Dougie Hamilton, Ryan Spooner, Anthony Camara( in blue), and Jared Knight are Bruins draft picks that could develop into superstars.
All through the 1990′s many of the Bruins draft picks turned out to be a waste. Between 1990 and 2000 the Bruins had a total of 13 first round draft picks. Of those, only six went on to have relatively successful NHL careers, and only Glen Murray, Joe Thornton, Sergei Samsonov, and Nick Boynton had any success as a Bruin. The term “success” is being loosely used because none of them ever won anything as a Bruin, but they did play multiple seasons in Boston. Even fewer of their second round picks went on to be anything in the NHL. This terrible drafting continued into the early 2000′s, but then things started to turn around.
In the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, the Bruins drafted Patrice Bergeron in the second round. The next year, David Krejci was selected in the first round. In 2006, things really started to turn around for the Bruin’s Franchise with the drafting of Phil Kessel in the first round, Milan Lucic in the second round, and Brad Marchand in the third. In ’07 they picked up Zach Hamill with their first pick and in ’09 brought in Jordan Caron. Both already have NHL experience in their young careers. In 2010 Tyler Seguin was selected second overall and went straight to the NHL. These players are the young core of the Bruins team, and have been very successful in their Careers to this point.
With their two second round picks in 2010, the Bruins selected Ryan Spooner and Jared Knight, both still playing in Juniors. The 2011 draft left the Bruins with defenseman Dougie Hamilton, and forwards Alexander Khokhlachev and Anthony Camara as their first three picks. These young players still in juniors are the superstars of the future, and all have the talent to be great players for the Boston Bruins for years to come.
Jared Knight was selected in the second round, 32nd overall, in the 2010 NHL Draft. He plays in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) for the London Knights. In 2010, after the junior season ended he played three games with the Providence Bruins of the AHL where he recorded two assists. This season with London he has played 38 games and has recorded 22 goals, 22 assists, 24 PIM, and is plus 26. He is averaging over a point per games, and continues to develop nicely. The 20 year old Knight will probably play for Providence next season and his career has nowhere to go but up. He could be playing for Boston in three or four years.
Thirteen picks later Ryan Spooner was picked 45th overall. Spooner also played three games with Providence in 2010, recording two goals and one assist in that time. In 2011 with the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs and Sarnia Spirit, he has played a total of 43 games tallying 23 goals, 27 assists, 12 PIM, and a plus one rating. This will also probably be Spooner’s last junior season and he will play in Providence next year. Look to see him make the Boston Bruins in four years.
In 2011 the future stars continued to roll into Bruins camp. With the ninth overall pick, standout defenseman Dougie Hamilton was drafted. Hamilton plays for the Niagara Ice Dogs of the OHL where in 37 games he has contributed 13 goals, 41 assists, 43 PIM, and is plus 22. Hamilton is only 18, but could challenge for a spot in the Boston line-up next season. I expect him to probably play in Providence next season as opposed to juniors again. He has the ability to be a NHL defenseman within the next three years, but average defenseman usually don’t fully develop until their mid to late twenties, so it may be a few years. I think Hamilton will be a star sooner rather than later.
The same year in the third round with the 81st pick in the draft the Bruins grabbed power forward, tough guy Anthony Camara. Between playing for Saginaw and Barrie in the OHL Camara has compiled 52 games played, 9 goals, 15 assists, 110 PIM, and a minus 12 rating. The point production has not been there this season for Camara, but the toughness has. The Bruins would like Camara to become a player similar to Milan Lucic. I don’t think he’ll ever get to that level, but at 18 he still has a chance. Camara will probably play another year in juniors and then move up to Providence. I don’t know if he will ever make the NHL, but if he does it will probably be with his fists, at least at first. He can become a very good AHL player in the near future, but it will be a while before he makes the NHL. I like the way he plays the game, but his skill level is still in question. I hope he does succeed and become a quality player, but he is not at that level yet. Only time will tell if Camara will be good, great, or a complete bust, we’ll just have to wait and see.
All four of these players have bright futures in the Bruins organization, and with a little time and hard work can become the core of a championship calibre team. Don’t look for the Bruins to fall back to a second tier team anytime soon. With the talent they already have and the talent coming up through the ranks, I expect the Bruins to be a playoff team every season for the forseeable future, and maybe bring another few Stanley Cups to Boston.
- Jonathan Duncan