Which Bruins Are Left From Don Sweeney’s Drafts From 2015-2019?

Boston Bruins' Jeremy Swayman (1), Charlie McAvoy (73), Hampus Lindholm (27) and Brandon Carlo (25) celebrate after defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets during an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney’s drafting has been well criticized since his first infamous draft in 2015, where the Bruins had three first-round picks available in the middle of the round to help rebuild a team that was two years removed from a Stanley Cup Finals appearance. With picks 13, 14, and 15, Sweeney was poised to make an impact right away after moving up from Assistant General Manager in May of that year, replacing Peter Chiarelli. The draft was loaded, and the Bruins were in great shape to get three impact players.

Eight years later, Sweeney is still feeling the effects of mistakes made as Jakub Zboril, Jake DeBrusk, and Zach Senyshyn were chosen over future stars Kyle Connor, Mat Barzal, Tomas Chabot, Brock Boeser, Travis Konecny, and others. It is a black mark on Sweeney’s career as an executive and probably cost the Bruins at least one more Stanley Cup. The Bruins are now looking to add some youth to their lineup and need some prospects to develop into everyday NHL players.

Looking back to the 2015-2019 drafts, the Bruins now have an idea of who has become a part of the Bruins nucleus. This stretch of five drafts has produced a star in defenseman Charlie McAvoy (2016 first round), solid role players like Trent Frederic (2016 first round), and a goaltender of the future in Jeremy Swayman (2017 third round). However, the rest of the 32 players selected over those five years did not produce much help to the organization.

Let’s take a look at each draft’s success rate and how many players have remained a part of the Boston Bruins franchise:

2015 Draft

Ten picks

Three players are still with the Bruins (Zboril, DeBrusk, Brandon Carlo)

Zboril seems to be getting his final shot with the Bruins after not being able to stick with the parent club for very long intervals of time. An ACL injury derailed his progress, and then, after a solid preseason last year, Zboril played just 23 games with the Bruins with several healthy scratches. The defenseman is entering the last year of his contract and suffered a minor injury in his first exhibition game this season.

DeBrusk has scored at least 25 goals in three different seasons and has turned into a reliable core member of the Bruins. The Edmonton native also is entering the last year of his deal and will be seeking a substantial raise. Three Bruins will begin negotiations with the winger soon.

Carlo has been a steady defenseman for Boston since being drafted in the second round. The big defenseman does not play as physically as fans would like, but he is an excellent penalty-killer and an underrated shutdown defenseman. He is also very affordable.

2016 Draft

Six picks

Three players are still with the Bruins (McAvoy, Frederic, Oskar Steen)

McAvoy is arguably a top-five defenseman in the National Hockey League. The Boston University alum logs heavy minutes and has seen his offensive production increase from the blue line. The future captain of the Bruins is signed through 2029-30.

Frederic had a breakout season in 2022-23. It was enough to earn him a two-year deal. The 29th overall pick is a solid bottom-six forward, providing some toughness and will drop the gloves at times.

Steen is entering the last year of his contract and has only played 26 NHL games. The scrappy forward is fighting for a bottom-six role this preseason and is probably getting his last chance with the club.

2017 Draft

Six picks

One player is still with the Bruins (Swayman)

Swayman is the prize of this draft as a third-round selection. The Hobey Baker runner-up slid down the draft, and Sweeney pounced. Swayman won the Jennings Trophy as the top goaltending tandem with teammate Linus Ullmark last season. The UMaine alum was 24-6-4 with a 2.27 goals against average and a .920 save percentage. Swayman signed a one-year deal and will look to take over the number-one goalie spot next season.

The rest of the draft included Urho Vaakanainen, a defenseman who was included in the Hampus Lindholm trade, and Jack Studnicka, who was eventually shipped to Vancouver.

2018 Draft

Five picks

Three players remain with the Bruins (Jakub Lauko, Curtis Hall, Dustyn McFaul)

Lauko is the key here. The feisty forward showed some signs of potentially earning a spot last season and is in position to start the year with Boston. The third-round pick has played just 23 NHL games and is signed for this season and next. The other two players still in the organization are Curtis Hall, who is now attending Providence Bruins camp, and Dustyn McFaul, who is entering his fifth year at Clarkson University and is unsigned by Boston.

The Bruins were without a first-round pick in 2018 and chose Axel Andersson in the second round. The Bruins traded Andersson to Anaheim with David Backes for Ondrej Kase in 2020. Pavel Shen was the seventh-round selection and is no longer with the organization.

2019 Draft

Five picks

Three players are still with the Bruins (John Beecher, Quinn Olson, Jake Schmaltz)

John Beecher is the prize of this draft as a first-round selection at 30th overall. The big center is poised to take a fourth-line role with Boston out of training camp and is a solid skater and penalty killer. Olson is entering his fifth season with Minnesota-Duluth, and Schmaltz is a junior at the University of North Dakota. Both are unsigned.

So, as you can see, out of the 32 players selected over five drafts, the Bruins have developed six core members of the team and have a handful more who are near the end of their run with Boston. The Bruins will need better results from their drafts from 2020-2023 to help reload their roster going forward.

Bruins Benders Live. First Round Game 1 Recap Bruins Benders Podcast

The Bruins take Game 1 with a convincing 5-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Jeremy Swayman with 35 saves. Jake DeBrusk with two power play goals. The Benders discuss why the Bruins were able to handle Toronto to take a 1-0 series lead!
  1. Bruins Benders Live. First Round Game 1 Recap
  2. Season 3. Episode 25. Playoff Preview
  3. Season 3. Episode 24. Maroon and Gold Day
  4. Season 3. Episode 23. Whoa Nelly!
  5. Season 3. Episode 22. Montgomery Burns

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