Joe Haggerty – NBC Sports Boston – With the Bruins scrapping for 5-on-5 goals and clearly without firepower to come back when it became a three-goal lead for the Panthers, it’s beginning to become apparent that the B’s 2015 NHL Draft is really starting to hurt them. With three-plus years of development, this should have been the time when 13th overall pick Jakub Zboril and 15th overall pick Zach Senyshyn stepped up and injected some talent and explosiveness to a lineup that’s bereft of both right now.
I have to say on this rare occasion I actually agree with some of what Joe Haggerty is saying here. But I also believe he is reaching a little bit to place blame on 2015 as to why the Bruins cannot score 5-on-5. Would the Bruins look better with Mathew Barzal, Brock Boeser, Kyle Connor, or Thomas Chabot? Sure they would. However, you could play this game all day long with any team and draft year. Logan Couture over Zach Hamill, anyone?
The Bruins reached for Senyshyn, we all know that. But the kid scored 87 goals in his last two years in the OHL. He has 1st round talent. Maybe not in the middle of the round, maybe late in the round. Zboril was the guy at 13. At that pick he was the highest ranked defenseman on the board. Zboril was ranked 12th on the North American Skaters list, so it wasn’t just he Bruins who had him that high. Thomas Chabot on the other hand was ranked 16th.
You cannot argue the spot the Bruins took Zboril. The kid has not developed as fast as fans and I am sure the Bruins have wanted. Haggerty is right both Senyshyn and Zboril should probably be in the NHL lineup by now, but players develop at their own pace. I thought Zboril did fine in his limited time in the NHL. It is only going to help him moving forward.
By the way, if you do not follow @bruinsnetwork on twitter I would highly recommend it. He has some of the best content regarding Bruins prospects. He likes what he is seeing from Senyshyn this season. Here are a few tweets from @bruinsnetwork:
It does still blow my mind that Providence Bruins coach Jay Leach is still giving Senyshyn 3rd line duties. Who on gods green earth is ahead of him on the Providence depth chart? It isn’t like the P-Bruins are tearing up the AHL this season. Haggerty mentioned that Senyshyn was -9 for the season but never mentions that the Providence Bruins goalies hadn’t stopped a beach ball up until a few weeks ago.
You cannot say that the 2015 draft is a loss for the Bruins right now. Their grade is an incomplete. If you did close the book on the 2015 draft today the Bruins still did fine. They have two young everyday NHL players now from this draft in Jake DeBrusk and Brandon Carlo. Plus Jeremy Lauzon has looked good in his 15 games in the NHL. If you told every GM in the NHL that they would draft and develop 3 legit NHL players from every draft each year they would take it 100% of the time.
If it looks bad now it could be worse. The Bruins could have drafted Dylan Strome with the 3rd pick like Arizona. Strome is in his first year as a regular NHLer and has a five goals so far this season, but his stat line screams bust (9 goals and 10 assists in 52 games). 5 goals and 4 assists in 24 games this season. Strome was recently traded to the Chicago Blackhawks and he has been better in Chicago. He has 2 goals and an assist in four games played. The troubling part of this is the Arizona Coyotes have moved on from their 3rd overall pick in 2015 for Nick Schmaltz. Schmaltz was a first round pick in 2014 (20th overall). Schmaltz has played 166 NHL games and has 96 points (2 goals and 3 assist since the trade to AZ). To make matters worse for the Coyotes is it was not a one for one trade. The Coyotes also included Brandon Perlini, who was the 12th overall pick in the 2014 draft. Perlini has 57 points in 157 NHL games (0 goals and 0 assist since trade) . Perlini has 2 goals and 4 assists in 26 games this season. Talk about a disaster. Arizona just gave up on two lottery picks for one player and they think they are better for it. Not to take anything away from Nick Schmaltz but it is amazing to me that Strome and Perlini was sent packing for the cost of Schmaltz.
The Bruins could have also drafted Lawson Crouse 11th overall like Florida did, who then they shipped him to Arizona. Florida got a second round pick and a third round pick for Crouse and Dave Bolland’s absurd golden parachute contract. Not a great return for a guy that was 11th overall. Crouse has played 108 NHL games and has a monster 11 goals and 8 assists ( 5 goals and 1 assists this season in 25 games).
How about Denis Guryanov? The Dallas Stars drafted him 12th overall. He just recently made is NHL debut. He has played 2 games and has 1 goal. Guryanov is maybe the player you can compare with Senyshyn. In the AHL last season his stat line was 19 goals, 15 assists for 34 points in 74 games. To compare Senyshyn had 12 goals, 14 assists for 26 points in 66 games. This season in the AHL Guryanov had 8 goals and 14 assists in 20 games.
The New Jersey Devils drafted Pavel Zacha 6th overall in 2015. Zacha has comparable NHL stats as Jake DeBrusk, but has played in 64 more games than DeBrusk. Zacha has played 161 games and has 55 points (20 goals and 35 assists). In 97 games DeBrusk also has 55 points (26 goals and 29 assists). Zacha also was still playing in the AHL this season (4 games).
Like I said, you can play this game all day long, Haggs.
In my opinion I feel like Senyshyn should be given a chance at the NHL level and probably should have at least had his cup of coffee at the highest level already. I like Noel Acciari but he is not a 3rd line right wing in the NHL. He has almost zero finish. I also think Senyshyn might be one of those players that ends up having more success at the NHL level because he is playing with more talented players.
I am not sure if there will be any call ups for tonight’s game against Tampa since Providence played last night. Oh, and by the way Senyshyn had two goals. Bjork grabbed a goal and an assist assist as well. Personally, I would also love to see Trent Frederic instead of Colby Cave to boot.
With all that said it is hard to ignore missing out on Barzal, Connor, Chabot and Boeser who were all taken after the Bruins three consecutive first round picks. But it isn’t as bad as some would like for you to think. Not all of the Bruins prospects are going to make it to the NHL and some may end up making it after being traded elsewhere. Continue to be patient with these guys because if you do you just might be in for a treat down the road. It just does not help the Bruins today against the Lightning.
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