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Monday, January 17, 2011

Waffle Watch: 2011 Boston Bruins draft pick update; 17 Jan.

One silver lining to the New England Patriots' abrupt dismissal from the playoffs by the New York Jets on Sunday is that the Boston Bruins are now in a position to grab a great deal of the spotlight, with only the Boston Celtics to compete with.

It wasn't a great week for those watching Toronto in the standings. The Leafs did a nice job on their road trip and put together a nice four-game win streak before getting trounced by Phoenix to close it out.

Ottawa has joined the NY Islanders and New Jersey in the tank, meaning that Boston's hopes of a top-three pick in the June draft are fading fast. The Leafs have a one-point advantage over the Sens, but also have a pair of games in hand over their lackluster provincial rivals, who had a lead on Washington, only to give up two goals in 45 seconds for their second consecutive defeat. Cory Clouston looks to be on borrowed time behind the bench there.

As for Toronto, they've found some scoring mojo with Mikhail Grabovski and Phil Kessel of late, and got some strong netminding from James Reimer until he turned into a pumpkin against Phoenix. He's gone back down because of the cap situation, but don't be surprised if you see him back with the Leafs again soon. The team played hard in front of him and he was unexpectedly good for them; he might be the next never-say-die goalie who comes out of nowhere to become an NHL success story.

Minnesota went 1-2 on the week, keeping the 2nd-rounder they owe Boston for Chuck Kobasew last year right around 40th overall. Phoenix went on a tear, going 4-0 and moving up with Boston in the standings with 55 points. One of those wins was against the aforementioned Leafs, so I don't think B's fans mind too much. Phoenix is a team to watch because they gave up their third-rounder to Boston when they re-signed Derek Morris in July. This is key, because the Bruins owe Florida their own third to close out the trade for Nathan Horton. So long as Phoenix finishes below Boston in the standings, the B's will make out in that third round with a higher draft position.

Here are the picks if the season ended today (not taking the lottery into account):

1st Round
5th overall- Toronto (41 points; 18-21-5)- Completes Phil Kessel trade.
25th overall- Boston (55 points; 24-13-7) (Boston moves to 25th by virtue of third seed- NE Division lead with fewest points of division leaders even though technically lower than other teams in standings)

2nd Round
42nd overall- Minnesota (49 points;22-18-5)- Completes Chuck Kobasew trade.
55th overall- Boston

3rd Round
81st overall- Phoenix (55 points; 23-13-9) - Completes Derek Morris trade.
Boston pick traded to Florida; Completes Nathan Horton deal

4th Round
115th overall- Boston

5th Round
145th overall- Boston

6th Round
175th overall- Boston

7th Round
187th overall- Florida (conditional 36 pts; 17-17-2)- Jeff LoVecchio, Jordan Knackstedt to Panthers for Sean Zimmerman, cond. 7th
Boston pick traded to Chicago (Zach Trotman)

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