Who is Bruins 54th overall pick Matthew Poitras?

The Bruins went into the 2022 NHL Entry Draft with no first-round pick and holes across the roster that needed to be addressed. At the NHL trade deadline, they shipped their first-round pick to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Hampus Lindholm, which filled a glaring hole on the left side of the defense. The Bruins still lacked a first and second-line center of the future and with no pick till the second day of the draft. Center is their most significant need, and with the 54th overall pick of this year’s draft, the Bruins addressed that need.

The Bruins selected Brooklin, Ontario native Matthew Poitras in the second round who played in the OHL last season for the Guelph Storm.

What Kind of Player is Poitras?

The Bruins are getting a hardworking two-way center with strong playmaking ability whose strengths are work ethic, hockey IQ and two-way awareness, stick handling, playing under physical pressure, and elusive skating. The 18-year-old 5’11” and 172-pound center has a lot of upside to his game and looks like a player that will contribute to the Bruin in a few years. Poitras is known for his high hockey IQ and the vision to allow his playmaking game to flourish. He manages the puck well, and his puck control allows him to read the ice and make an intelligent play.

Last season for the Guelph Storm, he scored 21 goals and 29 assists for 50 points in 68 games. While he put up 21 goals last season, Poitras is known for his superb playmaking ability, which has him leaning towards being more of a pass-first player over a true scorer.

When it comes to skating, one of Poitras’s best assets is his lateral agility and foot speed. He finds strength in his elusiveness with quick cuts away from a check and is very strong on his edges. While his lateral agility is one of his strengths, his most significant limitation is his explosiveness to separate from back checkers and drive into the zone himself.

NHL Potential

While we won’t know for a few years what kind of player Poitras will turn into, in the meantime, we know what the experts are predicting. Poitras could turn into an excellent middle-six center in the NHL. He has the playmaking ability and elusiveness to compete against players bigger than him. In addition, his hockey IQ and vision will be valuable on both sides of the puck and make him beneficial to a team’s special teams units, specifically the power play. If Poitras can live up to these expectations, the Bruins will have found themselves their second-line center of the future, setting this team up for years. One NHL player Poitras is being compared to is Florida Panthers forward Claude Giroux. If Poitras can improve his face-off numbers, the comparison will fit as Giroux has been a gifted passer and thriving on the power-play throughout his career at a similar size.

Quotables

“Poitras is a strong offensive player. He challenged much better when in the offensive zone and presented a good net-front presence. He showed better puckhandling, control and showed pretty good vision. Poitras also had much better hustle and was able to set his linemates up really well. I noticed there were often times where he didn’t really get in the mix and held back a little… I think based off this view Poitras could be a late third round pick.” – from Jan. 20, 2022 Scouting Report on Matthew Poitras by Olivia McArter, FC Hockey

“Although the numbers won’t wow you, Poitras is a prospect that you do not want to miss. He is incredibly hard working with a well-rounded skill set that he utilizes effectively in all three zones of the ice. Defensively, his work ethic matched with his high-level knowledge of the game allow him to anticipate opponent’s decisions and force turnovers… It is somewhat challenging to project if Poitras is going to end up being a star at the next level, but his complete set of tools and work ethic make it easy to see him as a sure fire NHLer with lots of two-way upside.” – Jacob Barker, Dobber Prospects

“What you get in Matthew Poitras is a competitive small-ice player with strong puck retrieval skills and compete level in the greasy areas. When he gets the puck, his ability to create and produce is blended nicely together by patience, playmaking vision, quick decisive puck handles, and accurate execution in his puck distributing… I can see him as a complementary winger in a top nine role someday. He’s developed into one of the nicer 2022 NHL draft prospects that showcases a solid pro-minded game and I’d expect to hear his name called before the end of the second round.” – Jared Brown, Draft Prospects Hockey

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Kevin Santangelo

Co Host of Cue' the Duck Boats Podcast Writer for Inside the Rink

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