BostonBruins.com – In the biggest moments, with the lights shining a little brighter and hearts pounding a little faster, even the game’s elite can fall victim to the pressure. So with Boston on the clock at pick No. 131 in the fifth round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, it comes as no surprise that the B’s chose a player who thrives under the spotlights of playoff hockey.
Seth Griffith proved himself as one of the best players on the ice during the London Knights’ OHL playoff run, tallying 10 goals and 13 assists in only 19 games en route to capturing the J. Ross Robertson Cup. His 23 points placed him fourth among all skaters, and helped catch the eye of Bruins Director of Amateur Scouting Wayne Smith.
“He’s a big time player,” Smith said of Griffith at the conclusion of Day 2 of the NHL Draft. “He rises to the occasion. [London Knights coaches] Dale and Mark Hunter both were preaching his game, they both feel that he brings that quality that they shared when they played – it’s that ability to win pucks, to win races.
“You know, he’s not going to bull you over. He’s not a big guy, but he has a high hockey IQ and he’s got an NHL shot and an NHL release.”
Griffith’s ‘NHL shot’ was certainly on display during the 2011-12 regular season as well, as the 19-year-old finished third in the league in goals with 45 in 68 games. But the native of Wallaceburg, Ontario is quick to point out that there’s more to his game than scoring.
“Yeah, I think I’m a scorer, but I also can make that good pass so I like to say I’m a scorer-playmaker,” the forward said.
His penchant for passing is also well documented, as the forward has registered 40 assists in each of his past two seasons. Teammate and fellow Bruins prospect Jared Knight, who was a likely benefactor of Griffith’s playmaking ability, gave the new B’s draft pick a hint of what life in the Black & Gold will be like.
“We’re pretty good friends back in London,” Griffith said of Knight. “He talked really highly of Boston and what a great organization they’ve been to him in such short time so I’m just really looking forward to getting started with them.”
However, before the two reunite in Boston, the 5’11”, 185-pound Griffith realizes he has a lot of work ahead of him – both in the weight room and out on the ice.
“This offseason, I’m really working on getting stronger, you know, just making sure I’m winning those battles in the corners most every time and, like I said earlier, your skating can’t be good enough, so I’ll continue to develop my skating.”
The Bruins’ brass are hoping that the work will pay off, and that Griffith will have the opportunity to shine on an even brighter stage – the TD Garden.