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Subban, Heinen among Bruins' top five prospects

by Matt Kalman /

BOSTON -- When Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney was hired this offseason, he decided he had a mandate to get them back into the Stanley Cup Playoffs while replenishing their prospect pool so they'd be able to have sustained success beyond.

The Bruins restocked at the 2015 NHL Draft by making 10 picks, including five in the first two rounds. Some of those came in trades for defenseman Dougie Hamilton and forward Milan Lucic.

Here is a look at the Bruins' top five prospects, according to

1. Danton Heinen, F

How acquired: 4th round (No. 116), 2014 NHL Draft

Last season: Denver, NCHC: 40 GP, 16-29-45

Heinen (6-foot-1, 185 pounds) was considered too small to get drafted by the Western Hockey League. So he decided to go to college and was the third-leading scorer among NCAA freshmen last season, behind Jack Eichel (Buffalo Sabres) and Dylan Larkin (Detroit Red Wings). Heinen led Denver in points and assists.

A desire to use his time at Denver to get stronger kept Heinen, 20, from turning pro this summer.

"You can tell he's talented. He's got a lot of poise with the puck," Bruins development coach Jay Pandolfo said. "He's got a great release, great shot. He's going to be a really good player. He still needs to get a little stronger. It'll help him with protecting pucks. But he looks really good."

Projected NHL arrival: 2016-17

2. Malcolm Subban, G

How acquired: 1st round (No. 24), 2012 NHL Draft

Last season: Providence, AHL: 35 GP, 16-13-4, 2.44 GAA, .921 save percentage

Someday, Subban and the Bruins hope, his NHL debut will be reduced to a footnote on a lengthy, successful career. Thrust into the Bruins lineup in February, Subban lasted 31 minutes against the St. Louis Blues before he was replaced after allowing three goals on three shots in the second period. He made three saves on three shots in the first period.

Subban (6-foot-2, 200) endured an up-and-down second season as a pro with Providence but made the necessary improvements that could make the 20-year-old Tuukka Rask's backup this season.

Projected NHL arrival: 2015-16

3. Jakub Zboril, D

How acquired: 1st round (No. 13), 2015 NHL Draft

Last season: Saint John, QMJHL: 44 GP, 13-20-33

Years from now, it might turn out that Zboril is Hamilton's replacement as the cornerstone of the Bruins defensemen after Zdeno Chara retires. Zboril (6-foot, 200) has a good combination of skill and physicality.

"On the ice, he makes it look pretty easy, really smooth," Pandolfo said. "A real smooth skater, moves the puck really well, defends well because he's such a good skater."

The Bruins wasted little time getting Zboril, 18, to sign an entry-level contract after he was drafted. He was one of three finalists for the Michael Bossy Trophy as the top professional prospect in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Projected NHL arrival: 2017-18

4. Jake DeBrusk, F

How acquired: 1st round (No. 14), 2015 NHL Draft

Last season: Swift Current, WHL: 72 GP, 42-39-81

The 6-foot, 174-pound wing wowed observers at Bruins development camp with a between-the-legs goal during a shootout. Trick shots aside, DeBrusk has the type of scoring touch the Bruins were looking to add to their depth chart. His 42 goals led Swift Current and were tied for sixth in the WHL.

The 18-year-old is the son of former NHL forward Louie DeBrusk.

Projected NHL arrival: 2017-18

5. Joe Morrow, D

How acquired: Traded by Dallas Stars on July 4, 2013

Last season: Bruins: 15 GP, 1-0-1; Providence, AHL: 33 GP 3-9-12

After playing for three organizations in his first two pro seasons, the 22-year-old got to settle in with Boston. Known for his offense (he had 64 points for Portland of the Western Hockey League in 2011-12), Morrow (6-foot-1, 204 pounds) showed his responsible side during his brief stint with the Bruins.

He stopped taking risks, and it paid off in a top-four role. Injuries after his return to Providence cost him another chance with Boston in the second half of the season.

With Hamilton gone, there's an opening among Boston's top four, and the 2011 first-round pick (No. 23) by the Pittsburgh Penguins could make good on his high ceiling.

Projected NHL arrival: 2015-16

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