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.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars being released today. Amazing that the power and influence of the best movie franchise in cinematic history are just as strong today as it was four decades ago. I still remember my first time seeing it as a very little kid with my parents at the dearly departed Starlight Drive-In in North Reading.
*Good guy and recently fired Colorado Avalanche assistant coach Tim Army talks about a rough past season with the Avs, and some of the difficulties they faced in a truly terrible season. The former Providence College head coach and good hockey man shouldn’t have much trouble finding his next gig.
*A great move by the Arizona Coyotes, who have hired former Bruins forward Craig Cunningham as a pro scout after his awful medical situation last season that resulted in his leg getting amputated. Cunningham is a hard worker and a hockey lifer, and that’s exactly the kind of traits that the best scouts have in huge amounts.
*The New Jersey Devils have fired a number of employees after a rough season, including a groundbreaking radio analyst.
*With the ultra-competitive demand for an edge in NHL player development, teams are beginning to look to Europe for more and more diamonds in the rough. The Bruins tried that with Joonas Kemppainen, but it didn’t work out so well.
*One of the real big advantages of the Nashville Predators getting to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time is a national spotlight getting flashed on PK Subban, who shows off his personality in a rare ESPN interview of a hockey player featured on the network's magazine show.
*Ryan Johansen isn’t done talking smack to Ryan Kesler after the Predators prevailed over the Ducks, and it’s some delicious playoff hatred.
*Is the NHL ready to draft another goaltender with the last name DiPietro in the first round? Inquiring minds want to know, but I’d recommend the New York Islanders take a pass just in the name of avoiding a repeat of some bad history for them.
*Taylor Hall sounds pretty bitter about the whole “Edmonton Oilers getting into the playoff without him” thing, doesn’t he?
*For something completely different: As mentioned above, it’s a milestone birthday for the Star Wars franchise hitting 40 years old today. Boy, this Boston Globe movie review was right on the money back in 1977.