For the second time in three seasons, the Bruins were on the outside looking in as the rest of the NHL scooped up 31 of the top prospects in a loaded NHL Draft class on Tuesday night.
Boston, having forfeited its 2020 first-round pick in a February deal that brought aboard Ondrej Kase and shipped out a majority of David Backes' onerous contract, found itself in a similar narrative to the one that played out during the 2018 Draft, in which Don Sweeney and his staff tried in vain to deal themselves back into the first round after relinquishing the B's top pick in a deadline deal for Rick Nash.
And, much like that draft over two years ago, any offers Sweeney and his staff cobbled together on Tuesday failed to sway any club from parting ways with a first-round selection.
"Obviously, we monitored every pick," Sweeney said via Zoom from Boston's draft headquarters at Warrior Ice Arena. "And we had been making calls prior to it — trying to get into the first round and what that was going to cost us."
While a swap between Montreal (Josh Anderson) and Columbus (Max Domi, 2020 3rd round pick) hours ahead of the first round might have opened the floodgates when it came to a flurry of transactions — the start of the draft itself was much less bombastic. In total, the only two deals struck during Tuesday's proceedings were a pair of trade-downs from Calgary with the Rangers and Capitals.
For as much as the incoming fiscal crunch due to a flat salary cap could prompt some serious player movement this offseason, Sweeney noted that those same cap concerns have also prompted a few teams to hold onto younger, cost-controlled assets that via these draft selections.
"I think there will be some pick movement tomorrow," Sweeney said. "You saw a little bit of it in a couple trade back scenarios. I think teams were certainly trying to get into the first round. You saw a few teams are certainly controlling some of the volume of the picks, but they hold the cards in that matter. ... There is a lot of conversations going on. Obviously, you saw two teams find a deal and a little bit of trade movement within the draft, move backs, but again a lot of these conversations are focused around cap dynamics. "
Even though Boston's efforts