A look back at the 2016 NHL draft


The Bruins were loaded into the 2016 NHL Draft with a pair of first-round picks and a second-round pick after missing the playoffs for a second consecutive season.

They needed a stud defender after missing with Jakub Zboril the previous year in the draft, and they needed good players throughout the organization as Don Sweeney continued his draft and development strategy with the Black and Gold.

Well, they did a good job in 2016 and learned from some of the mistakes of the previous year. Admittedly, they hit with the biggest pick after landing Charlie McAvoy in the middle of the first round, and they picked up what appeared to be NHL players arguably with Trent Frederic and Ryan Lindgren with the other two best picks.

They could also have a good find with Oskar Steen late on the second day of this weekend’s draft in Buffalo. Overall, it’s a pretty good draft class for the B’s even if it looks like they’ve completely missed out with Cameron Clarke. Choosing Charlie McAvoy over Dante Fabbro was a big decision and they made the right decision.

Charlie McAvoy (1st round, 14th overall choice)

The Bruins entered the draft trying to decide between McAvoy and fellow Boston defender Dante Fabbro in the middle of the first round. They had a choice between them when they ended up choosing, and they absolutely made the right choice with the 6-foot, 208-pound McAvoy.

Sure, he’s had injury issues in the past three years and he’s still learning on the job, but McAvoy still seems on track to have a game very similar to Drew Doughty when he’s healthy and fully developed. He plays physically, he can play massive minutes, he can play the quarterback on power play and his ability to move the puck which makes him a # 1 defender in the making.

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He looked like he was on the verge of breaking his career highs with seven goals and seven points with 32 points when the regular season was interrupted and is still very much up at just 22 years old. McAvoy got off to a slow start offensively this year, but he was excellent in the second period after picking up this game winner against the Blackhawks in January:

The Bruins really needed to hit a homerun with one of their D-man picks to bring up their next guy and # 1 heir to Zdeno Chara, and they did it with that pick.

Quality: A.

Trent Frederic (1st round, 29th overall choice)

In all honesty, this is a choice I have never been a fan of. The Bruins were clearly looking for a large physical center that would play a game of bruises and that was why he was chosen. But they could have taken Alex DeBrincat, who was a landmark phenomenon in junior hockey and who now has 87 goals in three seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Still, there is at least hope that Frédéric will become the kind of tough customer the Bruins could absolutely use at the NHL level. The 6-foot-2, 203-pound player led the American League with eight combat majors during the current American League season and has scored 11 goals and 20 points in 45 games with the P-Bruins this season. The plus-4 rating and 65-minute penalty speaks to a player who plays two-way hockey well and plays with a punitive goal, and is preparing to play in Boston like many Bruins players before him.

It remains to be seen whether he was worth the first choice for the B’s. He could become a fan favorite in Boston when he is finally recalled after giving up the gloves when he first appeared in the NHL and destroying Brandon Tanev, with the B he a few seasons ago.

Category B.

Ryan Lindgren (2nd round, 49th overall pick)

The hard-nosed Lindgren was transferred to the New York Rangers in Rick Nash’s trade as the Bruins reluctantly traded the 6-foot, 191-pound defenseman, who was difficult to play. He has since reached the NHL level and even mingled with the Bruins last season while scoring a goal and 14 points as well as a plus-16 in 60 games.

Lindgren doesn’t have high-end offensive skills as a defenseman, but he feels like he’s going to be a winning player in the NHL. The 21-year-old appears to be an NHL regular for a while, although he will likely be the bottom defender for the Blueshirts.

However, he has tenacity, leadership qualities and would have made a very good player for the Bruins if the Bruins could have held on to him. For a guy selected in the middle of the second round, Lindgren became a good NHL player and an excellent draft pick.

Quality: A-.

Joona Koppanen (5th round, 135th overall)

The 6’5 ”, 192 pound center in Finland is tall and has shown skill and ability in the past, such as international matches in the world junior tournament. But since moving to North America, Koppanen has been in complete agreement with the Bruins organization.

He has a nine-goal career record and 18 points in 43 games with the P-Bruins last season, but has rebounded between AHL and ECHL in the past two years in flawless approval of his game. . Koppanen has shown good two-way ability on this goal with the P-Bruins this season:

He’s one year older on his Boston contract next season, but hasn’t shown enough strength, tenacity, or offensive ability to truly excel in a particular area at the AHL level. In other words, he didn’t show much to stay and make it a fifth round pick with real value. But we will see what the next season has in store for us.

Quality: C-.

Cameron Clarke (5th round, 136th overall)

Choosing Clarke turned out to be the Bruins’ worst choice in this draft class. Clarke was an average defenseman at Ferris State University after being selected by the NHL Bruins as an average prospect.

It turns out that the Bruins probably shouldn’t even have cared. The 24-year-old graduated from college and played three scoreless games for the Wichita Thunder in ECHL at the end of this season, but was never signed by the Bruins. He was a good size and clearly had a few tools that he flashed during his draft year, but never improved on a goal and 11 points in his NCAA freshman season.

The Bruins rolled the dice with this pick on a little-known player from a lesser hockey league and it didn’t work 100%.

Quality: F.

Oskar Steen (6th round, 165th overall)

Steen’s choice could turn out to be a rough diamond for black and gold. Steen was a spirited and skillful player on the Swedish team in the world junior game, before scoring 17 goals and 37 points in 46 games in the Swedish Elite League before signing with the Bruins.

The 22-year-old had seven goals and 23 points in 60 games with the P-Bruins in his first professional season this year at the AHL level and the 5 foot 9 inch 186 pounder was full of promise for his future level of the NHL. Steen has speed and a dangerous shot, and plays with the type of fire that will be necessary for his size to excel in Boston.

In his first goal scored for the P-Bruins, you can see Steen’s battle level and the slot bomb that will make him a good pro:

Steen may need a little more AHL seasoning before he takes a look at Boston, but it looks like he’ll be playing for the Bruins in the next few years.

Quality: B +.


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