Bruins: Matthew Benning
June, 23, 2012
By James Murphy | ESPNBoston.com
After creating a stir Friday at the NHL entry draft by taking goaltender Malcolm Subban in the first round, the Bruins kept their foot on the gas on Day 2.
Despite having no selections in the second or fourth round, the Bruins seemed delighted with the players they added to the organizational depth chart.
"We accomplished everything that we set out to do," director of amateur scouting Wayne Smith told reporters Saturday in Pittsburgh. "We wanted to get some depth in goal, we wanted to add some size and toughness and we got some character players. All in all it was a complete success with the scouting staff and management working toward the plan.
"This was a year where universally people across the league thought it was a down year. Whereas next year projects to be the strongest draft in 20 years, so anytime you have a draft like this year you go off your gut and the work of your scouts. Sometimes you go off the board. Some teams did that because they had feelings on players that we didn't agree with. I'm sure there are players we picked that some other teams might have shook their head at. We're really comfortable with what we've done."
The Bruins nabbed a local product in the third round, drafting Charlestown native Matthew Grzelcyk, a 5-foot-9, 170-pound defenseman. Grzelcyk had two goals and 20 assists for 22 points in 56 games with the USA U-18 team of the USHL. Grzelcyk will attend Boston University next season.
"He's the type of kid that plays much bigger than he is. He's got a Bruins mentality," Smith said. "He plays to win. He plays hard. He's tough to play against. He plays a virtually mistake-free game, and his decision-making and ability to move the puck are second to none in this draft."
With no fourth-round pick, the Bruins decided to get busy. They traded the rights to restricted free agent Benoit Pouliot to the Tampa Bay Lightning for forward Michel Ouellet and a fifth-round pick (131st overall) to go with their own fifth-rounder (145th overall). With those respective picks, Boston selected forward Seth Griffith from the London Knights (OHL) and forward Cody Payne of the Plymouth Whalers (OHL).
Griffith had 45 goals and 85 points in 68 regular-season games before helping the Knights to the OHL finals with 23 points in the playoffs. He was a teammate of current Bruins prospect Jared Knight.
"He was second in the Ontario Hockey League with 45 goals," Smith said. "They were timely goals. He's a big-time player that rises to the occasion. Dale and Mark Hunter both were preaching his game, and bring that quality when they played to win pucks and races."
Payne, 6-2 and 201 pounds, had 14 points in 50 games for the Whalers last season.
"He's a big, strong kid that played on a deep team and didn't have a lot of ice time this year," Smith said. "We were lucky enough to catch him when his teammates were at world juniors. He's as tough as they come."
With the 175th pick in the sixth round, the Bruins drew on some family roots by selecting the nephew of assistant general manager Jim Benning, defenseman Matthew Benning of the Spruce Grove Saints in the AJHL. Benning had 4 goals, 18 assists and 87 penalty minutes in 44 games last season.
With their final pick (205th overall), the Bruins selected forward Colton Hargrove of the Fargo Force in the USHL. The 6-2, 209-pound forward had 16 goals, 22 assists and 140 penalty minutes in 54 games for the Force last season.