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Boston Bruins Draft Defenseman Urho Vaakanainen With No.18

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Boston Bruins Draft Defenseman Urho Vaakanainen With No.18

A day after the NBA draft, the NHL holds one of their own.

The Boston Bruins have the 18th overall pick in the draft and this blog will be updated as the Boston Bruins make their picks. For now please enjoy the yearly rendition of fans ruthlessly booing NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.

Views from the Bruins table.

#NHLBruins draft table ready for Round 1.

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Their has been talks earlier in the day where the B’s were talking to the Minnesota Wild about left-shot defenseman Marco Scandella. Will be interesting to see if a move happens.

Top 5 Picks:

NJ: Nico Hischier

Philadelphia: Nolan Patrick

Dallas: Miro Heiskanen

Colorado: Cale Makar

Vancouver: Elias Pettersson

Back in Boston the boys from Boston University are awaiting the Bruins pick.

The first Vegas Golden Knight pick ever is Cody Glass, a Center.

No movement on the Boston Bruins front right now. But there is this little nugget on who JFK and McAvoy would like at No.18.

Bruins are on the clock.

With the No.18 pick the NHL Entry Draft the Boston Bruins select defenseman Urho Vaakanainen.

Vaakanainen is a left-shot defenseman from Finland. He wasn’t a guaranteed first round draft pick, but this pick isn’t necessarily considered a crazy reach for Boston.

He is 18-years-old, and joins the following as young Boston Bruins defenseman in the organization.

Charlie McAvoy

Jakob Zboril

Brandon Carlo

Ryan Lindgren

Jeremy Lauzon

Vaakanainen is considered a solid skater, but lacks solid puck carrying skills according to scouts.

Here is where he fell on various rankings:

Ranked #11 by Hockeyprospect.com
Ranked #37 by ISS Hockey
Ranked #30 by Future Considerations
Ranked #13 by McKeen’s Hockey
Ranked #8 by NHL Central Scouting (EU Skaters)
Ranked #22 by TSN/McKenzie

Jeff Marek of Sportsnet’s thought’s“Shines on the defensive side of the puck at even strength and PK. Has an uncanny ability to get his stick in shooting and passing lanes. Just don’t expect offence. He won’t be out there late in a game to tie it up, but you’ll love him out there protecting a lead.”

Vaakanainen spent his 2016-17 season with JYP of SM-Liiga where he appeared in 41 games, tallying two goals and four assists along with a plus/minus rating of plus-five. He spent the 2015-16 season with Blues of SM-Liiga, scoring a goal and five assists in 25 games.

He also represented Finland during the 2017 World Junior Championship, scoring a goal in six games.

In theory,  the Bruins should have attempted to trade down as he would have likely been available to them farther down in the draft. But that is easy to say in retrospect, it was believed that some teams valued Vaakanainen higher than others. So based on that, it was possible he would be gone if they traded down.

“Been exploring moving this pick, we offered this pick to some teams targeting a specific player, but we weren’t able to do it.”- Don Sweeney

Tanner founded Trifecta Network in Spring of 2016 and has been the Chief of Content for the Network since that time. Currently Tanner covers all the sports teams in Boston and has contacts in many of the teams in the city. Before starting Trifecta, Tanner was a Site Expert for the FanSided site Chowder and Champions before leaving to cover Boston teams on the ground as a member of the media for Trifecta.

Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins Rookie Anders Bjork Out Six Months

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The Boston Bruins and Team Physician Dr. Peter announced on Thursday that Anders Bjork will be out for the rest of the season.

Bjork underwent a successful left should arthroscopy and labral repair on February 20, 2018. The surgery was performed by Dr. Peter Asnsi at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Peter states that the expected recovery time is approximately six months.

The 21-year-old left winger has appeared in 30 games this season for Boston and recorded 4 goals and 8 assists for 12 points with 6 penalty minutes with a plus-2 rating.

The injury and the timeline mean that Bjork’s season is over.

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Boston Bruins Trade Forward Frank Vatrano

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The Boston Bruins announced on Thursday that General Manager Don Sweeney had traded forward Frank Vatrano to the Flordia Panthers in exchange for a third-round pick.

Vatrano who is now 23-years-old played in 25 games this season for Boston racking up just two goals and 22 penalty minutes. Vatrano did show promise last year with a career-high 10 goals and eight assists for 18 points with 14 penalty minutes in 44 games.

Vatrano has played in parts of three seasons for Boston with his debut season taking place in 2015-16 with the forward playing in 39 games with eight goals and three assists for 11 points with 14 penalty minutes.

He was a hot prospect for Boston and even led the American Hockey League in goals back in 2015-16 by averaging one goal per contest with 36 goals in 36 games. That season he also had three hat tricks and an outstanding 6 multi-goal games at the AHL Level. That year he earned First-Team All-Star honors for Providence.

Vatrano who is a Massachusetts native was originally signed as a free agent by Boston out of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst on March 13, 2015.

Vatrano was not seeing a whole lot of success for Boston this season and was clearly expendable as showcased in this trade.

At this time it is unclear what the logic was behind the move but we should find out more with Sweeney hosting a media availability on Saturday at the Air Canda Centre in Toronto, ON.

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Boston Bruins Make Championship Caliber Type Of Move

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Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced on Tuesday that the team had acquired defensemen Nick Holden from the New York Rangers in exchange for defenseman Rob O’Gara and a third-round pick in the 2018 draft.

Now I know what many of you are likely thinking. Nick who? Where is the big move? But pace yourself Bruins fans, this is the type of depth acquiring move that many Stanley Cup contenders do in order to bolster their squad.

Holden is a 30-year-old d-man who has played in 55 games for the Rangers in 2018-18 with three goals, nine assists, for 12 points with 14 penalty minutes. Holden had a career year last season playing in 80 games with career highs in all offensive categories with 11 goals, 23 assists, for 34 points with a plus-13 rating. In addition to having a stand out 16-17 regular season Holden added two goals and two assists in 11 postseason games for New York.

Holden played his first three professional seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets before being traded to the Rangers on June 26, 2014, in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2017 draft.

O’Gara who the Bruins traded away is 24-years-old and has played in 11 NHL games with Boston over the course of the last 2 seasons. O’Gara played in 43 games with the Providence Bruins in 2017-18 with two goals and six assists with a plus-five rating. He was Boston’s 151st overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

The move straight up for Holden is a solid one for Sweeney. It provides the Bruins with the defensive depth they need while keeping them flexible moving forward with Holden playing on an expiring contract.

It sures up their left side defensemen depth with a player that can play the penalty kill to reduce some of the high minutes that Zdeno Chara is racking up. This deal seems to take Boston out of the running for landing Rangers defensemen Ryan McDonagh or any other type of blockbuster trade for a d-man

Holden, a left-shot, has the ability to play either the left or right side adding some flexibility to the roster for Head Coach Bruce Cassidy when making the lineups or even Sweeney if he wanted to move a defensive piece out. Acquiring Holden fixes the depth issue Boston had without giving up anything off of their NHL roster, an impressive feat for Sweeney who opted to make an early trade to avoid paying the NHL trade deadline price.

In theory, Holden will likely pair up with Charlie McAvoy with the potential reunion of Chara and Brandon Carlo possible. But the good thing about Holden is the flexibility, so in theory, Cassidy will have plenty of options to fool around with to find what works and doesn’t work.

This certainly wasn’t the flashy move many were calling for, but it was the smart one. Credit to Don Sweeney.

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