you can see in the list above, from EliteProspects.com, Lysell certainly was ranked higher than No. 20 overall. That ultimately means nothing in the long run, but it’s a benchmark, and it shows that the B’s didn’t go way off the board with their first pick.
“The left winger is widely considered a top-10 or top-15 pick in the public sphere, adding to the perceived value of this selection,” FC Hockey’s Josh Bell wrote in his draft grades column. “He’s extremely creative with the puck thanks to his quick hand and impressive speed.”
Seems promising enough.
— Boston is hoping to check two boxes with its third-round pick (the Bruins traded their second-round pick in the Taylor Hall deal). Harrison is a big boy (6-foot-2, 188 pounds) who is supposedly strong on the puck, per reports.
“He hunts pockets of space and loves to trail behind the play to receive drop passes and fire from the top of the circle,” EliteProspects.com wrote about the London, Ontario, native.
Harrison scored 21 goals to along with 16 assists in 58 games for the Oshawa Generals in 2019-20 and scored a pair of goals in seven games last year for Team Canada at world juniors.
He adds some needed size and center depth. Gasseau, taken in the seventh round, has a similar profile as a massive pivot, standing 6-foot-4 and tipping the scales at 205 pounds.
— Svedeback is the first goalie taken by the Bruins since they drafted Jeremy Swayman in the fourth round of the 2017 draft. Obviously, similar results would be considered a very good hit, and in the meantime, Svedeback adds depth at a position with some uncertainty at the position on the big club for the first time in years given the status of Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak’s exit.
— The Bruins added some size on the blue line with the Mast pick in the sixth round. The Michigan native stands a hulking 6-foot-4 and weighs 212 pounds at just 18 years old with plenty of time to pack on some more muscle.
The Athletic’s Corey Proman noted there are scouts who really like Mast, who seems to skate well for his size and can move the puck well out of his own end. Sarnia Sting general manager Dylan Seca tabbed Mast as an “intelligent person and hockey player,” citing his video work as evidence of a “very dedicated player,” per RecruitScouting.com.
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