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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 Should Stick With The Hot Hand Of Anton Khudobin

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Dobby may have stolen the Starting Gig From Tuukka Rask

The Boston Bruins have been under a ton of scrutiny since the beginning of the season. One of the issues was, are the kids going to be any good, the other is what is the goaltending situation going to look like. That question has become easier in the past couple of games.

This season we have seen Tuukka Rask Struggle. Many are now questioning if he is an elite goalie still. The only problem with that is that he was never an elite goalie. During his time of success here he had a phenomenal defense in front of him. Now not so much except it seems that backup Anton Khudobin has not had a problem with the defense. Khudobin not only has the wins to deserve the starting role, he has the numbers as well.

In the month of November Tuukka Rask has played in 6 games. In those six games, his save percentage is a .898 and a save percentage of a 2.86.  On the season he has a 2.89 total save percentage in 12 games. The league leader among starters is Sergei Bobrovsky with a 2.02. Then we look at Dobby’s past 3 games in November where he has posted a .949 save percentage and 1.66 GAA.

Dobby has shown that he is still a viable back-up and right now he may even be the starter. Las game against the sharks he only allowed one goal and after being bombarded by 18 shots. In three of his last five games, Khudobin has allowed one goal.

Bostons next game on Wednesday against the red-hot Devils who currently sit in the first place if the Metropolitan division. Bruce Cassidy mat indeed elects Khudobin to be the starter but he as eluded that Tukkaa Rask will get the start. This would be a bad play. The starter should always go to the guy ho is hot not the guy that is supposed to be a top 10 goaltender.

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Boston Bruins Season Is Falling Apart Faster Than It Is Coming Together

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(Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Boston Bruins Stricken With Injuries As More Added To List

Boston Bruins are a team that has nothing positive going for them at the moment. Injury after injury has left the team scratching their head questioning what to do next. Bruce Cassidy has announced that both Anders Bjork and Brad Marchand will not travel with the team.

David Krejci will travel with the team on the upcoming road trip. This brings a small amount of light to a team with much darkness.

This is probably the biggest loss yet as Brad Marchand has 15 points in 14 games. Then Bjork a rookie who cemented his spot on the top line in training camp has 9 points already. Boston has already dug into the reserves in Providence with Danton Heinen and Jordan Swarz.

Now, these guys have played well since getting the call-up but a guy like Marchand is not replaceable. Hopefully, Providence is able to spare a couple more players or there might be a trade looming near. Providence is a team chalk full of young talent lucky for Boston except the well is starting to run dry. The Baby Bruins will soon run into the problem of not being able to field a team of their own.

Most Likely Call-Up Candidates

Zach Senyshyn. Senyshyn has 5 points in 12 games so far in Providence. He was on the bubble of making the roster during camp. Both Bjork and Debrusk took that spot. This could be his chance.

Kenny Agostino. Agostino who already has a couple NHL games this season and has been lighting up the AHL with 9 points in 8 games. Another bubble guy that lost out on a roster spot as he went down in the preseason with an injury.

Anton Blidh. Blidh who also has NHL experience would bring a bit more grit to a speedy team.

Peter Cehlarik. Another guy that is a bit more of a grinder than a goal scorer but that might be just what Boston needs.

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Boston Bruins Rob O’Gara Has His Shot To Make The Big Club

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Rob O'Gara

Rob O’Gara To Get His Shot

All season long the Boston Bruins have been dealing with injuries and other roster question marks. Additionally, Brad Marchand is now out with an upper-body injury. David Krejci has been placed on the IR. Rob O’Gara has been called up from Providence.

O’Gara now has his shot to earn himself a roster spot just as some of his former Providence team members have done, as with Danton Heinen. Alike Heinen O’Gara will have to make this chance count as Heinen did by scoring two goals in his debut. Though the expectations for O’Gara are a bit different seeing that he is a defenseman. Also, the expectation for him is to make a limited amount of mistakes. Plus contributing to the offense if/when possible.

Right now the Bruins are struggling in their own end, as most of their defenseman is a minus on the plus-minus chart. In contrast, O’Gara in 7 games for Providence is a plus-four. Hopefully, he can bring some much-needed defense, with the exception of Zdeno Chara to a team with many offensive minded d-man.

Similarly, the league has evolved to one where offensive defensemen are more sought. This leads to holes in the defense as we have seen with Boston so far during the first 12 games. Boston is looking for that spark on defense and O’Gara may be it.

Roster Position

The most likely spot for O’Gara to end up is the third pairing. Now that may seem bad, however, the Bruins run three d-pairs more than other teams. O’Gara gains the much-needed NHL experience from his ice time. Hopefully, he is not just here for one game as that would be useless. It would not help him in any way possible. In fact, it would most likely hurt him mostly his confidence. O’Gara should be a better fit than the newly acquired Paul Postma. Not only does O’Gara seem to have a bit more overall skill, he has more upside.

O’Gara a 24-year-old selected by the Bruins in the fifth round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Tonights Game

Boston will face the Minnesota Wild at home. The game will be aired on NESN and broadcast on 98.5 the sports hub.

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