It didn’t have the excitement that the past two drafts had but the Bruins still managed to turn in an interesting draft weekend. The Bruins selected Malcolm Subban, younger brother of hated Hab P.K, with their first round pick and traded away the rights of Benoit Pouliot to the Lightning. The Bruins also selected five more amateurs and we learned that Tim Thomas had waived his no-trade clause about 10 days prior to the draft.
First things first, I like the Subban pick. The Bruins weren’t in position to draft a player that would make an impact on their roster in the next year or two and took a highly talented goalie who they can groom for a few years before throwing him into the NHL. The Bruins do have a great eye for goaltending talent in the last decade or so. They plucked an unknown Tim Thomas out of Europe, traded for Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin, and even got a Jennings Trophy out of Manny Fernandez. If there’s one position I have the most faith in the Bruins scouting department it would be goaltending. We’ve seen how teams like the Leafs have failed to find a stud goalie for 10+ years and knowing that the Bruins can 1.) evaluate talent that will fit their system and 2.) can get production out of less-than-stellar goalies makes me feel better about the pick even if it is a position that the Bruins are very deep at.
For those wondering if Malcolm is anything like his boisterous brother, the young goalie has indicated that he’s much more humble than his brother comes off. Malcolm’s brief history seems to be an indicator of that. He only began playing goalie when he was 12-years-old and was an 11th round pick of the Belleville Bulls of the CHL. The unheralded goalie beat out a first-round pick for the starting goalie position and has gone from there. I also liked that Malcolm cried on stage, you can tell the kid is humble and happy if he’s that outwardly emotional.
As for the other five picks the Bruins made, I’m not going to BS you and pretend like I know anything about them at this time. They’ll all likely be long-term projects and I wouldn’t expect to see any in a Bruins uniform for some time, if at all. After the first round or two it’s almost impossible to say if a kid will make it and with the Bruins core in tact for the future it’ll be that much harder for one of them to break in.
On to Benoit Pouliot being traded, I can’t say I’m surprised. After the Bruins acquired Chris Bourque it was clear that he’d be replacing either Pouliot, Daniel Paille, or Gregory Campbell. When Campbell and Paille got new deals it was only a matter of time that Benny would be wearing a different sweater. Benny did good given his expectations were very small but wasn’t going to be worth much more than he got last year. The Bruins got soon-to-be UFA Michel Ouellet and a fifth round pick. Better than the nothing they were going to get on July 1st. I think Chris Bourque and Jordan Caron will fit the Bruins criteria of a third/fourth line player better than the hot-and-cold Pouliot ever could.
Finally, the news that Tim Thomas waived his no-trade clause may be the biggest non-story of the weekend. It only reaffirms that his sabbatical stunt was just a ploy to get out of town, which everyone already knew. It’s also a moot point because the NTC was set to expire on July 1st anyways. So who, if anyone will take Timmy? Surprisingly to some, a fair amount of teams have already showed interest. About 1/3 of the NHL teams are currently hovering below or at the cap floor. Those teams could trade for Thomas to reach the floor and don’t have to pay him anything unless he decides to come back and play. Then we have the teams who are interested in acquiring Thomas if he, you know, actually plays. That scenario is a little more risky for teams as the decision rests solely on Timmy’s crazy shoulders, but if Thomas says that he’ll play for Team X that could stifle any worries. Point is, I say it’s a 75% chance Tim Thomas is somewhere else come Fall. Somebody will take him, either for cap reasons or because he can still play.
I’m just glad the Bruins were able to give TT one final FU by drafting a goalie on Friday night. If Thomas doesn’t need the Bruins the Bruins made it clear that they don’t need him either.