I happen to think that drafting success involves a ton of randomness, and the "skill" of scouting and drafting takes a backseat to many variables and random outcomes. I think that the 'very good' and 'very bad' drafting teams are going to regress to the mean, and that means Chiarelli is due for the roulette wheel to score some victories for his drafting record. I also think that he's been better at it than most give him credit for, although the proof is in the pudding...and the pudding is still in the oven.
Throw out the most recent picks, since we can't possibly analyze them without more info. Also throw out the first rounders, since Hamilton and Seguin appear to have been 'obvious' picks, Caron is Caron, and the busts are well known.
Here are the guys, taken later in the draft, over the past 5 years, who will redeem Chiarelli's drafting record. Sit back and watch. Take it to the bank. Stone cold locks. If I'm wrong, Stanley will never post again.
-Ryan Spooner - He often seems regarded like a 1st round pick, but he was taken in the 2nd round, #45 overall. In my opinion he has shown he can play in the NHL and could be just the combination speed, hands, and creativity the Bruins will need in coming years. Sure he's still an NHL virgin on the goal scoring front, but he's been rounding 3rd base at 'Make Out Point' a bunch of times when the cops showed up. He'll break through. He's the best player in Providence already, ready to make the jump, and will surpass the expectations you'd have for a #45 pick.
-Seth Griffith - Looked over by many and taken in the 5th round, #131 overall. He's stepped into Providence with almost no adjustment period. He played his way onto the top line and was the 2nd leading scorer on a good AHL team. At 21 years old, he'll be in the mix for some NHL games this year and could be projected for call-ups. Not bad for a #131 pick, one year out of junior.
-Peter Cehlarik - This kid is still only 18 years old. Good size at 6'2, 200 lbs. and already playing in the top Swedish league against men. He was selected for the Slovakian world junior team as a youngster and will play in that tournament again this coming year as a leader for the Slovaks. Drafted in the 3rd round at #90, he's gonna surpass expectations, and the system badly needs some good young talent on the wing.
-Zane Gothberg - This is exactly the way I'd like to see goalies drafted -- a late 6th round pick for a raw but talented high-school kid at the time. No real risk or opportunity cost there, and you don't mind the long development path with such a late pick. He's developing perfectly on track too and turning into a legit high-end goalie prospect. Last year, as a sophomore at North Dakota, he seized the starting job from senior incumbent Clarke Saunders and had a .926% save percentage and a GAA under 2.00, among the league leaders in the NCAA. Good size at 6'2, 210 lbs. Appears that he'll return for his junior year at North Dakota, but would probably be headed to Providence if the Bruins didn't use a first round pick on Subban. Excellent pick at #165 overall.
-Justin Florek - I know he might remind people of a Byron Bitz type, but for someone who was taken in the 5th round at #135 overall, has playing some NHL games and has a NHL playoff goal under his belt. Obviously he's got good size at 6'4, 205 lbs., is a good enough skater to forecheck well, and seems to fit into the Julien mold quite well. I think he tops out as a 3rd/4th liner, but a late 5th round draft pick being an NHL roster option on a very good team has to be considered a success. Gives the Bruins cap flexibility as a cheap, but capable, option in the bottom six.
Honorable mention: Matt Benning. Don't laugh, I know he was the 'executive's kid' taken on draft day, but he just might be a decent pick at #175 overall in the 6th round. Great NHL bloodlines, and a history of winning championships in junior with Dubuque in the USHL and in the AJHL before that. Bigger NCAA guy at 6'0, 205 lbs. and plays strong, rugged defense -- maybe a Kevan Miller type. Came to Northeastern U. as a freshmen last year and was promptly moved up to the top pairing on the blueline, facing guys like Johnny Gaudreau and the best forwards in the Hockey East every game (and was plus-2 on the season for a mediocre team). Will have time to get bigger and better at Northeastern and should be a more developed prospect than most when he comes into the system.