Bruins

Here's where B's stand in The Athletic's new "NHL Pipeline Rankings"

Bruins

The Boston Bruins had a strong 2021 NHL Draft, but there's still a lot of work to do before the organization's prospect pool is considered one of the league's best.

The Athletic has released its "NHL Pipeline Rankings" ahead of the 2021-22 season and the Bruins are in the bottom tier at No. 29 out of 32 teams. The B's were No. 23 last August.

Here is what Corey Pronman wrote about Boston's future outlook:

"The Bruins system is not overly deep, but there are players you can see helping the team. Fabian Lysell is a dynamic offensive player, Jack Studnicka has shown well as a pro, John Beecher you can easily see being a bull in a bottom-six and Jeremy Swayman had an excellent season. This pipeline lacks top echelon prospects, which is understandable given the Bruins’ draft slots in recent years, but there are certainly some NHL players on the way."

Ranking Bruins' top 10 prospects after 2021 NHL Draft

The 2021-22 campaign is a huge one for Studnicka. He was the top prospect in Boston's system entering last season but he failed to earn a regular NHL role. The Bruins added a ton of forward depth in free agency over the last few months, so it won't be easy for Studnicka to win a roster spot during training camp and the preseason.

Swayman is one of the most intriguing players for the Bruins. He was very good in 10 games as a rookie goalie last season -- posting a .945 save percentage and a 1.50 GAA -- but his NHL sample size is too small to make any bold predictions about his future. Swayman most likely will be the backup netminder behind free agent acquisition Linus Ullmark on Opening Night.

 

The Bruins' biggest roster need is still a top-four defenseman, and it's likely not coming from their prospect pool. Complicating matters is the lack of high-end prospects often needed to trade for one of those top-four defensemen. 

It's not the greatest situation for the Bruins to be in, but they are showing some improvement throughout the organization as far as drafting and developing talent, and that is at least encouraging.