Bruins Have Wealth of Options in NHL Draft

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Bruins Have Wealth of Options in NHL Draft The Bruins' second overall pick is already set in stone. They will get either Tyler Seguin or Taylor Hall. That much we know.

What isn't known — or more accurately, lost in the Tyler/Taylor fanfare — is what the Bruins will do after they make their first selection.

The Bruins have three more picks in the first two rounds (Nos. 15, 32, 45) and consequently stand at a fork in the road. On one hand, they can use their high number of high picks and use them as ammunition to wheel and deal come draft time, moving up to draft higher, or bringing in more established talent by trading the picks.

On the other hand, they can simply stand pat and walk away with at least one NHL-ready prospect and a cast of young guns to bolster an already strong system.

Maybe there is more to the draft than the Taylor/Tyler-palooza, and there is a case for both strategies.

If the Bruins were to trade up in the draft, it would be for one of two reasons: guaranteeing their choice between Hall and Seguin, or obtaining one of the stud defensemen who have made their mark behind the aforementioned top picks.

The Edmonton Oilers, who hold the first overall pick, have put up a poker face over exactly who they will pick between Seguin or Hall. There are conflicting reports over which way Edmonton management is leaning, and it's leaving many Bruins fans concerned over whether they will miss out on the talented winger Hall.

True, one could argue that Hall is the better fit. As a high-scoring left wing, Hall fits the Bruins' needs perfectly. They are a team with talented pivots, but they face a drought on the wings.

The risk lies in what Edmonton would demand of the Bruins in a trade to deliver Hall. The Oilers would hold all the power in the situation and could possibly fleece the B's out of important players like Patrice Bergeron or David Krejci.

The second option would be to not tamper with the top two choices and simply take the player that falls to them, both of whom are extremely talented NHL-ready forwards. Then, they could trade up into the top 10 and take a quality defenseman.

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli has made his desire for a puck-moving defenseman known in the past few months. A move into the top 10 could bring in a stud blue-liner like Cam Fowler, Brandon Gormley or Erik Gudbranson. Any of them could change the makeup of the offense by making clean open ice passes and quarterbacking power plays.

The Bruins' farm system also is full of talent which could make an impact on the big club soon. Forwards Zach Hamill, Maxime Suave and the fresh-from-college Joe Colborne won't be in Providence much longer, meaning that any young talent the Bruins net in the draft will keep them stocked to compete for years to come. In other words, standing pat and possibly walking away with prospects such as Jeff Skinner, Emerson Etem or Austin Watson would not look so bad.

In the end, it comes down to where Bruins management feels the team is. Despite the epic collapse against the Flyers, the Bruins seem to only be a few pieces away. The question is: How do they go about getting those pieces?

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