Bruins Draft Grades: Urho Vaakanainen and Jack Studnicka
Photo Credit: NHL.com
The 2017 NHL Draft has come to a close. Now it’s time to take at the Boston Bruins new set of young prospects, starting with their first and second-round selections.
Round 1, 18th Overall: Urho Vaakanainen/Defenseman
The Bruins need to get younger on defense, especially given the loss of Colin Miller. Boston did just that with the selection of Vaakanainen, an eighteen year old defenseman from Finland.
Vaakanainen played in the JYP before entering the NHL Draft.
The young Finnish defenseman is a very safe pick for the Bruins. He has all of the quality skills one could ask of a defenseman, but he doesn’t have any flashy traits that set him apart from the rest.
Overall, Vaakanainen is a safe pick, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t bring a lot of great things to the table. While it isn’t good enough to set him apart from most defensemen, he is a great passer. He will be able to greatly assist the Bruins in creating offensive entries from the defensive zone and center ice.
The one thing Urho needs to work on is his offense. Offense isn’t a must when it comes to defensemen, but it’s always nice to have at the NHL level. He has a hard shot, but it isn’t very accurate. Hopefully a couple years of development will help in this department.
Verdict: Urho Vaakanainen is a safe pick, but it is a positional need for the Bruins who need more depth on the Blue line.
Round 2, 53rd Overall: Jack Studnicka/Center
Studnicka had some experience in the Ontario Hockey League before entering the NHL Draft. Additionally, he represented Team Canada in the World Junior Championship. He shined at the World Juniors, at one point scoring three goals in three games.
The young prospect can play either winger or center, but his offense leaves something to be desired at times. During the World Junior Championship he consistently found the back of the net, but that doesn’t seem to always be the case.
On the other hand, his play in the defensive zone is likely what initially intrigued the Bruins. Center is a complicated position, and if Studnicka can help out the young Bruins blue line, then he could be very valuable to Boston.
Verdict: If Studnicka can stay consistent on offense, he could become a great assest for the Bruins in all three zones.