On a lazy summer Friday in Boston, while most folks were skipping out early for a long weekend on the Cape or up the Maine coast, Bruins new GM Don Sweeney was furiously working on two trades that would reshape his franchise heading into the 2015-16 season. Many wondered what would happen to the Bruins after the team’s disappointing 2014-15 season, where they missed the playoffs for the first time in close to a decade. Who would be moved? Would the coach be fired? Is it time for a rebuild?
Well, before the day was up, Don Sweeney would provide some clarity to what would become the picture of the roster for the 2015-16 season. Sweeney’s message?: build for the future. In one day, the B’s traded two of their five 1st line players; their number 2 defenceman, Dougie Hamilton and winger Milan Lucic. In return, they would get a total of four draft picks (two first rounders, two second rounders), prospect defensman Colin Miller and backup goalie Martin Jones. The Bruins would then swing Jones to the San Jose Sharks for their 2016 first round pick and prospect Sean Kuraly.
In total, here was the haul, including players drafted with the acquired picks that the Bruins got:
- Colin Miller (D) – currently on the Bruins roster. As of December 17th, Miller has 2 goals and 9 assists in 24 games for the B’s
- Sean Kuraly (C) – senior at Miami of Ohio University. Through 40 games, Sean has 19 goals and 10 assists.
- Jakub Zboril (D) – an 18 year-old defenceman, currently playing for the St. John Sea Dogs of the QMJHL. In 44 games, Jakub has 33 points including 3 game winning goals
- Zach Senyshyn (RW) – another 18 year old in the B’s system, Zach currently plays for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL. In 66 games last year, he had 45 points including 26 goals.
- Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson (C) – the 19 year-old center played for the Omaha Lancers of the USHL last season and put up 15 goals and 38 assists in 50 games. That’s over a point-per-game for you math wizzes.
- Jeremy Lauzon (D) – rounding out the group is another young defenceman, Lauzon put up 36 points in 60 QMJHL games in 2015, including a +/- of 12.
- San Jose’s 1st round pick – currently, this would be pick #12
Of course it’s hard to judge how an 18 year-old playing in what is practically Single-A leagues will do in the big leagues, but the trades sure do build the team’s farm system. And Miller has provided some spark for the big club this year, already helping win a tough game against the RedWings a few weeks ago. And in looking at Hamilton, he’s only managed 10 points through 30 games (compared to 42 in 77 games last year). Stories also rose about Dougie telling the Bruins he wouldn’t resign after they wouldn’t sign his brother.
So after some immediate backlash towards Sweeney after not being able to package the 13-15 picks in the draft to move up and grab someone like Noah Hanafin, it appears the new GM has pulled off a couple of deals to help build this team’s future. I, for one, feel good about the team moving forward. While they aren’t a Cup contender in 2016, Claude Julien deserves a chance to coach this team with a competent GM captaining the ship (as I said 9 months ago, when folks were calling for his head). I’m excited to see where this team will go, and the additional moves they’ll make in the coming years.
Boston Sports Analyst, Spark Sports
Twitter – @BSMike