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Director of Amateur Scouting Keith Gretzky Post-Draft Quotes

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins

On the picks from today…


We were excited with [Ryan] Donato and I think, today, as you can see, with all the teams went with skill really. And we jumped on. He’s a good offensive player and it’s one of those things where we are excited to have him. [Danton] Heinen is a kid that’s from out west that is going to school The last two years, he’s won Junior B rookie of the year, he’s going to college this year and he’s there now getting educated in what their program is about and doing a class or two right now.

On what kind of player Danton Heinen is…
Offensive player, offensive player, real high skilled player. He has to gain some strength, that’s his one concern right now. There’s a lot of kids that have to get stronger and he has to get stronger. Then we took [Anders] Bjork, he’s an up and down winger. He played in the Under-18 program but we like what he brings. He’s well liked by his teammates, he seems to have a lot of character by what we hear and we’ve seen it on the ice and we’re excited to have him. With our last pick was a guy that all of us European scouts really liked. He’s a good skating D-man, moves the puck really well. He didn’t play in April, he had a broken hand so he is almost ready to be cleared and he’s working out now.

On what team Emil Johansson plays on…
HV71.

On if to get most forwards was part of the plan going in…
No, it was sort of just – the plan was we wanted some skill. Everybody wanted skill, you could see the picks, that were highly skilled guys. More of the “plumbers” were coming later on and we were excited that we could get [Ryan] Donato and [Danton] Heinin who are two really skilled players and we’re excited.

On if he was surprised that Ryan Donato was still available to them…
Yeah, we didn’t think he was going to be there, we really didn’t. And we have seen a lot of them of course. He’s a special talent and he is really working out well. We interviewed him at the combine and he was really a different player, I didn’t expect him when he walked by me and that’s good to see.

On what Ryan Donato’s best landing spot will be next year…
You know, we are going to talk to him about that. We’re going to sit down this week at Development Camp and Pete [Chiarelli] is going to talk to him. We’re going to figure it out next week.

On if he thinks it is better for Ryan Donato to play in the USHL than the Western League…
Yeah it would be. I mean, you want him to push himself and I feel it would be the USHL. We’ll sit down with him and his family and Pete [Chiarelli] and decide what’s best.

On if it was important to see Ryan Donato in Finland…
You know what, what wasn’t even a factor because in reality, when he went over, he was on the fourth line left wing. He didn’t play power play so it was hard for him. It wasn’t a real fair reading and we’ve seen him at Christmas time and during the year and we are fortunate enough to have good viewings on him. You guys know him, he is highly skilled and he’s so smooth with the puck and he’s got a rocket of a shot. His conditioning has come a long way, I mean that’s one that that we wanted to talk to him about and when he came into the combine he was a different – he’s really put in a lot of time and his nutrition is a lot better. He’s still got a long ways to go, they're all young kids and if they stay focused and stick to the plan, they'll be fine.

On if he is a kid that has come a long way over the last few years…
Yeah, exactly and the thing is, when we saw him in Toronto we walked right by, I didn’t expect – he was thinned out. He told us that conditioning is a factor for him but he wants to improve at that area and that will help his skating. When you have sense and skill like he has, it is hard to find those types of players and that’s why we were surprised he was still available.

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