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BOSTON (CBS) – The last two seasons at this time, the Boston Bruins were preparing to make draft picks that would (or could) alter their franchise.
In 2009, it was selecting Tyler Seguin second overall. Last year, they took defenseman Dougie Hamilton with the ninth overall.
This Friday, the Bruins don’t have the luxury to pick that high, but are hoping to make the most of their selections in Pittsburgh.
The Bruins own the 24th overall pick in this year’s draft, and won’t pick again until the third round on Saturday. But Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli is confident the B’s will still land a good player when their turn comes.
“It’s a little harder to pick when you’re later on down the line, but it’s a draft that’s very heavy on defensemen and we’ve kind of narrowed it down to five players that we’re looking at,” Chiarelli said Monday during a conference call. “Four of them are defensemen.”
“There are a bunch of good defensemen that are available, and that’s not a bad thing. Those can be hard to find,” added Chiarelli. “We’re going to get a good player with the 24th pick.”
Hamilton is expected to contend for a spot on the Bruins this season after a very successful campaign in the OHL, where he won defenseman of the year honors. While this year’s selection likely won’t find his way to Boston for a couple of years, the B’s would love to add some more young depth to their blue line.
Even if that is not the case though, Chiarelli isn’t all that concerned.
“If we don’t get a defenseman, we’ll be fine. There are always good players,” he said. “We’re hoping that some will slip. I’ve never seen the number of defensemen this large.”
While it seems as though defense will be their top priority, the Bruins will also attempt to add some help on the wing as well as another center.
Overall, the Bruins have five selections this weekend. They have their own picks in the third (85th overall), fifth (145th), sixth (175th) and seventh rounds (205). Boston sent their second round selection to Toronto to complete the Tomas Kaberle trade (only because they made it to the Stanley Cup Final last year), and fourth round pick to Carolina as part of the Joe Corvo trade.
The 2012 NHL Draft begins Friday June 22 at 7pm in Pittsburgh with the first round. The second to seventh rounds will be held Saturday, June 23 beginning at 10am.