Something may be up
Targeted player could prompt deal
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said yesterday that he'd like to move up a slot or two in the first round of the NHL draft Friday night in Montreal.
The Bruins hold the No. 25 pick in the draft, and Chiarelli said they have identified a player that might be available slightly ahead of their current position.
“Our guys have an eye on one player,’’ noted Chiarelli. “I don’t know if we’ll get him.’’
Chris Kreider, the standout winger from Boxford who is slated to enter Boston College this fall, could be the player the Bruins have targeted. Kreider, ranked the 14th-best skater in North America by the NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau, likely will be chosen in the thick of the first round, perhaps as high as No. 10, but possibly in the mid or late 20s.
Kreider, 18, just finished his junior year at Phillips Andover Academy but will enter BC as a freshman, after officially graduating from Masconomet Regional High School. The speedy left winger attended Masconomet for his freshman and sophomore years before transferring to Andover, where he was a hockey and lacrosse standout.
“I’ll be happy any which way,’’ said the 6-foot-2 1/2-inch Kreider, a huge Bruins fan. “It certainly would be special if it’s Boston. I’ll be ecstatic to be picked in general, but sure, if it’s my hometown team, that would be special.’’
The Bruins also could have their eye on Zack Kassian, perhaps the toughest customer in the entire draft. The 6-3 Kassian, though, is more likely to be nabbed in the top 12-15 picks. The rockjaw right winger collected 63 points in 61 games this past season with Peterborough (OHL) and he also picked up 136 penalty minutes, a number that compares favorably with the 148 Milan Lucic averaged during his two seasons with Vancouver (WHL) prior to cracking the Boston lineup as a 19-year-old.
The 30 picks of the first round will be made Friday night at the Bell Centre, beginning at 7 p.m. Rounds 2-7 will be Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m.
Kevin Paul Dupont can be reached at email@example.com.