WILMINGTON, Mass. The Boston Bruins as with most other NHL scouting and development departments -- commonly use current NHL players when projecting their own prospects and draft picks.
What is uncommon is for those projections to be tossed out to the media freely while putting expectations and comparisons next to that particular young hockey player. But Bruins assistant general manager Don Sweeney didnt hesitate in dropping a Ray Whitney parallel to Bruins fifth round pick Seth Griffith after watching the first couple days of Bruins Development Camp at Ristuccia Arena.
Ray Whitneys had a very successful career. I think Griffith has a little bit of blend of those talents. Those types of goals at the OHL level, I think, speak volumes for that type of player that he is, said Sweeney. Hopefully he can go and do that as he moves forward to play against stronger players. We like him, we like the player,
Clearly, developing into a Whitney level of playmaker and scorer is the dream scenario for the Bruins as the NHL veteran is still going strong at 40 years old with over 1,000 points in 20 seasons. But the name creates an image of the 5-foot-9, 180-pound Griffith that is backed up ever so slightly by the 45 goals and 85 points he racked up for the London Knights this season.
We look at it and say, well maybe we should have drafted him last year if he was going to go and have that many goals. You look and say, okay, hes a year older and he should have put up those goals, said Sweeney. Theres always a dynamic youre trying to balance with, you know -- is he gonna gethe might not get bigger, is he gonna get faster?
He already shoots the puck great, so is that shot good enough at the NHL level?
At 5-foot-9 and 180-pounds, Griffith wasnt the fastest, the biggest or the strongest player that the Bruins drafted last weekend, but the production and the quick comparisons to players like Ray Whitney can be intriguing among Bostons current crop of prospects.
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.