Getty

Kings, Golden Knights labeled 2017 NHL Draft winners; Bruins, not so much

9 Comments

It’s nearly certain that we won’t be able to determine the “winners and losers” of the 2017 NHL Draft until, say, 2022. If not later.

Still, what fun is that?

Quite a few outlets pegged some winners and losers, though sometimes the choices were more about themes like nations or player types than specific teams.

For example: Puck Daddy gives a thumbs down to the “green room” experiment.

Let’s take a look at some of the consensus picks.

Winners

Vegas Golden Knights

GM George McPhee was dealt a bad hand when it comes to the lottery draft, so he instead made his own luck. And then he selected three players who could improve this team going forward.

Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek especially liked the last two of their three first-rounders (Nick Suzuki and Erik Brannstrom), viewing Cody Glass as more of a no-brainer. Plenty of others were on board.

Los Angeles Kings

Gabe Vilardi fell to Los Angeles, whether it was because of shaky skating or some other reason. That potential steal (and some other shrewd moves) impressed the Hockey News’ Ryan Kennedy, who assembled draft profiles for PHT.

Again, Vilardi’s loss was considered the Kings’ gain, as slower skaters were considered losers by the likes of Post Media’s Michael Traikos.

Philadelphia Flyers

Boy, Ron Hextall is good at this thing, isn’t he? Philly drew high marks even beyond the layup of landing Nolan Patrick. The main area of disagreement revolved around the Brayden Schenn trade, though plenty came out on Hextall’s side there, too.

Arizona Coyotes

Boy, that negative press didn’t last long, did it? Between landing Niklas Hjalmarsson, Derek Stepan, and Antti Raanta in trades and savvy picks, they were a popular choice.

Themes

Smaller players, Sweden, and Finland drew semi-serious mentions as “winners.”

Losers

Boston Bruins

The perception is that they played it too safe.

Colorado Avalanche, for now?

OK, this was more about draft weekend than picks, but people are criticizing Joe Sakic for standing pat. That could change, but the negative sentiment is there.

Detroit Red Wings

Another common choice. Some believe that their draft was the worst of them all, which isn’t great considering the declining opinion of GM Ken Holland overall.

New York Rangers

Lias Andersson was viewed as a reach by plenty, and his connection to the trade to Arizona might intensify the scrutiny.

Themes

Not a great draft for Russian-born players and/or guys who don’t skate quite swiftly.

***

So, those are some of the near-consensus choices for winners and losers, via the brave souls who made rapid reactions to the 2017 NHL Draft.

Bruins re-sign Tommy Cross to one year, two-way contract

Getty
2 Comments

The Boston Bruins have signed defenseman Tommy Cross to a one-year, two-way contract worth $650,000 at the NHL level.

Cross, 27, spent most of last season in the AHL; however, he did get into one of Boston’s playoff games against Ottawa when Adam McQuaidTorey Krug, Brandon Carlo and Colin Miller were all injured.

It was just the fourth NHL game of Cross’ career, the other three coming in the 2015-16 regular season.

In 74 games for Providence this past season, Cross had 12 goals and 23 assists.

Bruins promote Dean, Cassidy’s former assistant

4 Comments

A familiar face will join Bruce Cassidy behind the bench in Boston next season.

Kevin Dean, Cassidy’s longtime assistant coach in Providence, has been promoted to work alongside Cassidy with the Bruins, the club announced on Tuesday.

“He’s an extremely knowledgeable hockey mind who is deeply committed to the Bruins organization and development of our players,” Cassidy said of Dean, in a release. “We’ve established a strong rapport having coached together for five years in Providence and I look forward to working closely with him again on a daily basis.”

Last year, Dean served as the head coach in Providence, having inherited the job after Cassidy left to join Claude Julien’s staff. When Julien was fired, Cassidy was named interim head coach of the Bruins and, after taking the team to the playoffs, had the interim tag lifted in late April.

In his first season at the helm of the P-Bruins, Dean led the team to a 43-23-6 (96 points) record, yielding a berth in the 2017 Calder Cup playoffs.

Prior to his coaching career, Dean appeared in over 300 NHL contests with New Jersey, Atlanta, Dallas and Chicago. He will now be one of Cassidy’s three assistants, along with Joe Sacco and Jay Pandolfo.

Report: Bruins and Wild involved in ‘ongoing trade discussions’

Getty
11 Comments

A few days ago, Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney sounded prepared to move the 18th overall pick in this month’s NHL Draft.

Now, there are rumblings out of Boston that the Bruins and Minnesota Wild may be discussing a trade.

One of the areas of his team Sweeney would like to improve is — surprise, surprise — on the blue line. A few weeks ago, he openly shared that he’d like to bring in a top-four puck-moving defenseman.

One name being floated out there as a possible fit is Minnesota’s Jonas Brodin, a left-shooting defender who turns 24 years old in July and has four more years remaining on his six-year, $25 million contract.

From CSNNE.com:

One hockey source indicated to CSNNE there should be attention paid to the ongoing trade discussions between the Bruins and Wild for a couple of reasons. Those talks first started leading up to this past season’s trade deadline. The 23-year-old Brodin Is a left-shot D-man with cost certainty signed for four more years at $4.166 million and has been a top-four defenseman for the Wild since breaking into the league as a teenager. The 6-foot-1, 194-pound Brodin is coming off a career-high 25 points, while also averaging a career-low 19:34 of ice time, and has settled in as a solid, two-way D-man who’s never going to dazzle anybody with his workmanlike skill set.

What adds further intrigue is that, while Sweeney sounded open to the idea of trading a first-round pick, the Wild currently don’t have a selection in each of the first two rounds this year. Minnesota dealt its 2017 first-round pick to the Coyotes as part of the Martin Hanzal deal — a move Wild owner Craig Leopold eventually came to regret.

The salary cap is also a factor, especially if it remains at $73 million.

The Wild also have about $61.5 million committed to 15 players for next season, and that’s without pending restricted free agents Mikael Granlund and Nino Niederreiter — in line for raises after respective career seasons — under contract for next year. The idea of a Wild trade — perhaps involving a defenseman — has certainly been out there for a while.

Bruins prospect Arnesson returns to Sweden

Getty

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney says prospect defenseman Linus Arnesson is returning to play in his native Sweden to rediscover his game after an injury-plagued season in the minors.

Sweeney says the Bruins will extend Arnesson a qualifying offer to retain the rights to the 2013 second-round draft pick who completed the final year of his entry level contract. Though disappointed in the decision, Sweeney referred to Arnesson as still having “a lot of upside” while acknowledging injuries took a toll on the player’s confidence.

Sweeney spoke in Buffalo on Thursday while attending the NHL rookie combine.

Swedish Hockey League team Orebro HK announced on its website a day earlier that it had signed Arnesson to a multiyear deal. The 22-year-old was quoted as saying he was seeking “a fresh start.”

Arnesson was limited to playing just 20 regular-season games with AHL Providence this season because of injuries to his shoulder and Achilles tendon. He also had an assist in 13 playoff games for the Bruins’ top minor-league affiliate.