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NHL Mock Draft 2011: Bruins Biggest Moves Should Be Predictable

With the ninth overall draft pick, there are plenty of things that the Boston Bruins could do, but don't expect any of them to surprise you. 

The Bruins, who will return the core of their Stanley Cup-winning team (and could feasibly return every member, sans Mark Recchi), don't have a lot of pressure in this year's draft; their team is already in good health with great chemistry, their system is already well-stocked, and they don't want for much in terms of draft position, with two picks in the top 40. 

It's been said that Boston will probably press the button on Ryan Murphy if he's still there, but they may have some other options. Murphy could be the player Peter Chiarelli's administration has long been after - he has all the makings of an elite puck-mover who could quarterback the power play and, with Marc Savard seemingly having one foot out the door, would make Tomas Kaberle expendable. Murphy, of course, wouldn't make Kaberle passable immediately, but he may allow the Bruins to not re-sign Kaberle to a long-term deal at a high cap hit. 

Nathan Beaulieu - who fills a similar need as Murphy for the Black and Gold, but could also be a strong presence 5-on-5, as his shot is stronger and more developed than Murphy's - is another good option for Boston.

If the Bruins do go for Sven Baertschi, it likely means the end of Maxim Sauve's time as the 2nd-line left wing of the future for Boston. Baertschi, whose speed and shot make him similar to Sauve, could get a look because of Sauve's inability to stay healthy and struggles to adapt to the North American game; the Bruins loved Sauve's explosiveness and his shot, but have started to waver on him because of an inability to make it through a full season.

Depending on just how comfortable the Bruins feel with their future, they may gamble on Jamie Oleksiak, already a Boston kid - he plays his college hockey for Northeastern at Matthews Arena, the Bruins' original home - whose stock has inexplicably dropped a bit of late. At 6'7" and nearly 250 pounds, Oleksiak would have plenty of time to learn from Zdeno Chara, another big defenseman who came into the game with a big shot and shutdown capabilities. 

Whatever happens, don't look for the Bruins to trade away the ninth pick unless they can get proven talent with it, because the team has no need to wait another year or two to draft a prospect who will take three years to develop into an NHL-level talent, especially when the state of the team after the spring of 2012 is in serious question.