This is the third article in a series of articles when I will analyze every team in the NHL over a course of thirty weeks.
Top Prospects: Tuukka Rask, Matt Lashoff, Zach Hamill, Blake Wheeler.
The Bruins have one of the best groups of prospects in the NHL and will take full advantage of it in the next couple seasons. There are more good prospects than this, but they are not quite there yet. Tuukka Rask will start at least twenty games next year, but for the most part will be Tim Thomas’s backup. The other three will make the team and have an impact next season. Brad Marchand is another skilled prospect who will play in the NHL soon.
Soon too be retiring: None.
Nobody on the Bruins is really getting near retirement as the oldest player is only thirty-five. However, there are a few players that are maybe five years away and most of them are key players. Boston needs too be ready for this or they will be in heap of trouble.
Division Toughness: 3/6 Montreal is the only other challenge in this division.
Cap Space: 1,430,001. Not much cap room and two key players need to be resigned this year: Tim Thomas and Phil Kessel. Manny Fernandez will be let go to help sign these two. It would probably be cheaper for Boston to sign Kessel before he is vulnerable to an offer sheet. Both will probably cost over $5 million to re-sign.
Current Position: NHL-2 Conference-1 Division-1
3-Year Glance: If Boston can retain both of the players previously mentioned, their young players will carry them possibly to a cup. I expect the Bruins or Penguins to represent the east in the Cup final this year, but will not be able too beat the Sharks or Wings.
The future looks very bright for Boston, but the fact that this year's success was surprising may lead to a step backward next season. Even if the Bruins lose Kessel, their amazing scouting system and player development will help cushion the fall of losing one of their best players.
Overall Grade: Future: A- Present: A-