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Transcript: 06.23, Draft Rounds 2-7

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON BRUINS NHL QUOTES – 2012 NHL ENTRY DRAFT DAY 2

Saturday, June 23, 2012

BOSTON BRUINS GENERAL MANAGER PETER CHIARELLI
On the trade of Benoit Pouliot to Tampa Bay…
Sure. Basically it’s a couple of things Fluto. We want to leave some flexibility, space and that’s not cap space or anything it’s just I call it development space for [Jordan] Caron to kind of blossom and grow a little bit more as a player. That does this. Now if we add a player down the line the rest of the summer, we still feel had we kept Ben [Benoit Pouliot] and added another player, it really would’ve boxed out Caron so that’s reason one. And then the primary reason – the details of the trade is that with [Michel] Ouellet coming back is that they had too many contracts so that’s a UFA we just took and after June 30, that contract will expire. So nothing more than just contract numbers maneuvering there.

On if Tampa Bay had too many contracts…
Tampa did. So we took a UFA back in Ouellet just for them to be able to take on another contract. Ben was good for us and he had some inconsistent swings but I had no complaints with how he played, and especially down closer to the end of the year, he was – you know we had always been preaching to play in straight lines and he was doing that and I still think he’s got a good career ahead of him.

On if Pouliot’s arbitration eligibility played any factor in the trade…
Well, ehhhhhhh, but not so much. I think the agent is and then Ben is – they’re reasonable and they recognize opportunity and recognize where he was in his development – mainly his age. So that didn’t play a big part in our decision. It was mainly about flexibility – flexibility for development like of a Caron – and flexibility like if we do decide to add another body, then they would be a meaningful body, that there’d be roster room to add that player.

On projections for Jordan Caron’s future…
Well I mean like if he can do something that, just from a pure number perspective, if he can get what Ben got I would be happy. He’s a bigger body. He’s come on towards the end of last year. He’s put some time in the minors. He knows what’s important in his game and what he has to focus on. So you know it’s about the latter stages of development for Jordan and he really knows what we want him to work on and he started doing that. So you see that promise, you see that development, and you know he’s a younger guy and you have to give him a chance.

On if he would consider further upgrading the bottom two lines…
That’s the million dollar question because you know we moved Ben, I say we’re moving for development and then if a certain player at a certain price falls in our lap, then we got to do it. Then once again, on its face it looks we’re boxing out Jordan. But that’s the way the cookie crumbles as far as if you can improve yourself you do it. So it’s something that we may encounter over the next couple weeks and we’ll have to make that decision at that time.

On if he would have not tendered Pouliot if the trade did not come up…
You know that’s a tough one because, as a manager, if you don’t feel that the player is in your plans for whatever reason, you want to try and harvest, try and get as much as you can, and my gut is I probably would’ve qualified him because he’s – Ben had a good year for us. I think he reclaimed his career. I think we would’ve been able to get something for him. What will happen probably is that once the free agent market opens and the prices are what they are, people will like, “man I better look to maybe a more affordable player on a shorter term,” and that’s what Ben is.

BOSTON BRUINS DIRECTOR OF AMATEUR SCOUNTING WAYNE SMITH
On how he would characterize this draft…
Well I think we accomplished everything we set out initially to do. We wanted to get some depth in goal; we believe we got a potential starting goaltender. We wanted to add some size and some toughness; we added that down the stretch. And we got some character players so I think all in all it was a complete success for us as far as the scouting staff and the management went towards our plan.

On whether the club was able to acquire ‘the best player available’ and address team needs throughout the draft…
Yeah I really believe we were able, you know without having a second round pick, to come away with the players that we did. They were all players that we had ranked highly on our list that fit into the Bruins style of play as far as character goes and commitment to winning.

On Matthew Grzelcyk…
Well he’s the type of kid that plays much bigger than he is. He’s got a Bruin mentality. He plays to win; he plays hard; he’s hard to play against; he plays a virtually mistake-free game. His decision-making and his ability to move the puck is second-to-none in this draft. Obviously, it’s a great story that his father has worked at the Garden for [45] years. We brought him in to Boston in particular because we had keen interest in him, and after meeting with him, we just feel that he could be a part of helping us win another Stanley Cup.

