NHL Draft: Defensive theme to Top 10 picks


NHL Draft: Defensive theme to Top 10 picks

PITTSBURGH As many predicted its been the night of the D-Man in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft at the CONSOL Energy Center. Eight of the first 10 selections in the first round have been blueliners and only two of them Hampus Lindholm selected by the Anaheim Ducks with the sixth overall pick and Slater Koekkoek selected by the Tampa Bay Lighting with the tenth overall pick were on Bostons list of potential players.

Russian sniper Nail Yakupov was selected No. 1 overall by the Edmonton Oilers as they stockpile high-powered forwards, and a number of trades involving Mike Ribeiro, Jordan Staal and Lubomir Visnovsky brought some intrigue to the proceedings. Bostons former second round pick originally sent to Toronto in the Tomas Kaberle deal was actually sent to Dallas as part of the Ribeiro deal bringing the flop artist to the Washington Capitals.

Aside from a lengthy conversation between Peter Chiarelli and Toronto assistant GM Dave Nonis prior to the draft, there doesnt appear to be a whole lot of activity going at the Bruins draft table thus far this evening.

Will at least one of Bostons prized prospects be there for them at the No. 24 pick? Stay turned to find out.

Bruins still in waiting mode on Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, Anders Bjork

Bruins still in waiting mode on Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, Anders Bjork

BRIGHTON, Mass – While the NHL debut for Charlie McAvoy is a matter of “when” rather than “if” at this point after agreeing to an Amateur Tryout Contract (ATO) with the Boston Bruins, the jury is still out on Boston University center Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson and University of Notre Dame winger Anders Bjork become pros. 

Bruins general manager Don Sweeney says that Forsbacka-Karlsson has yet to make a “final decision” on his status for next season after BU’s elimination from the NCAA hockey tournament, and Bjork is readying for the Frozen Four this weekend along with the rest of his Fighting Irish teammates. The 20-year-old Forsbacka-Karlsson just wrapped up his sophomore season with the Terriers and posted 14 goals and 33 points in 38 games with a plus-11 rating, and has not given the Bruins any firm word on his plans for the immediate future. 

The urgency perhaps isn’t there for the Bruins to lock things up with Forsbacka-Karlsson right this second, because he wouldn’t be a factor for this year’s NHL team. 

Meanwhile the Bruins can’t do anything with the 20-year-old Bjork until at least the end of next weekend, but have been mightily impressed with a player that’s posted 21 goals and 52 points in 38 games for Notre Dame this season. Bjork had three assists in the game that propelled Notre Dame into the Frozen Four, and there would be a great deal of urgency for the Bruins to lock up a talented forward that might be able to help them right now. 

“I’ve been able to see [Bjork] a few times including the regional [in New Hampshire] last weekend, and he was outstanding. He played every other shift, he set up goals in the game and he’s had a really nice progression as a college player this season,” said Sweeney of the explosive Notre Dame junior, who was far and away the best player at B's development camp last summer. “They’ve done a fabulous job with their team, and hopefully they get to the Finals on Saturday against Harvard, and we get the best of both worlds seeing how our prospects play in the final game. He’s had a tremendous college career to this point, and we’re excited about his development.”

McAvoy is the front-burner issue for the Bruins at this point, but it would surprise exactly nobody if both Forsbacka-Karlsson and Bjork join him in Providence in the next couple of weeks as they wrap up their AHL season.