Back in 2006, the Boston Bruins had their best draft day 15 years and had arguably the greatest draft day trade and ran away like bandits.
Who would have thought that, this draft would shape the Bruins for years to come. Before grading the players drafted, let’s take a look at the highway robbery that the Bruins got away with.
Peter Chiarelli picked up the phone and called Toronto Maple Leafs general manager John Ferguson Jr. and swindled the division rival. The Bruins traded 23 year old Andrew Raycroft for prospect goaltender Tuukka Rask. In hind sight, at the time of the trade, it was a risky move as Raycroft played his first full season and compiled a 29-18-9 record with a stat line of 2.05 goals against average, 926 save percentage and 3 shutouts and took home the Calder. However, it was later revealed that the Bruins intended to Released Raycroft making this trade even sweeter.
The Bruins with the 5th overall pick drafted Phil Kessel out of the University of Minnesota. As a rookie freshman, Kessel finished second on the team in scoring with 51 points (18 goals and 33 assists) in 39 games for the Golden Gophers. He was named the 2005–06 WCHA Rookie of the Year and named to 2005-06 All-Rookie Team.
In the three years that Kessel played with the Bruins, he totaled 66 goals, 60 assists in 222 games played. Kessel will always be remembered by Bruins fans for another trade that Chiarelli swindled the Leafs for. With so much upside at a young age, the Bruins couldn’t pass up a golden opportunity to give a poison pill trade to the Leafs. Boston acquired two first rounders and a second round pick.
Draft Grade: A
Yury Alexandrovich Alexandrov
With pick number 37, the Bruins opted to draft Severstal Cherepovets defenseman Yury Alexandrovich Alexandrov. It took four years before the stay at home defenseman flew to North America. Alexandrov played his first season with the providence Bruins in the 2010-11 season and accumulated 6 goals to go with 13 assist in 66 games.
On August 29, 2011, Alexandrov opted out of his contract and went back to Russia to play in the KHL. If Yury ever decided to return to the NHL the Bruins would own his rights like Nashville did when Radulov bolted from Nashville to join the KHL.
Draft Grade: E
Around the midway point of the second round, the Bruins picked Vancouver native and hometown hero Milan Lucic with the 50th pick.
Lucic who played in the WHL Vancouver Giants lead the team in 2006-07 to a Memorial Cup. During the 2007 offseason Lucic would sign his first contract with the Bruins. Surprising everyone and exceeding expectations, Lucic made the opening night roster.
In his rookie season, Lucic brought the grit and style of play that reminded fans of the good ol’ days. Lucic recorded 8 goals, 19 assists to go with 13 fighting majors. With that, the fans rewarded the young forward with the Seventh Player Award for exceeding expectations.
Lucic continued with his grit style of play throughout his career with the Bruins and helped the team win their sixth Stanley cup in 2011.
Draft Grade: A+
With the 71st pick, the team elected to pick speedy left winger Brade Marchand who suited for the Moncton Wildcats. Marchand had just finished his sophomore year with the Wildcats where the team won the QMJHL playoffs and fell in the Memorial Cup finals to the Quebec Ramparts. Marchand would joined the Providence bruins for his first full season in 2008-09 and finished third in team scoring with 18 goals and 41 assist. In the 2010-11 season, Marchy found himself as a permanent fixture on the teams second line alongside Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi.
Like Lucic, Marchand was an integral part of the team that captured the Stanley Cup. To This day, Marchand is an integral part of this team and continues to improve his style of play while being a fan favorite.
Draft Grade: A+
In the fifth round, the Bruins selected Andrew Bodnarchuck with the 128th selection. The Drumheller, Alberta native played his junior career with the Halifax Mooseheads.
As for his professional career, the left handed defenseman has been a career AHL player while still suiting up for a total of 42 NHL games with Boston, Columbus and Colorado.
Draft Grade: C
The Bruins selected with Levi Nelson with 158th pick from the Swift Current Broncos of the WHL. Nelson has spent most of his playing days between the AHL and the ECHL. The center is currently playing for the Sheffield Steelers in England.
Draft Grade: C