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Bruins make five picks in NHL draft

6/28/2014

The Boston Bruins made five selections in the 2014 NHL draft this weekend at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

The Bruins selected forward David Pastrnak in the first round (No. 25 overall), forward Ryan Donato in the second round (56th overall), forward Danton Heinen in the fourth round (116th overall), forward Anders Bjork in the fifth round (146th overall) and defenseman Emil Johansson in the seventh round (206th overall).

"It's unbelievable," Pastrnak told reporters in Philadelphia. "I was getting nervous after every pick more and more, and I'm really proud that Boston believed in me, and they picked me and I like them. They're a good organization and great people."

Pastrnak, 18, is a 6-foot, 198-pound Czech native who played for Sodertalje SK in Sweden the past two seasons. In 38 games this past season, he posted eight goals and 16 assists for 24 points, including a plus-7 rating.

Chiarelli told reporters it's likely Pastrnak could return to Sweden for another season.

"I don't mind him staying there another year," Chiarelli said. "We'll have to sit down with the agent."

Keith Gretzky, Boston's director of amateur scouting, compared Pastrnak to David Krejci, the Bruins' top-line center and a fellow Czech native.

"I believe that," Gretzky told reporters. "He plays hard. He competes on the puck. He's not going to run over guys, and that's one thing that we love. He can handle the puck. It's something nice -- at pick 25 -- that we got. We're excited."

Added Gretzky, "He competes, and he's got skill, and we thought we needed some more skill. He handles the puck real well, he protects the puck real well, and he's full of energy. You gravitate to him."

In the second round Saturday morning, the Bruins stayed local and selected Donato, an 18-year-old Boston native. In 1987, the Bruins drafted his father, Ted Donato, who is now the head men's coach at Harvard, in the fifth round (98th overall), and he eventually played nine seasons for the Bruins.

In an interview with the NHL Network, Ryan Donato said he grew up a Bruins fan, and it's a dream come true for him and his family. Donato recorded 37 goals and 41 assists for 78 points in 30 games for Dexter School this past season. He plans on playing for his father at Harvard starting in fall 2015, but he still needs to decide whether he'll return to Dexter for his senior year or play for the Omaha Lancers of the USHL this coming season.

"I'll talk to [the Bruins] and see what they think, and now that the draft's over, I got a weight lifted off my shoulders, and I think I can make a clear decision soon," he told reporters.

In the fourth round, the Bruins selected Heinen, a 6-foot, 165-pounder who turns 19 on July 5. This past season, he posted 29 goals and 33 assists for 62 points in 57 games for Surrey of the BCHL.

"They're obviously a great organization," Heinen said. "Original Six team, competitive, been competitive every year the past few years, so definitely an honor to be drafted by them."

In the fifth round, the Bruins selected Bjork. The 18-year-old Wisconsin native played for the USA U-18 team last season and posted 17 goals and 18 assists for 35 points in 53 games. He's listed at 6-foot, 182 pounds.

"I'm just ecstatic," Bjork told reporters. "It's obviously great to be drafted by such a great organization and a successful organization, and it's just an honor."

In the seventh round, the Bruins selected Johansson with the organization's final pick. A native of Sweden, the 5-foot-11, 194-pounder played for the Swedish U-18 team this past season.

Now that the draft is complete, free agency opens at noon on Tuesday.

Despite cap constraints, Chiarelli told reporters in Philadelphia that he's still trying to re-sign Jarome Iginla.

"I'm concerned, but I think it's a challenge we can overcome," Chiarelli said. "If we can't sign Jarome, we're going to find a good player. We feel all our young guys are going to get better."

Chiarelli met with Iginla's agent, Don Meehan, during the draft, as did other organizations.