Wednesday, August 15, 2018

2019 Pool Projections: Boston

The 2018 version of the Boston Bruins were somewhat of a guessing game at this point last season, but I thought there were some big positives to their inner-workings, their small signings and the prospects that were moving through the system.  Some of that really paid off for them, as they were a very difficult team to play against last season and they worked their way into a very solid playoff run.

The team is still turning over the guard a little bit, as there are still some names hanging around from days gone by, but that isn't to say that a guy like Zdeno Chara still isn't going to be a serviceable player at 41 years old.  Thankfully for the Bruins, they have done well to add some pieces on their blueline, to make sure that Chara isn't over-worked or over-exposed, and that keeps this team very viable, heading into the 2019 season.

The team's leadership is in pretty good shape, they are certainly not short on players that can lead in the dressing room and by example.  The downside, however, is that they do have a lot of young pieces on the projected roster below and if you have been following along with this blog or hockey pool for a number of years, you'll remember my consternation about sophomore players, especially for use on hockey pool teams.

For that very reason, I have added the "S" in the rookie column, to show sophomore players, noting them as possible risks.  The Bruins have a lot of these this year and as much as they could possibly band together, like Toronto's last season, there is an equal chance that the experiment may fall flat.

Player Pos 18/19 Proj Rookie
David Pastrnak F 80 N
Brad Marchand F 75 N
Tuukka Rask G 70 N
Patrice Bergeron F 65 N
Torey Krug D 55 N
David Krejci F 55 N
Ryan Donato F 55 Y
Jake DeBrusk F 45 S
David Backes F 40 N
Danton Heinen F 35 S
Jaroslav Halak G 30 N
Charlie McAvoy D 30 S
Zdeno Chara D 20 N
John Moore D 20 N
Matt Grzelcyk D 20 S
Sean Kuraly F 20 S
Noel Acciari F 20 N
Kevan Miller D 15 N
Chris Wagner F 15 N
Brandon Carlo D 10 N
Adam McQuaid D 10 N
Anders Bjork F 10 S
Joakim Nordstrom F 10 N
Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson F 10 Y
Jordan Szwarz F 5 N
Peter Cehlarik F 5 N
Colby Cave F 5 Y

Table last updated on August 6th

Most Intriguing or Breakout Player

Of course, my intriguing player will be a rookie, not a sophomore in this case, as Ryan Donato will be expected to make this team out of training camp and have a pretty big impact on things moving forward.

At the end of the 2018 regular season, Donato came out of college and put on a show, playing in 12 games, scoring 5 goals and 9 points.  I'm not sure we could expect that kind of production for an entire 82-game season, but it's going to be some good numbers.  He'll definitely be one to watch this season.

First Round Picks

I think the Bruins have a few candidates that could be opening round picks in the hockey pool draft, but right now, there's only one player that I would feel comfortable with taking that high and that is forward David Pastrnak.  There isn't any other element to his game, other than scoring, which leads me to believe that his focus can keep him as high as a point-per-game pace.  The others just have something about them, that suggests that maybe they could give up some points to being a pest or not getting as many starts as usual, which has them down a bit on my list.

Other Pool Worthy Forwards

The Bruins are not short on forwards that could make an impact on your team, beyond the two that I've already mentioned here.  Brad Marchand has 1st round potential, but that's a horse you may not want to bet too much on too early, while Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci are definitely good, but do have roles to play on the team.  The kids, that's where you could make some money.  Jake DeBrusk and Danton Heinen really came into their own last season and they might be able to sneak through a little bit, good ones to keep your eye on.  Oh yes, don't forget about David Backes, he only played 57 games last year and may slip down the list too.

Other Pool Worthy Defensemen

Due to the aging of captain Zdeno Chara and the stay at home nature of most of the other defenders for the Bruins, the only two I would be confident in choosing for my hockey pool team, Torey Krug and Charlie McAvoy.  These two will likely have to carry the offensive load from the back end for the Bruins, probably hoping that they get a little bit more help from the others, but I would look for these two on the Boston power play.

Goaltending Situation

There's a new face in the Boston crease tandem, veteran keeper Jaroslav Halak, who will likely be the number two behind Tuukka Rask.  Halak was carrying the better part of the load for the Islanders last season and will be used to keep Rask fresh and healthy for the season.  It's an interesting tandem on paper and if it's used effectively, both should play a big role in the team's success.

Team to Pick From Late?

I have the Bruins scoring quite a few points, but it is spread out pretty thin down near the bottom, where quite a few players will be sharing the load, which makes them a pretty good team on the ice, but maybe not a great team to pick from late on in the draft, purely on their team game.  There could be a sleeper or two in this bunch, but they'd probably need a few things to happen in their lineup to get that to work out for them.

Unsigned Players and Salary Cap

The Bruins are working with a solid projected roster, with a number of bubble players that could go in and/or out and they have about $4 million in cap space left to work with.  They don't have any outstanding restricted free agents left on their list, so they are likely to be done for the summer, in terms of signings.


The Bruins were a hurting squad through the playoffs in the spring, but it doesn't sound like there was anything too pressing.  Nothing that some time off through the summer couldn't sort out anyways.  Looks like everyone has the all-clear heading into camp right now.

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