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Bruins’ Neely Seems to Admit Team Botched the 2015 NHL Draft

Boston Bruins Cam Neely says the team didn’t take the time they needed to prepare for the 2015 NHL Draft.

A number of hockey scribes who cover the Boston Bruins have quoted a few nuggets from Boston Bruins President Cam Neely on Tuesday and they’re certainly worth noting. Among suggesting the Bruins will make at least one more run at the Stanley Cup before Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand age out of the team’s window to win, he noted that the Bruins’ organization potentially made a mistake at the 2015 NHL Draft when they selected, Jakub Zboril, Jake DeBrusk, and Zachary Senyshyn, all in the first round.

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This isn’t to say that Neely named any one player in particular as the problem, but he noted, “I’ve looked back at that a lot. The timing of when we hired Don and when the draft took place, I think it would’ve been good to have a little more time between the hiring and the draft.” Essentially, he’s either suggesting the team didn’t do their homework and make the safer draft selections. Or, they thought they could outsmart the process of taking the best player available and it didn’t work.

These are interesting comments because it represents the first real time the Bruins have said anything negative about that draft, while the rest of the hockey world, especially at the time, was wondering what the heck they were doing going off the board so often.

Boston Bruins 2015 draft picks Jakub Zboril, Jake DeBrusk, and Zachary Senyshyn

The Bruins had three straight picks that year, selecting 13th, 14th and 15th overall. Right after they chose at No. 15, Mathew Barzal went to the New York Islanders, Kyle Connor went to the Arizona Coyotes and Thomas Chabot went to the Ottawa Senators. Hindsight is obviously 20/20, but the Bruins could have realistically had all three of those players on their roster. As one fan wrote on Twitter, “My favourite part is that Zboril was literally Chabot’s partner that entire season in Saint John. Impossible to scout one without the other.”

Should Fans Expect Changes?

The combination of Neely’s comments that the Bruins would like to take one more shot at a playoff run with Marchand and Bergeron, plus the second-thoughts about the 2015 draft seem to suggest there could be changes in store. He noted, “I don’t think you can look at a roster that went out in the second round and say it can compete for the Stanley Cup.”

He noted an all-around left-shot defenseman, specifically puck-moving d-men, with d-zone stoutness and a touch at the offensive blue line. is their priority. He called it “That elusive left D that we’ve been looking for.” Could the Bruins use one of their 2015 picks in DeBrusk to land that player. It would take a lot more than that, but he could be part of any potential trade.

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