PITTSBURGH Seth Griffith doesnt blow you away with any particular skill on the ice.
But the Bruins' fifth round pick acquired with the Tampa Bay draft pick that went to Boston in the Benoit Pouliot deal simply produces, and sometimes thats good enough for a shot. Griffith potted 45 goals and put up 85 points for the London Knights on the way to the Memorial Cup Final last season, but the 5-foot-11, 185-pound prospect never showed up on the NHL Central Scouting list despite a season for the ages.
Consider that motivation for the 19-year-old, who worked diligently on his skating and first-step explosiveness prior to last season.
Ive worked really hard with my skating. I guess your skating cant be good enough, so Ill continue to work hard to get better, said Griffith. I think Im a scorer, but I also can make that good pass. I like to say Im a scorer and a playmaker.
I model my game after Claude Giroux. You know, hes not an overly big guy, but he puts up points. He just competes really hard every game.
The Bruins scouting staff checked in with London coaching stalwarts Dale and Mark Hunter before selecting Griffith, and got rave reviews from them as well as their own London Knights prospect Jared Knight.
Griffith said Knight was among the first players to contact him once he heard his name called with the 131st overall pick.
Knight actually texted me right after I got picked . . . he texted me right away, said Griffith. Were pretty good friends back in London so you know, he talked really highly of Boston and what a great organization theyve been to him in such short time. Im just really looking forward to getting started with them.
Without blow-you-away skating speed, a sizzling shot or notable size it will be a challenge for Griffith to make it at the next level of professional hockey, but hes already got a knack for improving and producing. Now he just has to keep doing it after catching the Bruins eye.