Bruins keeping options open in first round

Bruins keeping options open in first round
June 22, 2012, 6:03 am
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PITTSBURGH The Bruins dont look like theyll be in on the earth-shattering moves expected to go down over NHL draft weekend, but there may be a slight movement or two for Bs general manager Peter Chiarelli.
The Bs GM has a list of players hes hoping to select with the 24th pick in the first round, and recent mock drafts have had the vast majority of those defensemen prospects going well before Bostons pick.
The hope is that one of those prospects like Slater Koekkoek with a shoulder injury that knocked him out for most of the junior hockey season will drop right into Bostons lap.
I think there are a lot of defensemen in the draft class. Ive said that before, but there are a lot of good defensemen in this draft. If we dont get a defenseman well be fine because theres always good players, but were hoping that some will slip and because Ive never seen a number of NHL defensemen this large.
So I guess Im putting a spin on it. Sometimes its not bad to pick later on in the draft and see what happens. You just dont control your destiny as much. As far as the draft in general, I think its kind of going to go in different paths like after pick No. 15 or 16. Thats when guys slip, so there seems to be a drop-off at first glance. I think teams are going to go in different directions, so I think were going to get guys that we have fairly high on our list.
But theres a chance Koekkoek, Olli Maatta, Matt Finn, Hampus Lindholm and Brendan Gaunce will all picked much earlier than Bostons designated spot as the 24th team making a selection.
Standing pat was much easier when the steady flow of first round lottery picks were streaming in courtesy of the Phil Kessel deal, but now theres a possibility Boston will need to move up to get one of their targeted players.
Chiarelli said there were five players four defensemen and one forward that theyd specifically targeted and visited with, and a trade could be necessary if he feels that quintet of prospects is falling through his fingers.
We identify a cluster of players that we feel at least two or three of them will be there when we pick. Leading up to Friday, you try and figure it out. Its tough trading down to gauge where they player might fall, but at least you want to address the scenario, said Chiarelli. Leading up to that point, thats what well discuss. At the table well have five or six trade-down scenarios and five or six trade-up scenarios. Ill have tried to cue up or at least plant the seeds leading into Friday. On Friday, Ill flesh them out as the draft progresses.
The options will all be there for the Bruins when Chiarelli and Co. hit the war room draft table on Friday afternoon.
The smart money says theyll take the best available defenseman at their own spot, and then do a lot of waiting until their third round pick comes up 85th overall in the third round on Saturday afternoon.