On the rest of the other picks…
Sure. Cody Payne is a big, strong kid that played on a very deep team. Didn’t have a lot of ice time this year, but we were fortunate enough to catch him when his teammates were gone to the World Juniors. Saw him play in a top two-line role. He’s as tough as they come. Certainly Colton Hargrove is a similar type player. Played on a deep team in Fargo. He’s also a big, strong kid. He’s going to be going to Western Michigan, he’s  there now at school already started. Very physical, very tough. I’m sure the Bruins fans will get to know them and enjoy them when their day comes.

On whether keeping tabs on Zane Gothberg lent itself to noticing Hargrove…
It did in a way, but I think certainly our staff is diligent, they don’t miss anybody. There’s, you know, we make sure we check everywhere and credit to Scott Fitzgerald for being initially getting in there and identifying him so our staff was well aware of him, because he does play limited minutes. Seth Griffith is – he’s second in the Ontario Hockey League in goals for with 47. Timely goals. He’s a big time player. He rises to the occasion. 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.

On Matt Benning...
Matt Benning is a big, strong kid. He’s very raw right now. His father obviously played in the National Hockey League. He moves the puck extremely well. He has a chip on his shoulder. When he’s on the ice people know. He’s the kind of guy that on the way to the bench gives you a shot in the head just because you looked at him. Real good puck mover. He hasn’t decided on his school yet, but he will be playing in Dubuque next year. He’s got a number of schools after him. We were really excited about this pick because again it was a guy that was sort of a late bloomer, wasn’t sure that he wanted to play hockey because of the pressure of the family, of the legacy that goes on, and now he’s fully committed to playing. I believe he’s a National Hockey League player.

On whether he was surprised to get any of the players in the spots they did…
I think if you ask every NHL scout, ‘I couldn’t believe he was there when we picked.’ You know, certainly Malcolm Subban would be the biggest surprise. You know, his upside is so high and the quality kid and the person he is, is tremendous. So any time you can obtain an asset like that it’s very exciting. It’s the same as when you get a Doug Hamilton, I mean, these are the kind of people that you want in your organization they’re winners. And he’ll be a starting goaltender for Canada in the Canada-Russia series that’s up and coming now, and Hamilton will be there as well. So, the folks in Boston will have an opportunity to see both of them play in a very high intensity series coming up in August.

On his overall impressions with the draft, any surprises or trends…
Well I think this was a year where universally through the league that they felt it was a little bit of a down year, whereas next year is projected to be the strongest draft in 20 years. So, I think any time you have a draft like this year you go off of your gut; you go off of the work of your scouts; and sometimes maybe you go off the board and I think some teams did that. You know, they had feelings on players and that maybe we didn’t agree with and I’m sure there were probably players that we picked that some other teams might have shook their head at. So, we’re really comfortable and confident with what we’ve done, and really excited about it.

On the potential he saw in Cody Payne…
Well again it was credit to Jack Higgins and Scott Fitzgerald and Keith Gretzky that got into Ontario when his teammates were gone to World Junior, Under-17, he had an opportunity to play in a top two-line situation and showed that he could play. There’s no question he can fight, I mean you can pull it up on YouTube and you can enjoy the moments - he’s as tough a customer as there comes. But we, you know, in our system while we play four lines you have to be able to play, and he showed us that there’s potential for him to be a National Hockey League player.

BOSTON BRUINS THIRD ROUND DRAFT PICK (85TH OVERALL) MATTHEW GRZELCYK
On he and his dad sharing a Boston Garden connection…
I really can’t put it into words. It’s pretty unexpected, so I’m just over the top right now, and it’s pretty [unexplainable] feeling for me I guess.

On whether he had any indication from the Bruins that they might draft him…
I met with them, so I mean I kind of had a rough idea, but you know I didn’t really come in with high expectations. So, it’s kind of a shock, but I couldn’t be happier.

On whether 84th was where he hoped and expected to be picked…
Not really, no to be honest. You know I wasn’t ranked that high, I’m kind of a smaller guy, so it was pretty unexpected, but what can you say you can’t go wrong.

On whether this was a dream come true for his family…
Yeah definitely, definitely. Being a hometown kid it’s exactly what you dream about and I’m just happy to it came true.

On his decision to go to Boston University…
Yeah I’ll be going next fall. I accelerated the last year, so couldn’t be happier to be a Terrier this fall.

On going through the draft with so many New England players…
It’s great to see. I’ve known these kids ever since I was young, so it’s kind of a surreal feeling to be here with them and I’m just happy to share it with them.

On whether he knew of and had ever had a chance to talk with David Warsofsky…
Yeah. No, I never actually talked to him, but he’s someone that I’ve always looked up to and somebody I’ve always watched, so I look forward to watching him in the future.

On who his idols were growing up…
I watched a lot of Brian Rafalski – being a smaller guy. But my idol was always Nick Lidstrom, he’s a pretty easy guy to try to model yourself after, not just on the ice but off the ice too.

On how his time with USA Hockey has helped him develop as a player…
It was probably the best two years of my life, you know I feel like I really needed the development and that’s exactly what I got. Being a part of that gold medal team was just the best feeling I’ve had in hockey so far and couldn’t be happier that I stayed and had my time there in Ann Arbor.

On whether he’s ready to handle the pressure of playing for his hometown…
Yeah definitely. I mean obviously there’s going to be a lot of people like my family and stuff, but I’ve always had this dream to play for the Bruins and hopefully that comes true one day.

On how to pronounce his name…
It’s Grzelcyk (Griz-lick)

On whether Jack Parker and playing at Boston University next season…
I mean right when I committed there it was kind of up in the air. But I really wanted to go and I felt I was ready to go in this year. So I’m just happy that I was able to be asked to come in this year.

On whether it’s rare for an 18-year-old to be playing in Hockey East as a freshman…
Yeah, I guess so, but couldn’t be happier.

On whether he’s the kind of player teams are looking for these days…
Yeah definitely. I think the game is built on speed and that’s something I try to pride myself after.

On whether he models himself after defensemen that can bring the puck out of their end...
Yeah that lays the puck up to the forwards and let them do the work.

On whether he’s a guy that’s not afraid to take a chance to make a play…
Yeah, I think I try to play my best when I’m more aggressive, jump into the plays as much as I can can, it adds to the offense.

On whether he sees his game fitting in with the Bruins style…
You know I think they have a lot of – they’ve kind of built themself on toughness, so maybe they might need someone to be able to break the puck out and someone to get the puck to the forwards.

On if there are any NHL players in particular he likes…
I’m a big Patrice Bergeron fan. I don’t really try to emulate my game after anyone, but they’re all great players.

On if he knows [Torey]Krug…
I didn’t play against him – no – but I’ve seen him play, he’s a really good player.

On if him and Krug could end up competing…
Yeah, you never know. He’s a great player and it’d be pretty cool to meet him and things like that.

On how it feels to be present at the draft and the experience…
I’ve never been to a draft, so it’s a really cool experience - get to see some of the fans and how passionate they are. I wasn’t sure if I was going to come, because I was never really sure where I was going to go. But being selected this high is an [amazing] feeling.

On if he was going to not come because he thought he may not get selected at all…
Yeah – I guess so. I mean you never know, so. But I have a couple of teammates who I knew were going high so I kind of wanted to come and support them, too.

On how it feels to have the early stages of his hockey career all in his hometown…
It’s awesome. I mean it’s a dream come true. You know you kind of, you kind of always think about it and now you’re not really sure it’s going to happen. But having this feeling right now is just unbelievable.

On if he had his first Bruins game growing up…
Not really my first. When I was, when I was about two-years-old my dad had the opportunity to take me over to skate at the Garden, so I remember skating in the old Garden more than I remember my actual first game.

On if he was skating at two-years-old…
Yeah, when I was really young I was up on skates.

BOSTON BRUINS FIFTH ROUND DRAFT PICK (131ST OVERALL) SETH GRIFFITH
On where he is and how he got the news…
Yeah, I’m just home in Wallaceburg, got the news. I was just actually getting home from the gym and my agent called me saying congratulations. I didn’t know where or who picked me and then I was glad when I found out.

On if Jared Knight had talked to him…
Yeah, Knight actually texted me right after I got picked, texted me right away. We’re pretty good friends back in London so you know, 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.

On if there is anyone he would model himself after…
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. I model my game after Claude Giroux. You know, he’s not an overly big guy, but he puts up points and he just competes really hard every game.

On what the season was like for him…
Yeah it was good. Obviously I want to build off that season for next year. I’m really looking forward to get back into it next year. You know we had a great season this year, fell one game short, but I’m really proud of how we all played this year, and like I said, I just can’t wait to get back on the ice and hopefully have another run for it.

On if there were any issues adjusting to the OHL…
Yeah, it was a little, my first year. I actually played Junior B at St. Mary’s. You know, instead of sitting on the bench the entire game like a lot of first year kids do – they only get five to ten minutes – they put me in Junior B and it helped me a lot. I was getting a lot of ice time – two practices a day and stuff like that. So I’ve worked really hard with my skating and I guess your skating can’t be good enough so I’ll continue to work hard to get better.

On if the team changed when Dale Hunter left to coach the Washington Capitals…
No. Mark [Hunter] and Dale, they’re really close so they were in the room all the time, the coach’s room all the time making up plays when they’re both there. When Dale left to go to Washington, Mark kind of just took over and they’re kind of the exact same coaching style, so it wasn’t much of an adjustment.

On what he wants to work on…
This year, like 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.

BOSTON BRUINS FIFTH ROUND DRAFT PICK (145TH OVERALL) CODY PAYNE
On his first reaction to being selected by the Bruins…
I was extremely pleased because during the season, you know, obviously you look at teams and stuff and teams you think you could go to in the draft, and I definitely thought I’m a Boston prototypical power forward. I’m the type of guy that, you know, hits and fights and you know makes plays and stuff like that. So when I saw it was Boston I was real excited and my agent told me it couldn’t be a better spot for me so it was good.

On what he thinks the Bruins style of hockey is…
Definitely, there’s a player and a certain style. Player-wise, Nathan Horton, I grew up watching him here in Florida and he was one of my favorite players and he went to Boston. He had that year with eight fights and it was a real good year, and that’s something that was pretty inspirational. And when I think of the Boston Bruins I think of, you know, a hardworking club and, you know, grinding hard and fighting and shooting pucks and hitting and a hard forecheck and stuff like that. So I mean, it sounds like a good fit.

On how he would describe himself as a player…
I would say a real hardworking power forward that likes to, you know, forecheck hard and definitely protects teammates and definitely stands up for himself and teammates and he can fight and he can grind but definitely has a lot of skill and good hands and a good shot and stuff like that. So I would say a prototypical power forward.

On what he’s working on to improve right now…
I’m definitely working on my skating, that’s one, that’s a big thing. And getting faster in order to beat guys wide and stuff like that. And I’m really working on and developing, you know, my hands and my shot and using more of my hands and my shot in games and stuff like that. So game like situations, using the skill that I do have and stuff like that.

On his hockey background coming from Florida…
Started off with a roller hockey team in south Florida and we just played roller hockey and we decided to make an ice team one year, and we stayed in that group of boys together for a good long period of time since we were about five years old to 12-13, and we were playing a lot of Florida ice hockey and we would go up to the places like Detroit and Toronto to play some of the good teams and we were doing alright so it basically started from there. And then when I was about 15-years-old I moved up in Bantam Majors to go play in Toronto for the Mississauga Reps and they looked like a good fit and so that’s when I left Florida to start playing hockey. And from Toronto I got drafted to Oshawa.

On who is his favorite current NHL player and who he models his game after…
I don’t know if he’s still my favorite player because he plays for the Flyers, but I definitely try to model my game after a player like Wayne Simmonds. And then [Milan] Lucic is another big power forward who plays for Boston. And those type of guys are the guys I like to play like, you know, they’ve got good hands in front of the net and skill and they’re not afraid to fight and they definitely get in on the forecheck and bang bodies.

On whether he has any connection to anyone on the Bruins…
I mean I definitely hear a lot about Tyler Seguin playing in Plymouth and I know a lot of his old teammates and I play with them. Other than that just watching Nathan Horton since he was a kid playing in Florida until now, and that’s basically it.
BOSTON BRUINS SIXTH ROUND DRAFT PICK (175TH OVERALL) MATTHEW BENNING
On how it felt when he got the phone call to be drafted…
It was a great feeling, I mean, any - anytime you get your name with an NHL team it’s pretty unreal and I hope this feeling sticks for a while. So it was a great feeling.

