Dobber's offseason fantasy hockey grades – Boston Bruins
For the last 13 years (12 with The Hockey News) I have reviewed each team from a fantasy hockey standpoint, and graded them. My 14th annual review will appear here on DobberHockey throughout the summer. This is not a review of the likely performance on the ice or in the standings, but in the realm of fantasy hockey.
Gone – Landon Ferraro, Chris Kelly, Matt Irwin, Brett Connolly, Lee Stempniak, Jonas Gustavsson, Loui Eriksson, Maxime Talbot, Joonas Kemppainen, Dennis Seidenberg
Incoming – Riley Nash, David Backes, Anton Khudobin
Impact of changes – Between the pipes, Gustavsson for Khudobin is an even swap, or possibly upgrading the backup position, if Khudobin is as good as I believe he is. Up front, the Bruins lose a bit of goal scoring in Eriksson, and replace it with some grit and leadership via Backes – who is no slouch when it comes to scoring goals either. So the big change is on the point, where Seidenberg moves out and nobody moves in to take his spot. That leaves it open for the likes of Colin Miller and Joe Morrow.
Miller was in the AHL for half the year last season so we’ll review him in the next section. For Morrow, this opportunity is a big one. Stuck with just 33 games played last season, Morrow suffered (from boredom?) because he would have to clear waivers in order to get ice time in the AHL. Each player signed a one-way contract in mid-July, though Morrow’s is for just $800,000 which theoretically could be buried in the minors.
Ready for full-time – The Bruins also lost several forwards and only brought in two. That means that Frank Vatrano can join the team on a full-time basis. The undrafted 22-year-old is called a late bloomer by some, but he was actually on Central Scouting’s list back in 2012 for the draft. He was just deemed ‘too small’ by teams. Boston took a chance by signing him in 2015 and he’s really paid dividends. He has a sniper’s touch that can’t be taught, scoring 36 goals in 36 games for Providence last year and another eight goals in 39 games for Boston. With more ice time and the right setup man at center and this youngster could surprise. Just don’t expect a lot of assists though – he’s never accumulated many of those at any level in the past.
As noted earlier,