The 2015 NHL draft is one of the most controversial in the history of the Boston Bruins organization. The Bruins held three consecutive picks in the first round. Having heard a lot of scrutiny from fans and any other sort of critic, the Bruins haven’t exactly hit the jackpot with those picks. At least not yet.
Jakub Zboril was the first of those three picks. He’s been one of two players who are yet to make a substantial impact at the NHL level. But if recent progress is any sort of sign of Zboril’s future he’ll be making plays in the big leagues anytime now.
Before being drafted by the Boston Bruins in the 2015 NHL entry draft Jakub Zboril had just finished his first season with the Saint John Sea Dogs of the QMJHL. He was drafted by Saint John in the first round of 2014 CHL entry draft. In his first season with Saint John Zboril posted an incredible 33 points in 44 games played. Those points consisted of 20 assists and 13 goals. A plus minus of plus two, plus the points racked up by Zboril that season is a perfect example of how versatile Zboril really is. Those statistics are a clear sign of Zboril having the potential to be an excellent two way defender.
That plus two plus/minus is also the lowest in Zboril’s career so far, with the exception of his two games played in Boston last season where he still managed to maintain an even rate of zero for a plus/minus. Stats like that are very crucial. It shows that Zboril also has potential to be a shutdown defenseman. In Providence Zboril has been a staple for the Bruins defense this season. He’s managed to work his way into a constant top four defense role. He’s already matched last season’s point total in as many games played.
What he brings to the table
Jakub Zboril absolutely has the potential to make an impact at the NHL level. With play making skills as a defenseman, as well as the ability to be a relatively successful shutdown defenseman, Zboril reminds me a lot of Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy. The only thing holding Zboril back from the big leagues is his inconsistent play. While showing a lot of glimpses of being a very good player, a little bit more consistency will go a long ways for Zboril.
Jakub Zboril has some obstacles on his path to Boston, his own play being the biggest. If he can manage to play well enough to convince Don Sweeney to want him in Boston he’s going to have to either be good enough to have another player sent down, or simply wait until a spot in the show opens up. With Zdeno Chara, Torey Krug, and Matt Grzelcyk (RFA) all having contracts that expire after this season, maybe the Bruins might feel comfortable enough to let one of them walk. Perhaps Zdeno Chara retires and a spot opens up. Regardless, there are ways for Jakub Zboril to get to the show. His best bet is to take matters into his own hands and let his play do the talking as Zboril is a restricted free agent himself come summer.
Credit to masslive.com for the featured photo.