ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Bruins didn't have to look far for their fifth choice in the 2011 NHL Draft.
They found Rob O'Gara skating in their own backyard in Milton, Mass., where the young defenseman from Massapequa, N.Y., was playing for Milton Academy. They liked what they saw enough to take him with the 151st pick.
"We've seen him play a lot in Milton this year," Bruins assistant general manager Jim Benning said. "He's a big boy, 6-foot-3. He's a good skater. He can handle the puck and make the good first pass. He's going to be a guy who keeps developing and growing into his body, and as he gets stronger we see a lot of NHL potential in his game."
O'Gara had 2-7-9 totals in 30 games with Milton Academy, where he will play again before moving on to the college ranks at Yale. With that developmental path ahead of him, O'Gara is more of a long-term project, but he's already shown some strong abilities on the blue line.
"I'm positionally sound, I know what I have to do defensively and I can help out offensively," O'Gara said. "I know how to move the puck and I bring that drive to win every game."
O'Gara helped Milton Academy take home a New England prep school championship this year, and he was thrilled to be joining an organization coming off a slightly bigger title in the Stanley Cup champion Bruins.
"I was watching the draft with my dad and I got a text on my phone from my advisor and all it said was 'great pick'," O'Gara said. "And so my dad was like, 'Wait a minute, what's going on?' because we hadn't refreshed the computer screen yet. [Then] we saw that I was picked by the Bruins and I can't describe how happy I was."