Jefferson would 'love' to return to Boston

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Jefferson would 'love' to return to Boston

BOSTON When Doc Rivers watches former Celtic Al Jefferson on video now, he's amazed at what he sees -- and we're not talking about the significant weight loss, either.
"He just keeps getting better and better," Rivers said. "The thing that I thought I'd never say about Al, but Al's becoming a better passer and I'm very happy about that for him."
Indeed, the once-overweight big man who entered the NBA straight out of high school has evolved into one of the more offensively-gifted big men in the NBA with multiple means in which to impact games for the Utah Jazz.
On Wednesday, he delivered a solid performance of 13 points and 14 rebounds against his former team. But the C's still managed to escape with a win, 98-93.
With his size, experience and skill set, it's a given that Jefferson will be one of the more sought-after players this summer when he becomes a free agent.
"I'll cross that bridge when I get there. You don't want to think too far ahead," Jefferson said. "You have to take are of business, day by day. I really believe if I do my part, everything will work out."
Jefferson has said he's focused on doing all he can to get the Jazz back to the playoffs for the second straight year, but added that he would consider a return to Boston when he becomes a free agent.
"This is my first home," said Jefferson, who added that he loves it in Utah because they do things the right way, "kind of like Boston."
"This will always be my home away from home, first place I've been; gave me a chance when nobody else did," added Jefferson. "If that (returning to Boston) ever happened, I'd love to do that again. But right now, it's all about taking care of business and finishing the season off right."
Doing that means getting back to the playoffs, something that was a bit unexpected for the Jazz last season.
That experience bodes well for Jefferson, who had not been to the postseason since his days with the Celtics.
"Making that playoff run, he was a big part of that last year," Rivers said "That's kind of re-stoked him. It's good. He's a heck of a guy."
And a heck of a player who isn't the same wide-eyed youngster learning all he could from the slew of Celtics veterans ahead of him on the depth chart.
These days, he's the one doling out advice to youngsters like Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter.
"I think what probably surprises Al is how quickly you become a veteran," Rivers said. "And now, you have to give direction. It happens quickly."

Bruins add a little speed and offense with Swedish pick Steen

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Bruins add a little speed and offense with Swedish pick Steen

The Bruins skipped out on a chance to draft a speedy, small forward with skill at the end of the first round last weekend in Buffalo when they selected big, bruising center Trent Frederic over 5-foot-7 Alex DeBrincat with the 29th overall pick. 

Still, the Bruins eventually got around to some pint-sized hockey talent with their final pick of the draft when they tapped 5-foot-9 Swedish forward Oskar Steen in the sixth round with the 165th overall pick.

Steen had 16 goals and 52 points playing for four teams last season as a winger/center in the Swedish junior hockey ranks.  He showed the kind of speed and natural ability making plays that can compensate for being small in stature. 

The 18-year-old said he hadn’t spoken with Bruins scouts prior to hearing his name called on Saturday afternoon, but that didn’t dampen his clear enthusiasm about becoming one of the newest members of an Original Six organization.

“I was a little bit surprised that I was taken by a team I haven’t spoken with. So it was, yeah. I wasn’t really expecting that but it was fun and nice team, so I’m happy to be drafted by Boston,” said Steen. “[I’m a] very good team player, who can play an offensive game and a defensive game. So I’m a two-way player who can play both winger and center.

“I think that’s my strength, I can play sort of much rules, yeah. So yeah and I have really good passing, and my shot is okay. I think my playmaking, yeah, my playmaking is my biggest positive.”

After going for grit, size and character with Frederic and Ryan Lindgren in the first couple of rounds, the Bruins came full circle while landing on the skilled, “underrated” ability to make plays with their final pick of the weekend. Bruins scout P.J. Axelsson has had some level of say in the Swedish players selected over the past couple of years, so perhaps it’s not that surprising that the speedy, versatile Steen sounds a little like a smaller, slightly more productive version of the beloved, retired Bruins forward.

“He’s got underrated skill. He can score goals and move the puck,” said Bruins Director of Scouting Keith Gretzky. “He’s not the biggest guy, but we’ve seen him and we were excited to be able to draft him.”

The diminutive Steen joins a number of young Swedish players in the Black and Gold system that the Bruins have selected the past couple of years and it remains to be seen where he’ll stack up against his fellow Swedes once B’s development camp opens in a couple of weeks. 

 

A complete Bruins draft review with Kirk Luedeke

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A complete Bruins draft review with Kirk Luedeke

CSNNE.com Insider Joe Haggerty is joined by NHL Draft expert Kirk Luedeke to discuss the 2016 NHL Draft class of the Boston Bruins. How soon will first pick Charlie McAvoy be ready? Was Trent Federic a reach with pick #29?