Morning Skate: Wednesday, May 30

553888.jpg

Morning Skate: Wednesday, May 30

NEWARK, NJ Best quote of the day thus far was from New Jersey Devils forward Patrik Elias when asked how quick the glove hand was for Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick.
Its quick, said Elias, without missing a beat. Hes Jonathan Quick.

Not only is Elias a three-time veteran of the Stanley Cup Finals with four goals and six points during 18 games in their current playoff run, but hes also quite a quick-witted fellow.
Devils coach Pete DeBoer announced that there will be no changes to the New Jersey Devils for Wednesday nights Game 1 at the Prudential Center, and instead it will be the Kings and Devils butting heads for the upper hand in a sure-to-be-entertaining series.
On to the links:

Bill Plaschke from the Los Angeles Times says that the bandwagon is filling up for the Los Angeles Kings as they get ready to take their first twirl in the Cup Finals since the Wayne Gretzky era.

Rogers Sportsnet may be looking to seize the Hockey Night in Canada franchise away from the CBC, according to a Globe and Mail report.

The Pittsburgh Daily Tribune is doing a piece on concussions affecting children in youth sports and its worth a look.

(FOH) Friend of Haggs Bruce Arthur writes that the Devils have given Martin Brodeur one more chance at greatness in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Zach Parise is leading the Devils in the Stanley Cup Finals, and it may be his last hurrah in New Jersey.

For the first time in the history of the Stanley Cup Finals, both teams will boast US-born captains as they enter the series.

For something completely different: somebody calling themselves The King of All Pimps says its time to legalize prostitution in an op-ed piece for the New York Daily News. I say its time to lock up anybody calling themselves The King of All Pimps.

Bruins go for a defensive project late with Daniel Bukac

nhl_draft_2_062417.jpg

Bruins go for a defensive project late with Daniel Bukac

CHICAGO – The Bruins finished up their 2017 NHL Draft class with a bit of a project, but a 6-foot-5 defenseman with some great skating wheels is a pretty good way to go with a seventh round pick. The B’s nabbed Brandon Wheat Kings defenseman Daniel Bukac with the 204th pick in the draft, and admitted afterward that he’s an ultra-big bodied player that could take some time in the development process.

Bruins assistant GM Scott Bradley said Boston is more than happy to be patient with Bukac given the tools that he’s working with as an 18-year-old prospect. Bukac had two goals and 17 points to go along with 38 penalty minutes in his first season in North America after coming over from the Czech Republic, and Bradley said that B’s scouts noted that he continued to improve and get comfortable as the season wore on.

"He's raw. He's a project. [He’s a] kid from the Czech Republic that played in the Western Hockey League,” said Bradley. “At the start of the year - he's come leaps and bounds with his development. Talking to the people - the coaches, the management, and the GM in Brandon, they're very excited about him coming back to Brandon. They're expecting big things from him. We look forward to seeing him in camp."

Bukac is starting to garner some good international experience after playing for the Czechs in the Under-18’s and the Ivan Hinkla Tournament, but this weekend it was all about his addition to the talented group of Bruins prospects in the hockey world.

"I'm so excited to be drafted by the Boston Bruins," said Bukac, who described himself as a solid two-way defenseman with a good first pass. "It's an awesome feeling. I'm so glad that I was drafted by Boston."

Bruins take a flier on skilled Victor Berglund in 7th round

2017_nhl_draft_062417.jpg

Bruins take a flier on skilled Victor Berglund in 7th round

CHICAGO – While the Bruins went strong two-way defenseman early in the 2017 NHL Draft, they took a shot at a more offensive-minded Swedish defenseman late with seventh-round pick of Victor Berglund.

The six-foot, 165-pound Berglund clearly has a way to go in physical development and will need to get much bigger and stronger before he’s potentially ready for the North American pro ranks, but B’s assistant GM Scott Bradley raved about the Swedish defenseman’s skill set and potential. He also noted that Boston’s entire European scouting contingent, including former B’s forward PJ Axelsson, were fully on board with taking a flier on a talented player that simply needs to develop in the Swedish hockey system.

“Our Swedish guys were on top of Berglund. They think he’s a mobile D, he’s ultra-skilled and he skates well. He’s a six-footer, but [PJ Axelsson, Svenake Svensson and Victor Nybladh] were all pounding the table for him,” said Bradley. “We went along with it and I think we might have something there. Talking to his strength coach after the fact he’s working on putting some muscle and weight on, so we look forward to seeing him at development camp.”

In 62 games at three different levels, Berglund posted five goals and 18 points last season and displayed the kind of speed, creativity and play-making that one needs from their defensemen in today’s NHL.

"I'm an offensive defenseman, who likes to play with the puck, with a great short pass," said Berglund. "I like to follow the rush up ice and want the puck."

It will be a matter of building size and strength and for Berglund to continue developing his game in Sweden for the time being, but the Bruins are certainly happy with him at the 195th pick in Saturday’s second day of the draft.