This weekend was the NHL Entry Draft which was held remotely and online due to the pandemic. Covid did not stop draft eligible players from uniting with friends, families, and development teams.
The Boston Bruins had seven picks in this year’s draft but none in the second round; that pick went to Buffalo Sabres when they traded Taylor Hall to Boston. However, the B’s had an extra seventh round pick due to trade with Toronto in last year’s draft.
Boston’s European Scout, PJ Axelsson, did the heavy lifting this year with three of the Bruins’ selections coming from the Swedish leagues. Their first round pick (21, really 20 due to Arizona forfeiture), RW Fabian Lysell figuratively played right in his backyard. Lysell reportedly has excellent speed and is great with the puck. However, there were “whispers” of character issues which are either that he’s not as driven to compete when the puck isn’t on his stick to the fact that he bet on himself to play in the highest tier league in Sweden and didn’t fare well. Regardless, these are flaws but not really character issues.
If we really want to talk about the dreaded character issues, look no further than to the Montreal Canadiens first round pick (31) of Logan Mailloux. If you haven’t heard about this guy, you will now. Last season he was loaned to a Swedish team since the OHL chose to shut down during the coronavirus outbreak. When he was there he had relations with a young woman, during which he took a picture. Then, he decided to brag and show this picture to his teammates, which is against the law. Sweden have very strict laws regarding consent and he broke them. He was fined by a court which served as his conviction. He did not confess to this upon returning home until teams basically performed background checks, after which he apologized and started his road to redemption. Except he never personally apologized to his victim, who is experiencing public shaming in the town where she lives. He was able to leave and go home without much consequence.
The Habs have offered lame attempts at their rationale for drafting him, including stating that he goes to see a female psychiatrist.
Also Trevor Timmin'sinclusion of the detail that Mailloux's psychologist is a woman shows a complete lack of understanding of the issues at play. pic.twitter.com/Wk0VkjuOwe
— J (@Account4hockey) July 25, 2021
They say they will help him to become a better man while dismissing what he did as merely a mistake. Mailloux even requested he not be drafted this season because he wanted to experience the excitement of the draft not really to pay for his consequences. Marc Bergevin drafted him anyway.
Logan Mailloux: The NHL Draft should be one of the most exciting landmark moments of a player’s career, and given the circumstances I don’t feel I have demonstrated strong enough maturity or character to earn that privilege in the 2021 Draft.
Montreal Canadiens: Welcome aboard.
— Arpon Basu (@ArponBasu) July 24, 2021
And then Bergevin didn’t put himself in front of the firing squad, he put his AGM there instead.
EXACTLY, Trevor’s silence speaks volumes here… pic.twitter.com/3mBd9Z5jb9
— ms. struggle (@thee4thidiot) July 24, 2021
So the Montreal Canadiens have gone from “likeable” underdog in the 2021 Stanley Cup Final to the bag of shit that they usually are. Congrats.
Anyway, the other Swedish players picked up were a goalie named Philip Svedebäck (4th, 117th) and a F named Oskar Jelvik (5th, 149th).
Their second pick, Brett Harrison (C, 3rd, 85th) is a Boston Bruins fan from youth because his grandfather was best friends with Gary Doak. Also, his father is friends with Jack Studnicka’s dad, so we may have a brotherhood brewing here.
In the sixth round (181st), Boston took a defenseman playing for the Sarnia Sting in the OHL, Ryan Mast. The last two picks were American players that are a part of the USNDT and soon-to-be-rivals at local Boston institutes of higher learning. Forward Andre Gasseau hails from California and is a commit to Boston College. Defenseman is a Michigander who previously committed to Notre Dame but changed his mind and now will play for the Boston University Terriers. This will be interesting. We could actually scout these guys.
The Bruins will be one of only a few teams that will hold a development camp this year.
Bruins appear to be one of few teams that's scheduled a development camp (Aug. 2-6). Always a good opportunity to check out some of the new prospects
— Mark Divver (@MarkDivver) July 24, 2021
Hopefully some of these draftees will love Boston as much as Taylor Hall did when he first visited the city.