BOSTON - On June 24 at 6:00 p.m. EDT, Bruins Interim General Manager Jeff Gorton and company will tap into the NHL’s power source and plug it into the fifth position at Vancouver’s GM Place for the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. With the prospects in the top five of the Central Scouting Report labeled as high voltage, the Bruins have an opportunity to brighten the future.
In Boston’s long, storied history, the Bruins have never had the opportunity to pick at the No. 5 spot in the NHL Entry Draft. With the likes of Jaromir Jagr, Scott Stevens, Rob Niedermayer, Bill Guerin, and Tom Barrasso past fifth overall picks, the B’s chances look exciting.
Jagr has already won five Art Ross Trophies, three Lester B. Pearson Trophies, and a Hart Memorial Trophy. Jagr won that third Pearson Trophy on Thursday night at the 2005-06 season's NHL Awards Ceremony. He was also a finalist for another Hart Trophy, but San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton won by 19 votes.
Jagr was drafted by Pittsburgh in 1990 and has played 16 NHL seasons with career totals of 591-841=1,432 in 1,109 games played. The current captain of the New York Rangers has had the privilege of raising the Stanley Cup twice since the start of his career. In 149 career playoff games, he has recorded 67-88=155 totals.
The Washington Capitals had a memorable selection in the No. 5 spot when they drafted Scott Stevens in 1982. Although Stevens is remembered as a New Jersey Devil, he spent his first eight seasons with the Capitals, but eventually wound up in New Jersey.
With the Devils, Stevens won the Stanley Cup three times and was also honored with the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player to his team in the 1999-2000 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Stevens’ career totals in 1,635 games played are 196 goals and 712 assists for 908 points. He also compiled 2,785 penalties in minutes for playing tough defense. The gritty defenseman had 26-92=118 totals with 402 PIM in 233 career playoff games as well.
In the 1983 NHL Entry Draft, the Buffalo Sabres took local goaltender Tom Barrasso from Acton-Boxboro High School at No. 5. Of his 22 career seasons, Barrasso spent 12 with the Pittsburgh Penguins where he won two Stanley Cups.
In 1983-84, Barrasso won the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie and the Vezina Trophy as the league’s best goaltender. The following season he won the William M. Jennings Trophy as the goalie with the fewest goals allowed during the regular season (144).
Barrasso’s stats include a career record of 369-277-86 and a GAA of 3.24 with 2,385 totals goals allowed.
The 1989 NHL Entry Draft featured another outstanding selection at No. 5 as the New Jersey Devils picked local product Bill Guerin, who was a key member in helping the Devils win the Stanley Cup in 1994-95.
The Worcester, Mass native has played three NHL All-Star games and was crowned MVP in the 2000-01 game.
Guerin spent two seasons (2000-02) with the Bruins and recorded 69-60=129 totals in 142 games. The right-winger compiled a career total 328 goals and 335 assists for 663 points in 949 games played. Guerin’s playoff statistics include 96 games for 28-20=48 totals.
Finally, the Florida Panthers nabbed Rob Niedermayer in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft as their fifth pick. He spent eight seasons with the Panthers before heading to the Flames in 2001-02.
Niedermayer’s career totals include 144-231=375 points in 772 games thus far. He has also played in 68 total playoff games for 12-14=26 totals.
With these five elite NHL players picked at No. 5 overall in their respective draft classes, there are certainly some high hopes for the Bruins nabbing a top player.