General manager Peter Chiarelli hinted Monday that if the best player available when the Bruins make the 24th pick in the first round of the NHL entry draft is a defenseman or a goalie, they might go that route to strengthen their blue line or add depth between the pipes.
"I think there's a lot of defensemen. I've said that before but there's a lot of good defensemen in this draft," Chiarelli said in a conference call. "So we're hoping -- and if we don't get a defenseman, we'll be fine because there's always good players -- but we're hoping that some will slip because of the number of defensemen."
Chiarelli also acknowledged that goaltending depth is another organizational focus -- as evidenced by the signing of Swedish goaltender Niklas Svedberg in May.
So with that in mind, here's one NHL amateur scout's take on two defensemen and two goalies the Bruins may be able to select with the 24th pick overall Friday night.
Andrei Vasilevski, goaltender; 6-foot-3, 193 pounds, Tolpar Ufa (Russian junior): "This kid was really good at the World Juniors even if he got pulled in semifinal. He is big and he is agile. Really strong instincts and one of if not the best goalies in draft."
Malcolm Subban, goaltender; 6-feet, 178 pounds, Belleville (OHL, 2011-12: 25-14-0, 2.50 GAA, .923 save percentage): "A lot of people will say he's small but he makes up for it with his agility and is really athletic. He definitely has room for improvement but he has the tools and passion. Would be funny if (Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban's) brother played for the Bruins!"
Brady Skjei, defenseman; 6-3, 200 pounds, USA U-18 (2011-12: 4 goals, 18 assists): "His points total was expected to be higher but this kid can skate and move that puck. You combine that skill with his size and this kid has great potential. He's raw, yes, but he has solid potential and you can always use those assets on your blue line."
Matt Finn, defenseman; 6-feet 195 pounds, Guelph (OHL, 2011-12: 10 goals, 38 assists): "Finn fits the Bruins' and more specifically Peter Chiarelli's mold for a defenseman. He could be bigger, yeah, but he is very physical and not afraid to clear guys out in front or dig in the corners. He also can carry the puck well and has one heck of a shot."