Despite a pack of Bruins spending far too much time on the injury report and just 54 points through their first 47 contests, there's a group of giddy staff members on Causeway Street.
With five picks in the first two rounds of the upcoming NHL draft in June, wouldn't your scouting department be too?
?It?s tremendously exciting, first and foremost, because I think the groups have worked especially hard,? director of amateur scouting Wayne Smith told Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald. ?We?ve had the management team out helping us this year as well. Peter (Chiarelli) and Cam (Neely) have been on the road, Jimmy (Benning) and Scott Bradley and Don Sweeney?s been helping us evaluate the defensemen. We?ve had everybody contributing this year because it?s such an important draft for us."
With the Central Scouting Bureau releasing its midterm rankings recently, the eyes and ears of the Black and Gold's future have a few names to kick around in the North End.
According to the report, the top North American skaters are No. 1 Taylor Hall (LW – Windsor, OHL), No. 2 Tyler Seguin (C – Plymouth, OHL) and No. 3 Cam Fowler (D – Windsor, OHL). Dorchester, Mass. native Kevin Hayes, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound right winger at Nobles, is regarded as the top local skater at No. 18.
But while these players are all tempting for the B's, who have four more picks in the top two rounds in 2011, it has yet to be determined as to whether or not they'll trade these picks away for some veteran talent (see also: Ilya Kovalchuk).
Boston also has Toronto's first-round pick in June from the Phil Kessel trade. Currently, the Maple Leafs own the third-worst record in the league, just ahead of the Oilers (37 points) and the Hurricanes (35 points).
?The first pick might be out of our hands, we have to see how Toronto does. But those top five players I think have star potential,? Smith said. ?But after that, I think there are quality players who?ll be good pieces to the puzzle that can help you win the Stanley Cup. I?m confident that even with our pick, which hopefully will be at upwards of 20 and hopefully 30, we?re still going to get a quality player that?s going to help us down the road.?