15 Draft Mistakes The Boston Bruins Should Still Be Embarrassed About

Source: Thesportster.com

15 Draft Mistakes The Boston Bruins Should Still Be Embarrassed About




The game of hockey as we know it has been played for over two hundred years, and although the rules and complexion of the game have changed over all that time, it is still a game which is played on ice and which involves shooting an object into a net. Hockey became so popular in the northern regions of North America, that it ultimately led to the creation of the National Hockey League in 1917, and when the NHL came into being, it brought six original teams into the fold. The Boston Bruins were one of those six teams, and the club has been playing professional hockey since 1924, and in that time, not only has the team won a total of six Stanley Cup championships, but it has also produced several of the best players to ever play in the league: Bobby Orr, Ray Bourque, Cam Neely, and many others.

Like every other hockey team, the Bruins now gather in a different city each year to participate in the draft, an event in which teams get to select young and talented players who they hope will make them more competitive in the future. The Bruins have had their fair share of good draft picks, as they have selected great players like Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, Joe Thornton, and Hall of Fame defenseman Ray Bourque; but like most teams, the majority of their draft picks do not turn into quality NHL players. There are instances down the line, when a team deeply regrets drafting a certain player, and since the Bruins have been around for so long, they have made quite a few bad drafting choices that have left them both embarrassed and regretful, and this article’s job is to identify the 15 draft mistakes that the Bruins are still probably embarrassed about.


We start this list off with a forward whom the Boston Bruins believed was going to be a big help for them offensively, but as fate would have it, Dmitri Kvartalnov  was not meant to play in the NHL for long. The Bruins drafted this Russian winger 16th overall back in 1992, and the reason for him being ranked so high was because that same year, he lit up the International Hockey League with 60 goals and 118 points, which earned him that league’s MVP award. Kvartalnov made his debut the very next season, and had a great start to his career by finishing the year with 30 goals and 72 points, but the following season, his production seemingly fell off a cliff, which is why he spent the majority of that season in the minors. Ultimately, his second NHL season turned out to be his last, and he would go on to spend the final 14 years of his career playing over in Europe.


Canada has produced some of the best defensemen to ever play in the NHL, and when the Bruins decided to use their 8th pick in 1996 to draft Edmonton native, Johnathan Aitken, they hoped that they were getting another star on the blue line. In the junior hockey circuit, Aitken proved to be a very serviceable defenseman while playing against other Western Hockey League teams, but when he began playing for Boston’s minor league team, it became apparent that he could not handle the bigger leagues.

After playing within the organization for two years, Boston released Aitken with just three games on the main roster under his belt. This was not the end of his NHL career though, as he returned from a European stint to play with Chicago for 1 year, where he had just one assist in 41 games. In retrospect, the Bruins would have been better off had they drafted someone like Dainius Zubris, or Daniel Briere, who were both taken later in that same draft.


NHL teams still like to have players on their rosters who are big and who can play a more physical and gritty style, but that type of player is just not in high demand anymore because of how fast the game has become. In the ’80s though, those players were in far greater demand, which is why the Bruins went ahead and drafted forward Nevin Markwart 21st overall in 1983. Markwart went on to make his NHL debut later that same year after putting up 13 goals and 31 points in the minors, and following that debut, he spent eight more years with Boston, splitting time between the main roster and the minors due to the mounting injuries he sustained because of his style of play. In total, he played in 299 games for Boston, where he scored 39 goals and 106 points, and if it were not for all those injuries, he likely would have been a much more useful player for the Bruins.


In the year 2000, the Bruins used their 37th pick in the second round to draft Michigan native Andy Hilbert, a winger who would ultimately go on to play just 32 games for the franchise. In those 32 games, Hilbert scored a combined two goals and five points, which is absolutely dismal, and why most of his time with the team was spent with their minor league affiliate. In 2005, Boston had enough of Hilbert and traded him to the Blackhawks, where he spent a handful of games before being traded to Pittsburgh. Hilbert would then sign contracts with the New York Islanders and Minnesota Wild before officially retiring in 2010. In all, Hilbert played 307 NHL games, and ended up scoring a combined 42 goals and 104 points.


In the three years leading up to the 1984 draft, Dave Pasin was making a name for himself in the Western Hockey League where he scored a combined 172 goals over the course of 198 games. It was because of that level of scoring that the Bruins selected Pasin 19th overall in 1984, and he went on to debut with the team the following season as a 19-year-old, and in his rookie season, he put up 18 goals and 37 points in 71 games, numbers which would have been considered much better for the rookie if he had not scored so much in junior. Pasin’s rookie season turned out to be the only season he would ever play with the Bruins, as he spent the rest of his time with the organization in the minors, and after being traded to Los Angeles in 1988 where he played in just five games, he would go on to play the rest of his career in Europe.