BOSTON (CBS) – NESN analyst Billy Jaffe appeared in studio for two breaks Monday morning with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show to talk Bruins offseason and a number of different topics were covered, starting with the development camp that wrapped up on Sunday.
Initial thoughts on first round pick David Pastrnak:
“When you look at the team as it stands today there are about three spots up front up for grabs. Pastrnak had the best, most noticeable skill unquestionably at that camp. His play with the puck, his ability to take it in front of the net; you can just tell he was playing at a different level than some of these other players. He’s good. I’ve talked to a few people that are much more in the amateur scouting world than I am and the three people I spoke with all felt the Bruins got a great pick [in Pastrnak] later in the first round. You noticed him when he went out there. He kind of dances out there. He really does. He does a nice job with the puck, doing things with it at full speed.”
On roster building:
“[Incorporating young players] is the challenge now in the National Hockey League ever since the salary cap was put into place. You have your upper echelon players, your lower echelon veterans and then you need to have a few young players every year at a better value contract coming through the system. The Bruins are working more of that in. The problem is that when the Bruins won they did it with guys in their prime and they didn’t need the young guys as much. That’s the challenge right now. We’ve seen one team do it very well. Shocker, it’s the Los Angeles Kings. They’ve allowed their youngsters just enough maturity and marinating time in the minors and then they bring them up at the right time and have veterans to play off of. There’s no question the Bruins need more young guys.”
Are the Lightning the top team in the East?
“I like them. I think they’re a big winner in the late June/early July hockey season. This is a paper victory for the Lightning right now. I like their goaltender in Ben Bishop, but he hasn’t done it in the playoffs yet, so that’s a huge question mark. To say they’re the best team in the East? No. But they’re definitely going to challenge now. They’ve got the right attitude, the right mindset and they addressed the defense.”
Trades on the horizon?
“There’s going to be a trade or two. There will be. It’s just not going to happen immediately. They will address some needs by trade. Everybody wants (general manager) Peter Chiarelli’s players for free right now. Other teams are calling him and they want him to give players away. He’s not going to do that.”
Is David Krejci or Johnny Boychuk trade possibilities?
“Krejci is incredibly respected around the league as it should be. Boychuk’s star is shining too. He can play as a top pair guy, a guy that can be in any situation. He’s got a hard shot. He’s going to get a lot of chat. As a manager you have to assume everybody is in play at anytime. If you don’t have depth down the middle you’re not going to win in this league. You look at the West and the arms race they have going down the middle, it is superior to what the teams have in the East, save for a few teams with Boston being one of them. If you give up David Krejci you better get back so much, especially help down the middle, that you’re okay. He is one of the more valuable players to the Bruins.”
Listen below for the full discussion, including the salary cap situation, playing without an enforcer and much more: