The Boston Bruins used their first three picks in the NHL Draft on centers, trying to restock a position in which the team has lacked depth in recent seasons.

Boston, which didn’t have a pick in the first round Thursday night, took Matt Poitras in the second round on Friday. Poitras is a 5-foot-11, 177-pound center who played for the Guelph Strom of the Ontario Hockey League. He had 21 goals and 29 assists in 68 games in 2021-22, and turned 18 in March.

Poitras dropped from No. 23, a fringe first-round possibility in Central Scouting’s midseason rankings, to 45.

In the third round, the Bruins selected Cole Spicer, a 5-10, 175-pound center who is headed to Minnesota Duluth. Danis Locmelis, a 6-foot, 170-pound center, was Boston’s fourth-round picks.

The Bruins also drafted defensemen Frederic Brunet and Jackson Edward and goalie Reid Dyck.

General Manager Don Sweeney said the center position was a priority for the Bruins.


“Well, certainly depth in the middle of the ice, and creativity. A lot of growth potential in all three of those players. Added size in the back end. Depth in goal. Again, you never know what players will be available; they might be a target and they’ll go three picks ahead of you,” Sweeney said. “Obviously, you’ve got other players that you can add to the group and we’re excited about where we went with the types of players we drafted. Now it’s just starting the development process, excited about development camp and where they’re headed for their seasons next year.

TRADES: The goalie carousel kept spinning during the second day of the NHL draft, with the Washington Capitals trading Vitek Vanecek to the New Jersey Devils and the Detroit Red Wings acquiring Ville Husso from the St. Louis Blues.

Two other trades were completed Friday involving NHL players. The Philadelphia Flyers got polarizing defenseman Anthony DeAngelo from the Carolina Hurricanes for three high draft picks, and the San Jose Sharks sent a pick and a prospect to the Nashville Predators for forward Luke Kunin. But the wheels in motion for goaltenders dominated the conversation and will continue, with free agency opening Wednesday.

“If you line it up and you look and kind of pay attention to what teams are thinking, it’s a little chaotic and scrambly,” Washington General Manager Brian MacLellan said. “You’ve got to be constantly monitoring it and seeing what’s happening.”

The domino effect started Thursday when the Stanley Cup-winning Colorado Avalanche got Alexandar Georgiev from the New York Rangers. That move ensured playoff starter Darcy Kuemper would hit the open market.

There’s no shortage of teams interested in Kuemper and other goaltenders available by trade or in free agency.

FLAMES: MVP candidate Johnny Gaudreau could hit the free agent market Wednesday, barring Calgary getting a last-minute deal done with the winger coming off a career year. GM Brad Treliving said he continues to talk to Gaudreau’s agent.

“Both sides are focused on trying to get a deal,” Treliving said. “These things take time. Johnny’s a really good player. There’s going to be a lot of attention. I think it’s real genuine on both sides to try and get a deal done.”

Gaudreau set career highs with 40 goals, 75 assists and 115 points in helping Calgary win the Pacific Division. He finished fourth in Hart Trophy voting as league MVP and could sign the richest free agent contract this year if he doesn’t return to the Flames.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.