Third-rounder Cehlarik feels he fits with Bruins

Third-rounder Cehlarik feels he fits with Bruins
July 1, 2013, 10:45 pm
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Bruins’ third round pick Peter Cehlarik listed Rick Nash as the player he most models his game after, and the Bruins scouting staff mentioned names like Michael Handzus and Anze Kopitar in comparison to the Slovakian forward.

The 6-foot-2, 192-pound Cehlarik has played in the Sweden junior leagues for the last two years, and posted 17 goals and 37 points in 38 games for Lulea last season as a 17-year-old prospect that gathered steam as the season went along. By the end of last season Cehlarik had jumped from the Swedish junior league all the way to the men’s professional league, and acquitted himself well in a handful of games.

Needless to say Cehlarik was very excited about getting drafted by the Bruins with the 90th overall pick in the 2013 draft, and feels like their team mantra fits in very well with his personal style.

“I’ve been watching some games. I know the style they play, they play physical, they have strong guys and a strong team,” said Cehlarik. “I like the way they play, and it’s one of the teams I’ve been watching the most.

“It’s an amazing feeling. Before this season, I didn't even expect to get to be drafted even if it's the Bruins. It’s great for me. I appreciate it. It’s just motivation to work harder and do great.”

Cehlarik listed his skating as one of the areas that will need to be improved as he works his way into the Swedish Elite League, and it would appear he’s still a bit of a raw prospect to be molded into shape.

"[He’s] smart, skilled, and well-sized. [Cehlarik] is a young Slovak guy who has played two years in Sweden in Lulea [Lulea HF] programs," Bruins European scout Jukka Holtari said. "[He’s a] little bit of a secret player early in the season. Late in the season he played very well in Sochi in the Under-18 World Championship for the Slovaks and there was no more secret player then.

“If he turns out what we wish him to be, the style of play reminds a little bit of Anze Kopitar. Kopitar was ahead of this player - already at this age, he played at the Men’s World Championship. But the style of play has some similarities.”

Clearly the Bruins would be overjoyed if Cehlarik turns out to be anything close to the Los Angeles Kings superstar, but they’ll settle for a player that can turn into a productive asset for them down the line. Cehlarik was the 28th ranked European skater eligible for the draft with a real upward trend to his game, and could end up being a real steal for the Bruins at the bottom of the third round when Boston’s draft is viewed in the past tense years down the line.