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Bruins' Sweeney set to make mark in first draft as GM

by Kristen Nelson

New Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney has been busy since his promotion on May 20.

While making a multitude of phone calls and learning as much as he can from other GMs around the NHL, Sweeney has had about a month to prepare for the 2015 NHL Draft, which will be held June 26-27 at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla.

The first round is June 26 (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports); rounds 2-7 will be June 27 (10 a.m. ET; NHLN, TVA Sports).

Slated for the No. 14 pick, Sweeney said Friday he is comfortable with the Bruins' spot in the first round given the depth of the draft pool. However, Sweeney said they have discussed moving up or dropping back in position for the first round.

"I'm going to look at every option. I'm not really going to turn down anything," Sweeney said. "I think this situation I'm in now, I have to have my ears wide open."

Having been a part of Boston's player development team since 2006, Sweeney said his experience will be beneficial in knowing what the Bruins need. His approach to the draft is not going to be selecting based on any specific position.

"It's probably going to come down to best player available," Sweeney said. "That's not always, because we may have things that transpire between now and then that alter that."

Whether or not that first-round pick will be as quickly effective as right wing David Pastrnak was, Sweeney can't be certain. The 19-year-old was selected by the Bruins in the first round (No. 25) in 2014 and scored 10 goals and 27 points in 46 games in his rookie season.

Right now, Sweeney is looking for players who can help build his team as quickly as possible.

"There's always going to be a selfish component involved with improving your team. I think that's the natural reaction for all of us as a management group to say, 'Who can impact our team relatively short term?'" Sweeney said. "Obviously David Pastrnak jumped in and we didn't expect that, so there's always surprises."

Those surprises will take time to unearth, but having worked closely with Boston's executive director of player personnel John Ferguson, Sweeney is confident in his management team's approach to selecting the right players.

In addition to working internally with his staff as he prepares for the draft, Sweeney said he's spoken with every GM in the League. Although he said they might be "playing nice in the sandbox," their advice has been useful for the new leader.

"I think they've been very helpful, every one of them," Sweeney said. "It doesn't mean they're not trying to improve their own team though, I can tell you that."

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