ESPN Believes Bruins Can ‘Ace’ NHL Draft By Picking This Prospect

He has a low center of gravity but high-end skills

by Marcus Kwesi O'Mard

September 23, 2020

Surely, the Boston Bruins can do worse than mining Scandinavia for a gem.

In his latest 2020 NHL Mock Draft, ESPN’s Chris Peters recommended Tuesday the Bruins “ace” the first two rounds by picking Kasper Simontaival with the 58th overall selection. Peters believes Simontaival, who plays in his native Finland for Tappara Jr. and his country’s youth national team, will compensate for his lack of size by employing his standout skills at the NHL level.

“With just one pick available to them in the opening two rounds, the Bruins probably will play it relatively safe,” Peters wrote. “That’s not what I have them doing here, though. I think Simontaival is an exceptionally skilled player who will be undervalued due to his 5-foot-9, 177-pound size. Why not take a swing on skill? The Bruins desperately need more high-end skill in their system, and Simontaival could be a reasonable answer.”

The Bruins dealt their first-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft — No. 27 overall — to the Anaheim Ducks in February as part of the Ondrej Kase-David Backes trade. The transaction will leave Boston waiting until the latter stage of the second round before it can move to add another prospect to its system. That is, unless, the Bruins decide to do more dealing.

The Bruins also own picks in the third round (No. 89 overall), fifth round (No. 151), sixth round (No. 182) and seventh round (No. 213).

Peters last year graded the Bruins’ haul in the 2019 NHL Draft as a C-. Boston certainly hopes for an improved draft grade in 2020.

The 2020 NHL Draft will take place Oct. 6 and 7.

Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
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