BostonBruins.com - Heading into NHL Draft weekend, General Manager Peter Chiarelli and his staff had a tight list of potential draft picks.
After picks 10 or 11, the draft would thin out, and when that happened, teams all had many different lists, based on need, preference and club identity.
"There’s a lot of skilled forwards in the mix and that’s kind of one of the things we’re looking for," Chiarelli said prior to the first round on June 27 in Philadelphia. "We’re looking for size, strength, speed — I don’t know if we’re going to get that in the first round. But there’s a lot of skilled forwards."
The Bruins ended the two-day draft with four forwards and a defenseman.
The forwards include first rounder David Pastrnak (25th overall), Ryan Donato (second round, 56th), Danton Heinen (fourth round, 116th) and Anders Bjork (fifth round, 146th). Defenseman Emil Johansson was chosen with the Bruins' final pick in the seventh round (206th).
"The plan was we wanted some skill," said Director of Amateur Scouting Keith Gretzky, heading up his first draft in that role. "Everybody wanted skill. You could see the picks, that were highly skilled guys. More of the 'plumbers' were coming later on and we were excited that we could get Donato and Heinen who are two really skilled players. We’re excited."
BostonBruins.com - On Sunday, 210 more NHL hopefuls woke up one step closer to making it to the big-time.
With 25 first-round picks selected on Friday night at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, and another 185 on Saturday, the members of the 2014 NHL Draft class now have a tangible goal.
What happens after this weekend, though, is what matters most, whether the draftees heard their names called in-person or received phone calls with the good news, and whether they were chosen in the first round or as the final picks.
Being drafted is just the beginning of a process.
Many first rounders don't make it in the NHL. Many later picks work their way to the top.
PHILADELPHIA - "I'm still shaking."
Ryan Donato was outfitted in his new Black & Gold sweater with the Spoked-B on the front, and a new Bruins' hat as he tried to let it sink in.
The forward had just been drafted by his hometown team, the Boston Bruins, 56th overall in the second round of the 2014 NHL Draft at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
The Massachusetts native was shaking, as he said, and he was all smiles while speaking about his time growing up around Boston, and around the Bruins.
His father, Ted, was selected by Boston 98th overall in the 1987 NHL Draft, and went on to play eight years as a Bruin, then for eight different teams before finishing his career with Boston in 2003-04.
"Surreal. It really is. It doesn’t feel like it’s happening right now," said the forward. "It feels like a dream."
It was an incredible experience for his father and family as well.
"I think he was really excited, too. I think my mom was almost as excited as my dad - my name got called, I just knew she was going to bawl, so I had to give her a quick hug and get out of there before she got too embarrassed on the cameras," he laughed.
The second day of the NHL Draft in Philadelphia at Wells Fargo Center kicks off at 10:00 a.m. ET on Saturday, June 28, with Rounds 2-7. Broadcast coverage can be found on NHL Network.
Here's a rundown of the Bruins' picks...
PHILADELPHIA - On Friday night, the Bruins picked Czech native David Pastrnak 25th overall in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft.
When Bruins President Cam Neely announced his name, the camera panned to the forward in the crowd. His reaction was simple, and powerful. He kissed his hands and pointed up to the sky. His father, Milan, passed away last May and could not be with him to witness his dream coming true.
Pastrnak walked up to the stage at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, walked down the line of Bruins' brass doling out strong handshakes to Neely, GM Peter Chiarelli and the rest of the Boston staff. He then slipped on the Spoked-B for the very first time.
"It’s unbelievable," said Pastrnak, beginning his trek through what's often termed as 'The Gauntlet,' first doing interviews with media, followed by photo shoots and autograph signings.
"I was getting nervous after every pick more and more and I’m really proud that Boston believed in me and they picked me. They’re a good organization and great people."
From the Bruins' perspective, he was higher on the draft list than where they thought they would get him.
PHILADELPHIA - The NHL Draft kicks off tonight on Friday, June 27 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia with Round 1 set to begin at 7:00 p.m. ET (NBCSN).
The Bruins own the 25th overall pick.
Rounds 2-7 will take place on Saturday, June 28, at 10:00 a.m. ET. The Bruins own the 56th overall pick in the second round, the 116th pick in the fourth round, 146th in the fifth round and 206th in the seventh round.
Their third round pick (86th) was a conditional pick traded to Philadelphia for Andrej Meszaros on March 5, 2014 at the trade deadline. Their sixth round pick (176th) was traded to St. Louis for Wade Redden at the trade deadline on April 3, 2013.
