The loss came with plenty of sadness for fans around Boston who were hoping that this would be their chance to win another Stanley Cup.
After the 6-2 loss, captain Patrice Bergeron even acknowledged the long-stated “window” of the team that is nearing its end to win it all a final time. When Bergeron recognizes what many fans are terrified of, it’s time to take into account what went so wrong.
The 2015 draft had its hands all over the elimination of the Boston Bruins once again
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As Mathew Barzal skated circles around the Bruins from Game 3 on and it was time to really take into account how much of a failure the 2015 NHL Draft was for the Bruins.
Now, let’s start off here. Do not in any way go down the avenue that the Boston Bruins are bad at drafting. For every 2015 draft, you get a David Pastrnak one year and Charlie McAvoy in another. But when you watch the man the Bruins passed on three different times just for him to be picked right after light you up, it’s time to discuss.
For those who may not remember, the 2015 NHL Draft was an opportunity for the Bruins to build to their future was also adding to their incredible core. With picks acquired from the Los Angeles Kings and Calgary Flames after trading Milan Lucic and Dougie Hamilton in separate deals, the Boston Bruins would have the 13, 14, 15 selections in the first round of the draft. It felt like a special chance to at least hit on a big player that would be able to jump in a be a major name for the Bruins.
Ultimately, what they selected in order was defenseman Jakub Zboril, winger Jake DeBrusk, and winner Zachary Senyshyn. All three of these players played for the Bruins this past season but none of them made a relative impact and only one played in the playoffs.
DeBrusk had a down year and really has never lived up to what he showed in his second season when he scored 27 goals. 5 goals are not at all what you look for in a first-round pick, let alone one who is thrust into a major role on the second line for the majority of the season. After all, he was benched for Game 5 for Karson Kuhlman. Not great.
Zboril showed some signs this season of being a trusted defenseman, but he didn’t play a single game in the playoffs due to injury.
It was reported by Joe Haggerty of BostonHockeyNow.com that Zboril was available for the second round against the Islanders if necessary. As we know, he never made it into a game. And when it comes to Senyshyn, he’s only played in 14 games in the NHL and has three points to show for it.
Ugly overall, and it’s even uglier when you look at the three men who followed. As we stated before, Barzal has become the franchise player for the Islanders and showed that more than ever against the Bruins. Not only did he take over, but he made Bruins fans think of what if.
Pick number 17 ended up going to the Winnipeg Jets who selected Kyle Connor. While Connor is in no way the name of someone like a Barzal, but his statistics might have been that much more impressive.
In his four full seasons, Connor scored 30-plus goals in three of them with the only season he did not was this year’s shortened season. He scored 26 goals, which isn’t too shabby. As many would say, this is a pain to look at as having either one of these over Senyshyn or even DeBrusk would have the Bruins in a completely different position.
And then the 18 picks saw the Senators take defenseman Thomas Chabot, who is by every means their franchise defenseman and has already been an All-Star in his career. Seeing the problems the defense had in the playoffs, Chabot would have been welcomed by any and all.
You cannot redo history. Simply not possible. But what you can do is look back and think of what if? Just one of those three picks being any of these players changes the future of the Bruins dramatically. David Krejci might have had his winger for years, but instead, it never materialized to be.
Understanding that things happen in the draft is one thing, but the 2015 NHL Draft will continue to come back and hurt the Bruins for many more years to come.
Hopefully, the three that they drafted can soon figure it out and become consistent players, but there’s no guarantee that any of them return in the 2021-2022 season and beyond. For that reason alone, this is devastating and should linger for a while.