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Draft Preparations Continue for Bruins

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins – Depth in the Draft and a perceived lack of depth in free agency might be fueling trade “chatter” as the 2012 NHL Entry Draft comes nearer on the calendar, but GM Peter Chiarelli expects to take a wait-and-see approach to any transactions.

Dougie Hamilton was the B's top pick in 2011

“My objective will probably be to wait unless something falls in my lap,” said Chiarelli during a Monday conference call with the media regarding the upcoming Draft.

However, Chiarelli and his staff are excited about the talent they can choose from when they hit Pittsburgh later this week.

“It’s the deepest [Draft] that I’ve seen since I’ve been here and that’s a good sign,” said Chiarelli. “It’s a good sign that the registration numbers -- usually it means they’re going up -- and obviously the quality of players for the NHL is increasing too.

“We’ve got a bunch of guys on our list and obviously I’m not going give you the order.”

The groundwork for that draft order has been underway for much of last season, but so has the preparation for any transactions that might take place during June and July.

“A lot of the work you do leading up to the trade deadline does carry over,” explained Chiarelli. “I try to set up deals, plant seeds, set up deals at the trade deadline for the summer or for the fall.

“So, there’s a lot of legwork that goes into making a trade. They’re hard to do now so my preparation for this trade market and upcoming trade markets starts back before the trading deadline.

“As far as deals carrying over, usually those deals that happen or that are talked about around the trade deadline are more for the moment, but you do get a sense of where guys feel where their roster might be in late-June, early-July from discussions at the trade deadline,” he said.

Draft-wise, the B’s have a later pick (24th) than they have had in recent years and Chiarelli said his crew is well-versed in his thinking going into Friday’s first round.

“Well, they’ve probably seen and heard enough from me this year,” he said. “You have to really go into more different combinations and scenarios for the later pick – if this player goes there, what if this player goes there, what about moving down because we can get that player?

“There’s a lot more scenarios to discuss, and then your quality of player, while still good, is obviously not as good at this point than those players higher up.

“So you really drill down more,” added Chiarelli.

But in many cases the solution is simple.

“Our philosophy – and you’ve heard me say this, you’ve heard many managers say this – is to draft the best player possible,” said Chiarelli. “So it’s really a function of those players available.

“Going into the draft each year…there’s a priority, there’s a need, but the first approach that we take and we’ll always take is to take the best player.”

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