GM Peter Chiarelli spoke for about 30 minutes this afternoon about the upcoming draft.
“The draft is the deepest in a while,” Chiarelli said. “There’s a surplus of defensemen available. Our philosophy has been to draft the best player available. That may be a defenseman, but this might be a draft where we go to balance between need and best player available because of the number of good defensemen available.”
The Bruins recently hosted six potential draftees in Boston — three defensemen and three forwards. Chiarelli declined to identify the players.
* Top D-men such as Zach Bogosian, Drew Doughty, and Luke Schenn are not expected to be around if the Bruins remain at No. 16. But Chiarelli said he’s had talks about moving up in the first round. Chiarelli believes there is a talent gap between the top four players — with Steven Stamkos expected to be selected first overall — and the rest of the pool.
* One of the wild cards is bad boy Kyle Beach, the wide-shouldered forward (and former teammate of Zach Hamill) with skill and a mean streak. Beach, who called Milan Lucic a hunchback during their WHL clashes, could drop if teams shy away from his character. If he’s available for the Bruins, Beach’s profile — big, tough, competitive, hard to play against — fits Boston’s identity. “He does have some of the things we’re looking for,” Chiarelli said. Beach has been interviewed by assistant GM Jim Benning, director of amateur scouting Scott Bradley, and went through another round of interviews at the combine last month.
* Because of the draft’s depth, Chiarelli said his amateur scouts have suggested that he stockpile second- and third-round picks. Chiarelli said asking prices are currently high.
* Chiarelli and his staff will convene in Ottawa this week and conduct final pre-draft meetings on Thursday to consider scenarios, possible trades, and perhaps tweak their list. The date of the meeting hints that the Bruins won’t make any moves before then.
* Chiarelli said he is involved in trade talks, although he qualified the conversations as chatter. Chiarelli said he wouldn’t be surprised if teams continue the movement of acquiring negotiating rights of soon-to-be unrestricted free agents, just as Philadelphia did last year with Kimmo Timmonen and Scott Hartnell.
* Chiarelli said he’s getting closer with Dennis Wideman but remains a little ways apart with Glen Metropolit.