The Boston Bruins were in a tough spot entering the 2020 NHL Draft earlier this week.
They didn't have a first-round pick because it was traded to the Anaheim Ducks in February as part of the deal that got David Backes' salary cap-burdening contract off Boston's books.
The B's also were without any fourth or seventh round picks on Day 2 of the draft, and they made only four selections overall. Boston ultimately selected two forwards and two defensemen. All four players are American-born and have committed to play for quality college hockey programs in the near future.
Expectations won't be high for this class, but that doesn't mean it's devoid of potential, though.
Here are some grades for the Bruins' 2020 draft picks.
Round 2, No. 58: Mason Lohrei, D, Green Bay (USHL)
The Bruins reached a bit for Lohrei -- he was ranked 132nd among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting -- but it's hard to blame them when their prospect pool lacks talent and depth on the blue line. Lohrei displayed some impressive offensive skill with 37 points (nine goals, 28 assists) in 48 games for the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL last season. He also has impressive size at 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds. Lohrei has committed to play for Ohio State University beginning in the 2021-22 season.
Round 3, No. 89: Trevor Kuntar, LW, Youngstown (USHL)
The Bruins absolutely had to draft a skilled winger with goal scoring ability. If you look at Boston's NHL roster and prospect pool, you won't find a ton of wingers with top-six potential. Kuntar is an exciting player and scored a career-high 28 goals and 53 points over 44 games for the USHL's Youngstown Phantoms last season. He plays a two-way, power forward style of game that Bruins fans love, and he'll soon be playing close to the B's at nearby Boston College.
Round 5, No. 151: Mason Langenbrunner, D, Eden Prairie (High school)
This is a long-term play for the Bruins because Langenbrunner hasn't even finished high school yet. He does have quality size at 6-foot-2, skates quite well and displays a good hockey IQ, which isn't surprising when you remember his dad is former New Jersey Devils forward Jamie Langenbrunner.
Langenbrunner compared himself to Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo when speaking to reporters after he was drafted. If Langenbrunner's development ends up mirroring Carlo's, the Bruins will have made an excellent pick.
Round 6, No. 182: Riley Duran, C, Lawrence Academy (High school)
Duran is from Woburn, Mass., and grew up a Bruins fan, so getting drafted by Boston certainly was a huge thrill for him. He's committed to Providence College for the 2021-22 campaign but will play for the USHL's Youngstown Phantoms in the upcoming season. Duran's offensive game has plenty of upside, which is exactly what the Bruins need to add to their prospect pool. Still, it's way too early to gauge whether Duran will ever make it to the NHL.