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NHL Scene Shifts from Vegas to Draft

by Renee Anderson / Boston Bruins – With the hockey scene shifting from Vegas to Pittsburgh for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, so too does the focus change from the league’s elite to the hopefuls.

Patrice Bergeron’s Selke Trophy win offers a quick reminder of the years of hard work it takes to reach the level of high-caliber play in the NHL.

“You almost have to do it, and you look back at what you’ve accomplished and what you’ve done ,” Bergeron said, reflecting on his Selke win following eight seasons with the Bruins since being drafted 45th overall by the club in 2003.

Now, with the Draft rapidly approaching, the hopefuls – some highly touted, others highly ranked, and many others watching at home (like Andrew Ference in ’97) or overseas – will wait to embark on their journeys to the NHL.

Who will be the next rookie to don the Black & Gold?

According to GM Peter Chiarelli, it will depend on which players are available when the B’s prepare to make their first-round pick at No. 24 on Friday night.

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

Heading into the 2012 Draft, the Bruins have four picks in addition to the first-rounder, coming in the third, fifth, sixth and seventh rounds.

Boston traded its second-round pick to the Toronto Maple Leafs with Joe Colborne in exchange for defenseman Tomas Kaberle last February. The pick was later traded to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for John-Michael Liles, and eventually acquired by the Washington Capitals for Semyon Varlamov. With a conditional 2012 or 2013 pick, the Capitals opted to use the second-round pick in this year’s draft.

The Bruins have the 85th overall pick in the third round, with their fourth-round pick having been traded to the Carolina Hurricanes for Joe Corvo last July. In the later rounds, the Bruins are slated to pick 145th overall in the fifth round, 175th overall in the sixth and 205th in the seventh round.

Given the later picks, Chiarelli knows how difficult it becomes for the Bruins staff to anticipate how the Draft will shake out.

“Sometimes it’s not bad to pick later on in the draft and see what happens,” he said. “You just don’t control your destiny as much.

“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?

No matter the Draft day happenings, the Bruins general manager is confident he will be able to add to the core group of players already in the Bs system.

“[That draft pool] is the deepest that I’ve seen since I’ve been here and that’s a good sign.”

The 2012 NHL Entry Draft will take place in Pittsburgh at the CONSOL Energy Center, beginning with the first round on Friday, June 22 at 7:00 p.m. ET., broadcast live in the United States on the NBC Sports Network. Rounds two through seven will then take place Saturday June 23, with live coverage beginning at 10:00 a.m. ET in the U.S. on the NHL Network.

Bruins 2012 Draft Picks

1st Round: 24th overall

2nd Round: 54th overall - traded to Toronto with Joe Colborne for Tomas Kaberle on Feb. 18, 2011; later traded by Toronto to Colorado for John-Michael Liles on June 24, 2011; acquired by Washington (second-rounder in 2012 or 2013) from Colorado for Semyon Varlamov on July 1, 2011; Washington elected to take the 2012 second-round pick on June 15, 2012.

3rd Round: 85th overall

4th Round: 115th overall - traded to Carolina for Joe Corvo on July 5, 2011

5th Round: 145th overall

6th Round: 175th overall

7th Round: 205th overall

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