Boston didn't have a first-round pick last year in 2013. The Black & Gold selected defenseman Linus Arnesson 60th overall in the second round. He was signed to an entry-level contract on June 1.
As the Bruins get set for the first round, General Manager Peter Chiarelli spoke on Friday morning about this year's draft and the expectations.
"It’s a different draft. It thins out, and when it thins out, teams have a lot of different lists," said Chiarelli. "So normally, if we’re 25, we’re looking at the 17th or 16th player on our list, normally. But maybe we’re going to get the 13th player on our list now because it kind of branches out once you get down past 10 or 11, and everyone has their own kind of favorites because it thins out."
PHILADELPHIA - The Bruins want to sign Jarome Iginla, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. As Iginla said during his final media availability of the 2013-14 season, he hopes to remain a Bruin as well.
"This is not about what Iggy wants and what he should do and what morally he should do. This is nothing about that. This is, can we find room to fit him in? And that's what it's about," said General Manager Peter Chiarelli, addressing media from the team's hotel in Philadelphia on Friday prior to the NHL Draft.
Chiarelli met with Iginla's agent, Don Meehan, on Thursday night in Philly.
"This shopping period is the shopping period, so that doesn't surprise me that he's talking to other teams," said Chiarelli, when asked about reports that Iginla's agent was speaking with other clubs in addition to Boston.
"But as I've said, this a guy we want to try and sign. But we'll see how that goes."
While the salary cap for the 2014-15 season has yet to be announced, it's estimated to be around $70 million. The Bruins are at roughly $67 million with their current roster, according to CapGeek.com. That includes the estimated $4.75 million in bonus overages incurred this season that will carry over into Boston's 2013-14 cap hit. With Marc Savard placed on long-term injured reserve, that allows the Bruins about just over $7 million in cap space.
LAS VEGAS - It was a big night in Vegas for the Bruins on Tuesday at the 2014 NHL Awards, as Patrice Bergeron was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the League's top defensive forward and Tuukka Rask took home the Vezina as the top goaltender.
Bergeron also won the NHL Foundation Player Award and the EA Sports NHL 15 Cover Vote,
The Bruins nearly earned the defensive hat trick, but Zdeno Chara finished second in the James Norris Trophy voting behind Chicago's Duncan Keith.
The awards show took place at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas.
"I thought Bergy was hosting the event there for a little bit, because he was up there all the time," joked Rask.
For Bergeron, it marked his third straight Selke nomination and the second time he's won the award in the past three years, last earning the honor in 2012.
In a landslide win, he took first place in the voting by the Professional Hockey Writers Associations with 1,283 points, including 112 first-place votes. LA's Anze Kopitar received 840 points (20 first-place votes) and Chicago's Jonathan Toews received 624 points (two first-place votes).
LAS VEGAS - Patrice Bergeron will grace the cover of EA Sports' NHL 15 video game, as announced at the 2014 NHL Awards on Tuesday by Doc Emrick and Eddie Olczyk.
The cover vote took place from May 5 through June 1, with eight NHL players "competing" for the cover. Fans cast their votes via NHL.com/covervote and on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #NHL15Bergeron. Posts containing the hashtag were counted as one vote. On Thursdays, the votes counted double.
The final round from May 26-June 1 saw Bergeron up against Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban.
Bergeron is the first Boston Bruin to be featured on the cover since Andy Moog was on the cover of the NHL 94 video game along with Tomas Sandstrom.
Prior to going up against Subban in the final round, Bergeron defeated St. Louis' T.J. Oshie and Ottawa's Erik Karlsson.
LAS VEGAS - The BostonBruins.com crew has arrived in Las Vegas to bring coverage from the NHL Awards, taking place on Tuesday, June 24 at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas.
The show will air live at 7:00 p.m ET on NBCSN (CBC in Canada).
We checked in with nominees Zdeno Chara and Tuukka Rask on Monday afternoon during media availability at the Wynn, and we'll catch up with Patrice Bergeron at the Awards. The centerman was spending Monday in Vancouver at the Hockey Canada Olympic Gala, where members of the 2014 gold medal winning team were receiving their championship rings.
On Tuesday, we'll be on the red carpet for arrivals and then covering all of the action inside the Wynn as the awards are handed out.
Here's a rundown of the Bruins' nominations…