Monday, August 25, 2014

2015 Pool Projections: Boston

Despite an increase in the salary cap numbers in the NHL for the coming season, the Boston Bruins were still bound against making any big moves or splashes, rather they were held back from signing all their potential unrestricted free agents and they will be forced to use more of what they have in their system, citing budget reasons.

From the Pool Outlook in June until now, the Bruins lost all of their UFA's to other NHL clubs, Jarome Iginla went to Colorado, Shawn Thornton went to Florida and Chad Johnson went to Long Island, just to name a few, so the team will have somewhat of a different look, from the team that lost to the Montreal Canadiens in the second round of the playoffs.

These budget issues, which will be explored even more below, has also affected the negotiations of two key restricted free agents as well, which may have some serious implications on the team's scoring record and possibly hurt the team's projections for the coming year.

Nevertheless, despite all of these budgetary issues, the Bruins still have the better part of their core still intact, including their pesky young forwards, huge defenders and their number one goalie.  The Bruins won't be hurting for wins, but the chances of a President's Trophy defense may be more difficult.

Forwards 14/15 Proj Cap Hit Defense 14/15 Proj Cap Hit Goaltenders 14/15 Proj Cap Hit
Patrice Bergeron 65 6.500 Zdeno Chara 50 6.917 Tuukka Rask 80 7.000
David Krejci 60 5.250 Dougie Hamilton 35 0.894 Niklas Svedberg 20 0.600
Milan Lucic 55 6.000 Johnny Boychuk 20 3.360
Brad Marchand 55 4.500 Dennis Seidenberg 15 4.000
Carl Soderberg 55 1.008 Matt Bartkowski 15 1.250
Loui Eriksson 45 4.267 Adam McQuaid 10 1.567
Chris Kelly 20 3.000
Gregory Campbell 20 1.600
Dan Paille 20 1.300
TOTAL 63.762
Alex Khokhlachev 25 0.787 David Warsofsky 15 0.600 Jeremy Smith 10 0.550
Ryan Spooner 15 0.760 Kevan Miller 5 0.800
Jordan Caron 10 0.600 Christopher Breen 5 0.600
Justin Florek 5 0.600
Marc Savard 0 4.007

First Round Picks

The team game has been the biggest reason why the Bruins have been so successful in the NHL in recent memory, but it has also kept a lot of players from being 1st round picks, rather just allowing one player to be up there... their number one goalie.  It should be much of the same in the 2015 season, as Tuukka Rask should be back there, assuming he stays healthy.  Rask has been solid, playing among elite and is more than worthy of the early selection.

Most Intriguing or Breakout Player

There is a good bunch of players that are clumped together on the projection table above and one that may be considered somewhat of a breakout player would be Carl Soderberg.  Soderberg had a pretty good 2014, picking up 48 points in 73 games and now with a regular shift and a full-time job, the 28-year old Swede could finally make a mark among the rest of the scoring Bruins, staying within a few points of the top of the team standings.  He may have some work to do to get to the top, but if he can contribute, the team shouldn't be short on scoring this year.

Other Pool Worthy Forwards

The core group is still there in Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand and Loui Eriksson, but beyond that, there is a slight drop-off in scoring projections.  These five have remained fairly consistent on a nightly basis, more as a group, than individually.  The forwards may not score every night, but they certainly give the Bruins a chance to win every night.  As for pool players, they will eventually get the points, but some nights, you will definitely miss out on some individual efforts.

Other Pool Worthy Defense

Much like the forwards, the Bruins are not big on scoring on defense either.  There are really only two recommended defensemen to take from Boston, Zdeno Chara and Dougie Hamilton, assuming Torey Krug doesn't sign before the start of the season.  Okay, they have three, but at this time, with no deal for Krug, it is only a pair.  A good pair, no doubt, but it could be better for us poolies.

Goaltending Situation

Last season, the back-up goalie position was taken up by Chad Johnson, who had found some experience from time to time in North America in the Rangers organization.  This year, it looks like the job will fall to Niklas Svedberg, who made his debut in North America last season and will get a stiff test every once and a while, when Rask can't go.  He should figure into being a decent back-up, if you're unable to snag two starters.

Team To Pick From Late?

Boston doesn't have a lot of depth assigned to their projected roster, but that won't mean that they will be bad to choose from.  Right now, I don't see the Bruins being a good team to pick from late, if you're struggling to make a pick, but they will have to bring some talent up and if you get to see enough of them in training camp before the draft, take notes.

Unsigned Players and Salary Cap

Salary CapThe Bruins don't have much space left, only about $5.2 million remains for six roster spots and two of those spots are destined to be filled by restricted free agents Reilly Smith and Torey Krug, who are both looking for substantial raises from last season.  Between the two players, there was 91 points, so there is a good chunk of offense that isn't in their projected roster and it may cost them the remainder of their cap space.  The Bruins are likely going to be moving some pieces to get everything to fit still or they might lose one or both to Europe, if neither are going to get paid in North America.


One injury concern out of the 2014 season was defenseman Dennis Seidenberg, suffering a major knee injury in January.  Seidenberg had surgery to repair the major ligaments in his knee and is expected to be good for training camp.  His injury last season did hurt his projections this year, so you may want to consider him a bit of a sleeper.

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