Let’s be real: the NHL Draft will never have nearly the same cache, media or fan attention as the NBA or NFL Drafts, mostly because nobody knows anything about the players that are drafted. Also, like MLB (which anonymously held theirs a few weeks back), many of these guys never pan out or reach the pro team that takes them. With that said, it was still an interesting weekend for the Bruins at the 2012 NHL Draft in Pittsburgh, Penn.
On Friday, their lone first round pick (24th overall) was goaltender Malcolm Subban. Yes, you guessed it: Malcolm is Montreal Canadiens defenseman and Boston uber-villain P.K. Subban’s little brother. Somewhere, NESN’s Jack Edwards is penning a 10-minute diatribe just in case the brothers ever meet on the ice in the fantastic Bruins-Canadiens blood rivalry.
Adding intrigue to Subban’s selection was the fact that Tim Thomas waived his no-trade clause on Friday as well, meaning that the B’s could potentially dump his salary on a team looking for cap relief. I’m not sure if cap jail exists in the NHL (we’ll have to ask CSNNE’s Mike Felger), but it should make things easier for the Bruins.
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Boston had five picks on Day 2 (Saturday): defenseman Matt Grzelcyk (3rd round, 85th overall) - click here for Metro's feature on Grzelcyk last week - forward Seth Griffith (5th round, 131 overall), forward Cody Payne (3rd round, 145th overall), defenseman Matthew Benning (6th round, 175th overall) and forward Colton Hargrove (7th round, 205th overall).
Without question, the most interesting selection is Grzelcyk for three simple reasons: he is a Charlestown native and Bruins fan for life, his dad works on the “bull gang” (the group that changes over the court/ice) at TD Garden and he is headed to play for legendary coach Jack Parker at Boston University starting in the fall of 2013.
Griffith came from a trade Boston made with Tampa Bay earlier in the day. The B’s sent forward Benoit Pouliot to the Lightning for forward Michel Ouelett. Pouliot’s contract expires on July 1 (first day of free agency) and Ouelett is in the same situation.
Looking at their numbers, they seem like the same mediocre bottom-six type forward: Pouliot had 16 goals and 16 assists last season with Boston (his only one in Black and Gold) with 53 goals and 51 assists in 257 career NHL games. Ouelett had 52 goals and 64 assists in 190 career NHL games but he’s mostly been in the AHL since 2007 so don’t count on him being there on Opening Night in Philadelphia with the Bruins.