It’s still pretty close in the rearview mirror and it remains to be seen exactly what the NHL will do for the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, but a year later, the Bruins’ performance compared to the June draft was still looking pretty promising.
John Beecher looks like a privileged NHL prospect who will play in Boston a few years from now, and some of the B’s lower round picks look like hopefuls who could become useful NHL players with time and development .
There don’t seem to be any busts in this group, even if there is no real ETA when the Bruins’ fifth-round pick from Russia ends up going to Boston for the first time.
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Here is an overview of the selection of the 2019 NHL B selection:
1. John Beecher (1st round, 30th overall) – The 6 feet 3 inches and 210 pounds impressed people at the Bruins development camp last summer with its obvious size and strength combined with a stride of fast and powerful skating that stood out during the melee with the other prospects. It was clear that other areas of his game were still raw, but the tools added to a prospect who could be very effective as a premium center among the top 6 with size, strength, speed and capacity offensive as well as everything else.
The 19-year-old went on to have a solid first-year season at the University of Michigan, scoring nine goals and 16 points and one plus-7 in 31 games with the Wolverines. Beecher also lifted a suspension for embarking on a player of the Finland team during the world junior tournament as a member of the United States team and then obtained a suspension of a match for having struck lead to an Ohio State player about a month later. So he’s shown a bit of his nasty side on the ice so far.
For a team of Bruins looking for more size and strength, a little meaner and an apparent heir apparent in the center of an aging Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, Beecher checks all kinds of boxes for a Bruins prospect at one time where Boston needed more organizational depth when it came to high-end centers. Here are some highlights from the gifted Beecher of the international game. Grade: A
2. Quinn Olson (3rd round, 92nd overall) – The 5 foot 11 inch 170 pound Olson was an interesting choice in the third round as a left winger with an attacking ability who also played a bit ahead of his game. After a few solid seasons in AJHL , Olson had seven goals and 15 points in 31 games with a minus-2 for the University of Minnesota-Duluth this season as an 18-year-old first-year striker.
He also had 24 penalty minutes in those 31 games, continuing to show some bite in his overall game, even at the NCAA level. here is a clip from Olson’s game of his junior hockey days which shows the hockey hands and IQ that went into the B selecting it in the third round. Olson hasn’t developed anything beyond a good prospect at this point, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Category B
3. Roman Bychkov (5th round, 154th overall) – A hopeful Russian left-handed defender who plays in the Russian junior ranks and failed to make it to North America for the Bruins’ development camp, it’s hard to read Bychkov. The 5 foot 11 inch and 170 pounder would have very good offensive and skating skills, and here is a clip of him showing his strong blow from the point that set a goal for his team.
It is difficult to read a player who has not spent any time with the Bruins to date, but has seven goals and 26 points and one plus-29 in 62 games for Loko Yaroslavl this season. His absence last summer not only encouraged the Bruins to get anything out of him as a player anytime soon. Who knows at this point? This is part of the risk of recruiting Russian hockey players in the first place, although it is clear that there is an advantage to Bychkov if the Bruins can bring him to Boston. Quality: C-
4. Matias Mantykivi (6th round, 185th overall) – Left winger is listed at 5 feet 10 inches and 143 pounds and has scored three goals and six points in 42 games for the Finnish League’s best SaiPa Lappeenranta this season after starting as a point-per-game player at Finnish junior level. . Mantykivi was also a combined under-14 for the two Finnish teams, so there could be some development in his defensive play that will be necessary.
Clearly, Mantykivi still has some physical development to do before he is ready for professional play in North America given his size / strength limits when he was drafted last summer. But he shows in this video that his hands, his vision on the ice, his two-way play and his ability to pass are all distinguished from the scouts who watched him before being drafted. Category B-
5. Jake Schmaltz (7th round, 192nd overall) – The 6-foot-1, 178-pound left winger finished with 13 goals and 32 points in 47 games with a plus-5 rating this season for USHL Green Bay players. It was a good progression since his first season in the USHL with Chicago Steel when he played in his native Wisconsin and showed a good progression offensively.
Schmaltz is the cousin of Arizona Coyotes forward Nick Schmaltz and Blues forward Jordan Schmaltz. a mid-6 forward based on its lineages and projectible skills. The jury is far from Schmaltz as he only started his NCAA career at the age of 19, but that could prove to be a very good seventh round pick. Quality: B +