Boston Bruins: Top 2012 Draft Needs, Targeted Prospects and Predictions
This season, the Boston Bruins became one of several teams over the last two decades to win the Stanley Cup before getting knocked out in the first round of the playoffs the following year.
With a roster of players who are young and talented, the future is bright in Boston. However, there are some weaknesses that general manager Peter Chiarelli must address to improve the team for a deep playoff run in 2012-13.
The Bruins powerplay during their Stanley Cup run of last season was dreadful, but they got away with it because of strong defense, great 5-on-5 play, and spectacular goaltending. This year, the powerplay was terrible again in the playoffs, and the Bruins weren't able to overcome it for a second time.
Let's look at Boston's biggest needs, prospects they should target and predictions for their first round pick.
What position should the Bruins address in the first round?
Chiarelli may look address the need for a top six forward in the free agent market. Unrestricted free agents such as Zach Parise, Alexander Semin, and Ray Whitney would be great fits with the black and gold.
Other than adding a pure goal scorer, the Bruins don't have too many other needs. With Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin , they have a good young goaltending duo, and the team's defensive depth is also very impressive throughout the organization.
Top defenseman prospect Dougie Hamilton should be on the Bruins' roster next season, and he would certainly bolster the powerplay with his offensive talent.
In conclusion, the Bruins will look for offense in this draft.
Take a look at the Bruins players whose contracts are set to expire on July 1, via Capgeek.
|Player||Position||UFA/RFA||2011-12 Salary Cap Hit||Age|
|Brian Rolston||RW||UFA||$5.06 million||39|
|Joe Corvo||D||UFA||$2.25 million||34|
|Greg Zanon||D||UFA||$1.93 million||31|
|Tuukka Rask||G||RFA||$1.25 million||25|
Who is the most important free agent for Boston? (Rask excluded)
On defense, don't expect Joe Corvo or Greg Zanon to be back with the Bruins next season. Corvo was a turnover machine and wasn't close to the offensive player he was expected to be, while Zanon didn't play well in the playoffs and shouldn't keep a spot on the roster when young prospects like Hamilton deserve a spot for an NHL job.
Rolston probably won't be back since the Bruins need a younger, more explosive winger for next season.
Rask is the future of the Bruins and will start next season since Tim Thomas is taking a year off from hockey. It would be a surprise of epic proportions if the Bruins don't re-sign Rask.
The Bruins have plenty of depth at center, so drafting a winger would be ideal for them. Colton Sissons of WHL's Kelowna Rockets is a right winger with impressive defensive skills in addition to his goal scoring ability.
Sissons' physical attributes would be a good fit in Boston, and his 26 goals with the Rockets proved he has the offensive talent the Bruins need on the wing.
Thomas Wilson is another big forward who plays a physical game that the Bruins might target in the first round. He scored nine goals and tallied 17 assists this season for the Plymouth Whalers, which is the same OHL team Seguin played for.
Colton Sissons is the best fit for the Bruins because he would give them the most all-around ability in the middle of the first round. Boston needs depth on the wings, which makes Sissons a smart choice.
Nicholas Goss is a Boston Bruins Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and has covered the team firsthand since the 2010-11 season. He was also the organization's on-site reporter for the 2011 Stanley Cup Final in Boston.
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