Bruins Caught a Huge Break in 2016 Draft

The Boston Bruins and their draft selections, often a point of attack for many Bruins fans.

Agreed, they’ve made their fair share of blunders over the past decade, and many of those blunders have already (or will) bitten them in the butt. However, in times like this,  it’s important to take note of what positives have occurred.

In the 2016 NHL Draft, the Bruins were in a delicate situation. Boston missed the playoffs only because of a tiebreaker. Every tiebreaker went Boston’s way but the ROW one (regulation and overtime wins). The Detroit Red Wings got to the playoffs and lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games.

With the indecision between chasing the playoffs or tanking for a better draft choice, the Bruins, somehow, caught a huge break. From the top 14 teams in the draft (all non-playoff teams), the Bruins had the best probability to draw from the 14th position. That was the case, of course.

Ultimately, the Bruins selected Charlie McAvoy, a promising defenseman from the Boston University, Long Island native. Shortly, McAvoy started to reach his potential and play an important leadership role for Team USA at the World Juniors. The Bruins began to feel he might be the real deal.

It´s still incredibly soon to rank whether the Bruins struck the lottery or not almost four years ago. Nevertheless, a look four years back seems positive for the Bruins´ management.

The amount of 13 players ended up selected above McAvoy. Auston Matthews went first overall, Patrik Laine went second. That´s not a problem. The third player was Pierre-Luc Dubois. The guy is solid. However, Jesse Puljujarvi went to Edmonton and Olli Juolevi to Vancouver next. Don´t have to go far away, and you know McAvoy has done better already.

Matthew Tkachuk went sixth overall to Calgary. Clayton Keller as number seven to the Coyotes. From now on, nobody challenges McAvoy. Alexander Nylander (Buffalo), Mikhail Sergachev (Montreal), Tyson Jost (Colorado), Logan Brown (Ottawa), Michael McLeod (New Jersey), and Jake Bean (Carolina).

Re-drafting this 2016 NHL Entry Draft would mean McAvoy selected, at worst, from the sixth berth. It would be Calgary selecting McAvoy. Think they can be gratified about drafting Tkachuk. However, the picks from Carolina, New Jersey, Ottawa, Buffalo, or Vancouver went nowhere.

For once, the Bruins had a strong draft. This season, at even-strength, McAvoy has 1263 of the time on the ice (TOI). From 14 players above him, 13 of them have at least three games played more. If McAvoy played at least 68 games, he would surpass 1320 of the TOI at even-strength, ranking fourth-best in the NHL.

With the xGF% at 55.02 at even-strength, McAvoy ranks as the fourth-best among all NHL skaters in this category. Doesn’t McAvoy score points as desired? With 27 points at even-strength, only four NHL players are better than him (Josi, Slavin, Carlson, and Ekblad). Both stats are ranked from the players with at least 1200 of the TOI. Otherwise, McAvoy has similar point-total at even-strength as Filip Forsberg, Tom Wilson, or Cale Makar.

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