The first part of the NHL offseason starts tonight with the NHL Draft. Unlike last season the Bruins have a first round pick this year. They’ll be picking 30th.
Here are some of the best prospects who could fall to the Bruins at the end of the first round according to the experts.
Alex Vlasic: Defense, U18 US National Team
NHL.com: “Vlasic, a left-shot defenseman who is No. 25 on NHL Central Scouting’s midterm ranking of North American skaters for the 2019 draft, is the cousin of San Jose Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic.
In two seasons with USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program, Alex has grown from a gangly, less confident player with limited offensive skills into a 6-foot-6, 193-pound presence on the back end. His 24 points (four goals, 20 assists) in 47 games are tied for fourth among defenseman on the NTDP Under-18 team.
He credits his teammates for helping him become the player is, including daily tests against other top-end 2019 draft prospects, including forwards Jack Hughes, the projected No. 1 pick, and Matthew Boldy, No. 6 on Central Scouting’s midterm ranking.”
Lassai Thomson: Defense, Kelowna Rockets
WHL.com: “Lassi Thomson impressed in his first season in North America, appearing in 63 games with the Kelowna Rockets in which he recorded 17 goals and 41 points, earning him a spot on the WHL Western Conference Second All-Star Team. On the international stage, the budding rearguard picked up a gold medal with Team Finland at the 2018 IIHF Under-18 World Championship after notching two points in seven games. Thomson is the 15th-ranked North American skater in NHL Central Scouting’s Final Draft Rankings.
Thomson describes himself as an offensive player and compares his playing style to fellow Finnish blue-liner and Portland Winterhawks graduate Henri Jokiharju. In fact, it was Jokiharju who pushed Thomson to leave his native Finnish junior league and join the Western Hockey League. Thomson’s offseason goal is to build up the physical side of his game.”
Jakob Pelletier: Left Wing, Moncton Wildcats
CHL.com: “Jakob Pelletier put together a formidable 2018-19 campaign with the Moncton Wildcats as he recorded 39 goals and 89 points in 65 appearances to finish second in team scoring. That came on the heels of an impressive rookie season in which the Quebec City native tallied 61 points and above a point-per-game pace to earn a spot on the QMJHL All-Rookie Team. The up-and-coming left-wing also appeared twice on the international stage with Team Canada – first at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup where he notched two points in four games en route to a gold medal finish, then later earning a spot on the Canadian squad at the 2019 IIHF U18 World Championship. Pelletier is the 27th-ranked North American skater in NHL Central Scouting’s Final Draft Rankings.”
Robert Mastrosimone, LW, Chicago (USHL)
Sporting News: “A hard-nosed sniper with a high compete level, the Boston University-bound winger was one of the USHL’s top scorers and can beat you in more ways than just scoring.”