Welcome to April and we're no fools at Bruins 2011 Draft Watch.
We went to Ontario to get help from Mark Edwards, Director of Scouting and Founder of HockeyProspect.com for information on this draft sleeper in Wellington Dukes (OJHL) forward Brian Bunnett who just might be on some NHL radars as a later-round pick in June.
"Big kid," Edwards said via email. "Pretty raw talent... He skates pretty well, could get better in the acceleration and first few steps deparment. His hands are above average for a big kid. He plays third line a lot and does not always get (power play time)."
The 6-3, 195-pounder from Bowmanville, Ontario scored 16 goals and 33 points in 49 regular season games and then added five goals and 12 points in 15 games. Those stats aren't much to get fired up about, but do indicate that he's only beginning to scratch the surface of his potential. We do know that NHL scouts are quietly looking at him, and this usually means that their teams are hoping for a later-round homerun.
"He showed some smarts and savvy," said Edwards. "His shot is good and he has a nice quick release."
Bunnett is not as of right now committed to an NCAA program , and was rated by the NHL's Central Scouting Service as a "B" player on their preseason watch list back in October. Some other names on that list you might be familiar with: Milton defenseman Rob O'Gara, and Minnesota high schoolers Max Everson and Steven Fogarty.
He was an eighth-round draft pick of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL in 2009. Speaking of SSM, we recently listed defenseman Ryan Sproul, and Edwards had a hand in raising that late-bloomer's profile as well.
Here's a link to a more in-depth profile on Bunnett from the OJHL website. It's a bit dated from early December, but has some good information.
This kid could be a classic diamond-in-the-rough type long-term prospect and is someone you should know.