With their pick of Dougie Hamilton in the NHL fraft on Friday night, the Bruins concluded the year of first-round draft picks for the four Boston-area professional sports teams. The Stanley Cup-champion Bruins, Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics all went in different directions.
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli was all smiles when talented defenseman Hamilton fell into the Bruins’ lap at the No. 9 spot in the NHL draft. While Chiarelli stressed that it would take at least a year for Hamilton to contribute to the team, it cannot be too long before we see the skilled puckhandler skate alongside captain Zdena Chara.
Just two days ago, the Celtics drafted forward JaJuan Johnson out of Purdue with the No. 27 pick, acquired from the Nets for No. 25 selection Marshon Brooks. While Johnson, a former Big Ten Player of the Year, has a bright future ahead of him with his athleticism, defense and shooting ability, he isn’t expected to make an immediate impact to the Celtics, who are looking to make one more championship run before a rebuilding period likely starts.
The Red Sox were lucky enough to have two first-round picks in the 2011 MLB draft on June 6. They went with Matt Barnes, a hard-throwing pitcher from UConn, with their first selection and picked mashing high school catcher Blake Swihart soon after. With the nature of the MLB, we won’t see Barnes and Swihart on the big league club for a while.
The Patiots were the first New England team to draft in 2011, and they went with a need. The Pats picked big University of Colorado offensive lineman Nate Solder with their late first-round choice. With New England’s need on the O-line and the fact that Solder was a redshirt senior at CU, we will likely see Solder contribute, or even start, for the Pats as soon as the lockout ends.