A scouting staff can have the best plan entering the NHL Draft, but then must be able to adjust once the unexpected happens when the selections begin. The Bruins never thought in a million years they’d have a chance to select Dougie Hamilton with the ninth overall pick in 2011.
Perhaps that will be the case again at the BB&T Center in Florida on June 26, when the Bruins have the 14th overall selection, and a player such as Swiss winger Timo Meier could just fall into their laps. The 6-foot-1, 209-pound right winger is ranked 10th among North American skaters, and is coming off a sensational season with the Halifax Mooseheads. Meier scored 44 goals and piled up 90 points in 61 games, then had another 10 goals and 21 points in the playoff run.
The scouting report on Meier: he’s got a natural goal-scoring touch and doesn’t shy away from playing a physical game and that’s exactly the kind of rugged, productive player that Boston is looking for on the wing. It’s the exact kind of player (Nathan Horton, Jarome Iginla) that’s manned the right wing alongside Milan Lucic and David Krejci over the past five largely successful seasons and the kind of player the B’s missed badly last season.
Meier was interviewed by the Bruins last week at the NHL scouting combine and sounds like he would fit in well with the Black and Gold.
“I’m a power forward with skill. I really like to shoot the puck,” said Meier, who spoke with 25 NHL teams at the combine including Don Sweeney and the Bruins. “I have a good shot, and I like to play physical. I wanted to go back after my first season [in Halifax] and increase my goals, and just get better as a player every day. I think I did a good job this season.
“I’ve always loved watching the NHL game and wanted to play there, and I think I have the size and strength to play [the physical] game. I’ve learned I can have success with that kind of game, and it’s something I’m willing to do.”
Meier said he emulates Marian Hossa and Rick Nash with the way that he plays the game and it’s easy to see why. He looked like a budding version of one of those players while skating for Team Switzerland in the World Junior tournament going head-to-head with David Pastrnak and the rest of the world’s best players age 20 and under.
While there’s a decent chance Meier gets grabbed by the Panthers or Stars right before the B’s make their selection at 14, the Swiss product would make a good fit in Boston if he’s there for the taking.