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Peter Chiarelli Post-Draft Quotes

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins

BOSTON BRUINS GENERAL MANAGER PETER CHIARELLI

On the Bruins’ overall strategy…
Yeah, it was kind of out of plan, but it was also what was available. If you go through every player — well, at least in the top three or four — there’s predominately more skill. I don’t know if that’s a function of it being a thinner draft or not, but I also instructed our guys, I would like a little more skill, a little more offensive side. And you talk about [David] Pastrnak and [Ryan] Donato — not so much [Anders] Bjork, but [Danton] Heinen, even [Emil] Johansson pushes the puck. So it’s something we looked at. We were happy to get Donato there. I’ve watched him for many years, and our guys really like him. The challenge with assessing a high school player, at least a prep school player, is that the level of competition isn’t always the greatest. But he’s got a tremendous skill set, tremendous bloodlines. He’s got to work on his skating, got to work on his strength, but he’s got a good package. I haven’t seen Heinen — these guys tell me about him. They say he’s a very smooth player that has to get stronger. He’s going to go to Denver. We’re very familiar with the coach, Jim Montgomery. He’s done a good job with Matt Benning, so he’s going to really put some muscle on him. Johannson, the last guy we took, I was told he’s a good two-way player, good two-way defenseman, good skater. Bjork’s a straight-line guy, strong.

On whether he tries to select the best of the Boston prospects…
I’d like to get the one next year. [Laugher] Any one, I’ll take. We try to look closely at the Boston kids, and one, we just see them more, just because we’re here, and two, I think it’s important — what you’re alluding to, that you get that local flavor. And these kids — selfishly, they’re more motivated, too, to play for their hometown team. So it seems like each of the Boston kids we’ve taken in the last little bit have had a real interesting story connected to us. So at the same time, it’s true this year. He’s just — I don’t know if Keith [Gretzky] mentioned it, but from the time when he finished playing in prep school to when we interviewed him, he really kind of dialed down, or his conditioning and his diet, he really — I don’t know if you saw him, but he’s really kind of toned up and he needs that. He needs that commitment, and Ryan [Donato] needs to keep doing that. So we were really impressed when we saw that.

On the thought process of his group after the draft…
It’s a real long year. A lot of miles. These guys — it’s kind of a celebration of their year, I think. Keith [Gretzky] — with the help of Scott [Bradley] — they did a terrific job. Our list was as tightly packed as I’ve ever seen in our time here, which usually is a good sign because you’re kind of in sync with a lot of the other — not that you’re judging by everyone else where you pick and who you pick, but it was pretty close for a long time. The longest I’ve ever seen, meaning as you cross the names off, it’s almost in order. So when you see that, you feel pretty good. Our list was good. While we only had five of seven picks, I really felt confident in where we were in our list. Great story draft day, we’ll see you in two or three years, but happy with our guys. I felt the same way last year. We’re getting some good players.

On the attraction of drafting college prospects…
Here’s the attraction to an NCAA pick, or even a European pick. If they’re in a good program, they’ll develop, and you get him for four years, essentially. And they’ll develop in that program and sometimes that youngster isn’t ready, or strong enough, when he turns 20 to play in the American League. So you get that little period where he gets a little stronger, and provided it’s a good program — whether it’s in the European leagues or colleges. Colleges, we see a little more, we’re closer to. We get a lot of good players coming out of college. I like their development, too.

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