Bruins

Bruins tried to trade up and pick BC's Noah Hanifin

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Bruins tried to trade up and pick BC's Noah Hanifin

UPDATE, 7:45 P.M.: So much for that. The Carolina Hurricanes chose Boston College defenseman Noah Hanifin with the fifth overall pick. 

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- One hopes the Bruins had a greater design in mind while stockpiling mid-first round picks in deals prior to tonight’s first round of the NHL Draft . . . and that appears to be the case.

A source told CSNNE.com that the Bruins are attempting to use two of those first-round picks -- which are the 13th, 14th and 15th choices -- along with other assets in order to move into the No. 3 spot and select Boston College defenseman Noah Hanifin.

We wrote this morning about the Bruins looking to move up and land the 18-year-old Boston College standout in Hanifin, and it’s pretty clear that’s on Sweeney’s agenda with the draft set to start in less than two hours. The Norwood, Mass., native grew up a Bruins fan, and it would be a home run for the player and the organization if the B's can move up to get him.

Hanifin is a 6-foot-2, 201-pound left-handed defenseman considered the best blueliner in the draft, the kind of foundational player the Bruins will need on the blue line after dealing Dougie Hamilton.

One thing that makes the Bruins and the Coyotes a great match: Arizona needs to pick up $18 million in salary to get to the cap floor, and the Bruins have contracts like Loui Eriksson, Dennis Seidenberg and Chris Kelly that they could deal along with the contract rights to Marc Savard. The Coyotes could then use that $4 million to eat up some salary cap space on their books, just as Toronto last season took on the contract for Nathan Horton with little chance he’ll ever play again.

Bruins' 'preference' is to leave Charlie Coyle at third line center

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Bruins' 'preference' is to leave Charlie Coyle at third line center

BRIGHTON -- There was some question as to whether Charlie Coyle might get a little time at wing this season for the Bruins after locking things down at the third line center position last season after coming over in trade from the Minnesota Wild.

The 6-foot-3, 218-pound Coyle brought two-way play, puck possession and offensive upside to the third line upon his arrival, and then he really stepped it up in the playoffs with nine goals and 16 points in his 24 games. So naturally, there is curiosity as to whether his size, strength and offense could move up to right wing on the second line where his game could be paired pretty comfortably with playmaking David Krejci.

Or even more radically, Coyle’s size and strength could make an interesting match on the right wing with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.

But it sounds like the Bruins are going to keep things strong down the middle with Bergeron and Krejci as their top-6 centers and Coyle and Sean Kuraly as the bottom-6 centers giving the B's depth and quality down the middle of the lineup. Coyle was centering Anders Bjork and Danton Heinen at practice on Wednesday afternoon and has played center throughout training camp.

It may be getting to a point now where they don’t want to fool around with things by switching Coyle’s positions on him as happened in Minnesota, and it certainly sounds like Cassidy’s preference is to leave him at center.

“Generally speaking the match-up is the D-pair and the centerman down low. The wingers obviously matter, but they are less of a factor. At least that’s what I think when I think match-ups. So to have Charlie [Coyle] in there [at center] now, and my intention is to keep him there unless the team would be better served with him on the wing,” said Cassidy. “Right now, we like the way we played last year and hopefully this year. It makes you a lot more comfortable in terms of defending.”

Cassidy reserved the right to change his mind if Trent Frederic really comes along as an NHL-ready center or if all of the top-6 right wing candidates end up dropping the ball in training camp. That doesn’t appear to be the case over the first week of training camp and that may just mean Coyle stays in his comfortable position at center where he gives the Bruins the lineup depth that helped catapult them to the Stanley Cup Final last spring.

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Bruins only have one player on ESPN's 'Top 100 NHL prospects' list

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Bruins only have one player on ESPN's 'Top 100 NHL prospects' list

The Boston Bruins weren't exactly well represented on ESPN's "Top 100 NHL prospects list" heading into the new season.

20-year-old Jack Studnicka was the only B's prospect to make the list, landing in the No. 61 spot. Here's what ESPN's Chris Peters had to say about the 2017 second-round pick:

"A free-wheeling forward who can do a little bit of everything, Studnicka will be put to the test early in the AHL. But he looks more than ready to make the most of it."

In 60 games between the Oshawa Generals and the Niagra IceDogs of the OHL last season, Studnicka tallied 83 points (36 goals, 47 assists). The 6-foot-1, 175-pounder also scored in a playoff game with the Providence Bruins. He'll continue to battle for a spot on the NHL roster throughout camp.

Some of the Bruins prospects left out of the top 100 include Urho Vaakanainen, Anders Bjork, Trent Frederic, Jakub Lauko, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, and Zach Senyshyn.

Unsurprisingly, Jack Hughes (Devils) and Kaapo Kakko (Rangers) topped ESPN's rankings.

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