After a disappointing end to a great playoff run, the Boston Bruins look for a fresh start with brand new talent. Presenting the Boston Bruins 2019 draft review. For an incredibly in-depth look at each player, and for more draft coverage in general, visit Ben Kerr’s comprehensive draft analysis and prospect reports page.
The Bruins had five picks in this year’s draft, with the highest being pick 30. Although this means that they didn’t pick up any immediate impact level talent, the five skaters they added will bring added depth and hope to contribute to the future success of the franchise.
The Boston Bruins 2019 Draft Review – Pick by Pick
Round 1, 30th Overall – John Beecher
John Beecher is a great pick for a team who struggles with depth and age at centre. The 6’3″, 208-pound centre is yet another product of the United States National Team Development Program. He was the 8th player from their program selected in the first round this year. With players such as Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci ageing and a long string of centers who failed to develop the way the Bruins hoped, Beecher is an important piece of the future. A strong skater, with good vision and even better balance, is exactly the kind of player the Bruins need to add to their organization.
Round 3, 92nd Overall – Quinn Olson
The Bruins were without a second round pick because of their key deal for Marcus Johannson. With their 3rd round pick, they selected Quinn Olson from the AJHL. Olson was over a point-per-game last season with the Okotoks Oilers, but the Bruins shouldn’t expect to see that level of play in NHL any time soon. Although he’s a great two-way player, he still some development to do physically. The left-wing/centre prospect is also committed to the University of Minnesota-Duluth for the 2020-21 season, and playing for such a strong program will help him towards being NHL ready.
Round 5, 154th Overall – Roman Bychkov
The Bruins used their next pick to take left-handed Russian defenseman Roman Bychkov. The left-handed shot is a product of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in the MHL. None of his stats jump off the page, but he’s never been a season minus. He’s represented Russia in international play three times at three levels. Bychkov is undersized, standing at only 5’11” and weighing 170 lbs. He is a good skater and stick-handler. He also has the passing ability to move the puck up the ice in transition or to play the point on the power play. This strong set of skills and potential might compensate for the lack of size and allow him to be a puck-mover on the Bruins back end. After all the Bruins played two defenders who are even smaller in big roles during the recent playoffs.
Round 6, 185th Overall – Matias Mantykivi
Matias Mantykivi is a hard pick to judge. He’s spent his entire career playing in the SaiPa system in Finland but only played six games at the top level and a further 24 games against men in the Mestis (11 regular season and 13 playoffs, putting up 10 points). The forward produced 49 points in 63 games in the Jr. A SM-liiga. That isn’t terribly impressive on its own. At every other level of Finnish junior hockey Mantykivi played in, he was well over a point per game. It is far too early to make a call on this pick, but he may become an important bottom six forward. He said that he styles his game after Pavel Datsyuk, which is an exciting thing to hear. Mantykivi is more of a playmaker than a scorer. He will need to bulk up.
Round 7, 192nd Overall – Jake Schmaltz
With their final pick of the 2019 NHL draft, the Boston Bruins selected Jake Schmaltz. The Wisconsin native spent the last season playing with the Chicago Steel of the USHL. Schmaltz only managed 18 total points in 60 games with the Steel. However, his penalty killing and two-way play anchored the Steel’s bottom six. He has the ability to play center and on the wing – something Boston values. Schmaltz committed to the University of North Dakota for the 2020-21 season, where the Bruins expect his game to grow.
Between a near-win in the Stanley Cup Final and a few trades, the Boston Bruins didn’t enter the 2019 draft with the ability to make a splash. Drafting four forwards who are either natural centers or capable of playing center shows the front office realizes that Bergeron can’t play forever and are planning for the future, which is a good thing. Bychkov is the only pick that sticks out as being strange. He’s not particularly big, a notably strong skater, or a right-handed shot. The demand for right-handed defensemen is higher than ever, and drafting one would have been wise.
The 2019 NHL Draft had winners and losers. The Boston Bruins were neither of these. They added no immediate impact talent, but they didn’t skip over future NHL stars for busts with two out of three consecutive first-round picks. Overall, The Boston Bruins 2019 Draft Grade came in at a C.
ST. PAUL, MN – SEPTEMBER 19: Team Leopold forward John Beecher (17) skates with the puck during the USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game between Team Leopold and Team Langenbrunner on September 19, 2018 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN. Team Leopold defeated Team Langenbrunner 6-4.(Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)