On what he was doing when he got the phone call…
Studying for my final exams actually, I have to write them next week so.

On what book he had open…
I was studying math.

On who called him…
Yeah, Jim [Benning] called me and he said basically congratulations and kind of gave me the information about the development camp next week. And just said to be ready and it’s going to be a hard development camp but he just congratulated me again and he said welcome to the Bruins.

On what the most important things his uncle and his dad taught him growing up…
I think what they taught me the most was –my hockey IQ – like, they expanded it. So basically they’d, they go to watch a hockey game and they would say “this is the this is a great man and this D man makes great plays.” But them two having experience in the NHL and they know what it takes. So that’s a huge help, so.

On where his Dad played…
My dad played in Edmonton, Florida, L.A., St. Louis, and Philly.

On if he felt pressure to achieve given his relatives…
Yeah I mean, with my uncle obviously playing in the NHL and my dad playing in the NHL too there’s a bit of pressure but they, they support me in whatever I do and hopefully one day I can pursue my dream of playing in the NHL just like they did.

On his style of play…
I think I’m more of a stay at home D-man, kind of like a Matt Green. Just kind of like rough and tough – or like a - just kind of stay at home just hard to play against kind of D-man. So over the summer I’m going to try to work on my foot speed some more and my skating and hopefully I can improve.

On if he’ll be attending development camp…
Yeah, yeah I will.

On what he’s most nervous about going into a professional camp…
Yeah, exactly. I mean watching them on TV you can, you can say what you want but these are the best players in the world and it will be a good tool to see how I need to improve and how I need to get better. So I’m excited for the opportunity.

On if he’s ever been in the Boston area…
I came down once actually, and I didn’t get to see a game but I got to see the facility and the organization and stuff like that. So I’m real excited to come and see it in more depth.

On if he’s nervous about representing the club…
I mean, there’s always nerves and pressure and stuff like that but I mean I just need to improve over the summer and keep on, keep on improving my game and hopefully one day I’ll have a chance.

BOSTON BRUINS SEVENTH ROUND DRAFT PICK (205TH OVERALL) COLTON HARGROVE
On if it comes as a surprise to go to the Bruins…
Well I talked to Scott Fitzgerald about it and he said, you know, they’re interested in me and my advisor said yesterday they might pick me with their last pick. So it was kind of – it was a bit of a surprise. But you know I was hoping they’d pick me with their last pick so you know it’s a, a dream come true. Since I’ve been playing hockey I’ve always wanted to play in the NHL, so I was definitely surprised.

On what he brings to the table as an NHL prospect…
I’d like to think I’m a power forward. I like to hit, forecheck. I think I’ve got some skill. I can score. That’s kind of what a power forward is, just a, just a kind of just a skilled grinder that likes to hit, so I think I can bring a physical game and some skill to the team.

On what some of the areas he’d like to improve upon…
I’d like to improve upon my footwork, I’m not - I don’t have the quickest feet and I think I can definitely work on it this year. Being at Western Michigan the coaches are great, kind of the weight training has been awesome since I’ve been up here, it’s tough but it’s really good for me. So hopefully I can work on that.

On what the USHL has done for him…
They helped me so much. You know I wasn’t really getting scouted that much and then I came to the USHL, coach Carter and [John] Marks helped me out so much and coach [Byron] Pool, coach – I actually went in early - Pool and worked on my footwork and skating speed. I think that’s what helped me get here. So I’m real appreciative of what they’ve done to help me with this.

On reaching out to his teammate Zane Gothberg…
Yeah I actually just called him about five minutes ago. He was like ‘Hello?’ and I said ‘I’ll see you at camp in about a couple of days,’ and he was like ‘Yeah I just heard about it.’ So I’m real excited finally get to see him again, I haven’t seen him in a while and hopefully we’re on opposite teams so I can score on him a couple times.
 
On his hometown…
Rockwall, Texas.    

#6/23/12#
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