PITTSBURGH – The Boston Bruins made five selections today, June 23, on the second day of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. The Bruins Communications Staff will post quote sheets from the drafted players, as well as General Manager Peter Chiarelli and Director of Amateur Scouting Wayne Smith to the team’s media website later today (www.bostonbruins.com/media).
With the 85th overall pick in the third round, the Bruins selected defenseman Matthew Grzelcyk. The 5’9”, 171-pound native of Charlestown, MA, has spent the past two seasons with USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program. In 2011-12, Grzelcyk recorded three goals and 20 assists for 23 points in 60 games with the U.S. National Under-18 Team. He also led Team USA defensemen in plus-minus this past season with plus-8. Internationally, Gryzelcyk helped the U.S. earn its fourth straight gold medal at the IIHF World Under-18 Championship this past April, playing with a defense that gave up a tournament-record low four goals and recording a plus-minus of plus-5. In 2010-11, the defenseman played in 55 games with the U.S National Under-17 Team, tallying two goals and 16 assists. Grzelcyk also recorded 1-9=10 totals in two playoff games for Team USA, after helping the program reach its first postseason in the USHL. The 18-year-old Grzelcyk played alongside Jimmy Vesey, the son of former NHL forward for the Bruins and St. Louis Blue Jim Vesey, in the Middlesex Islanders minor program. He has committed to play collegiate hockey for the Boston University Terriers in the fall of 2013.
With the 131st overall pick in the fifth round, the Bruins selected forward Seth Griffith. Boston acquired the fifth round pick from the Tampa Bay Lightning, along with forward Michel Ouellet, in exchange for the rights to Benoit Pouliot.
Ouellet, a 6’1”, 210-pound native of Rimouski, Quebec, is an unrestricted free agent whose contract expires on July 1.The 30-year-old forward has played in 190 career NHL games with the Lightning, Pittsburgh Penguins and Vancouver Canucks, recording 52-64=116 totals with 58 penalty minutes. He was drafted by Pittsburgh in the fourth round (124th overall) of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft.
Pouliot, a 6’3”, 199-pound forward from Alfred, Ontario, posted 16 goals and 32 total points in 74 games with the Bruins this season, after being signed by Boston on July 1, 2011. He skated the previous two seasons with the Montreal Canadiens and spent three seasons with the Wild from 2006-09. In 257 career NHL games, Pouliot has registered 53-51=104 totals with 186 penalty minutes, and has skated in 29 playoff games with 1-3=4 totals and 19 penalty minutes. Pouliot was selected fourth overall by the Minnesota Wild in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.
Griffith, a 5’11”, 185-pound forward from Wallaceburg, ON, posted 45-40=85 totals with 49 penalty minutes in 68 games in 2011-12 with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). Griffith ranked third in the OHL in goals scored and ninth in total points, and was named to the OHL Second All-Star Team. He helped the Knights claim the J. Ross Robertson Cup as OHL champions and advance to the Memorial Cup. In 19 playoff games, Griffith tallied 10 goals and 13 assists with 12 penalty minutes. His 23 points during the postseason placed him fourth among all skaters, while he had the third highest plus-minus rating with plus-14. The Knights forward also scored one goal and had 14 shots on goal to go along with two assists in 14 Memorial Cup games. In 2010-11, he appeared in 68 games for the Knights, registering 22-40=62 totals with 28 penalty minutes. He also scored three goals and added four assists in six playoff games for London. Internationally, Griffith suited up in seven games for Team Canada at the 2011 IIHF World Under-18 Championship. In 2009-10, his first season with the Knights, the forward skated in 17 regular season games, scoring two goals and adding one assist. He also laced up for ten playoff games, in which he registered four goals and three assists. One of Griffith’s teammates for the London Knights is forward Jared Knight, the Bruins’ 32nd overall pick in the 2010 Entry Draft.
With the 145th overall pick in the fifth round, the Bruins selected forward Cody Payne. The 6’2”, 201-pound forward from Weston, FL, recorded two goals in 10 games with the Oshawa Generals of the OHL in 2011-12 before being traded to the Plymouth Whalers. With Plymouth, he tallied three goals and 11 assists in 50 games, and skated in nine OHL playoff games, recording an assist. The 18-year-old played a full season with the Oshawa Generals in 2010-11, where he tallied 1-12=13 totals and a career high of plus-7. He scored one goal in the 2011 OHL Playoffs against the Kingston Frontenacs. In the 2009-10 season, Payne played for the Mississauga Reps in the Greater Toronto Hockey League, where he netted 39 goals and tallied 26 assists.
With the 175th overall pick in the sixth round, the Bruins selected defenseman Matthew Benning. The 6’0”, 218-pound native of Edmonton, Alberta, recorded four goals and 14 assists in 44 games during the 2011-12 season with the Spruce Grove Saints in the Alberta Junior Hockey League. Benning also netted two goals in the 2012 AJHL Playoffs, both against the Fort McMurray Oil Barons. In his first season in the AJHL, in 2010-11 with the Saints, he recorded seven assists. Benning also tallied an assist in 13 playoff games. Benning the nephew of former NHL player and current assistant general manager for the Bruins, Jim Benning, who was drafted sixth overall in 1981 by the Toronto Maple Leafs and went on to compile 52 goals over nine seasons with the Leafs and the Vancouver Canucks. He has been assistant GM for the Bruins since 2006. The 18-year-old’s dad, Brian, also a defenseman, was drafted 26th overall by the St. Louis Blues in 1984. He went on to play 568 NHL games with St. Louis, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Edmonton and Florida.
With their final pick in the seventh round (205th overall), the Bruins selected forward Colton Hargrove. The 6’1”, 215-pound native of Dallas, Texas, played his 2011-12 season with the Fargo Force of the USHL, where he recorded 16 goals and 22 assists for 38 total points. His 22 assists ranked him third on the team and second for forwards in assists. Hargrove also played in six games for the Force in the 2012 USHL playoffs. The 19-year-old netted 13 goals and tallied 14 assists in the 2010-11 season with Fargo, with his 13 goals ranking him fourth on the team for the regular season scoring record. During the 2011 USHL playoffs, Hargrove notched three assist in five games. The forward has committed to play collegiate hockey for the Western Michigan University Broncos in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association for the fall of 2013.