The Bruins May Look To Steal A Top Prospect From The Flyers

Austin Sabourin
August 21, 2023  (7:10)

A Missed Chance: Jay O'Brien and the Road Not Taken by the Boston Bruins

If the stars had aligned differently, Jay O'Brien, a former center for Boston University and a native of Hingham, MA, might have donned the black and gold of the Boston Bruins by now. Back in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, when the Bruins had the 30th overall pick, O'Brien was on the table, waiting to potentially become a Bruin.
«They had a real liking for him,» shared an NHL amateur scout with Boston Hockey Now recently. «Of course, it's easier to say in hindsight, but many were surprised he wasn't available when the Bruins were up, or even in the early second round."
However, fate had other plans. The Philadelphia Flyers swooped in and selected O'Brien 19th overall, and the Bruins subsequently chose John Beecher from Michigan. Fast forward over four years, and things have taken an interesting turn. O'Brien, the player every NHL team, including the Bruins, had their sights set on before the Flyers' pick, now has a chance to be signed. The Flyers did not ink him by last Monday, creating a unique opportunity for the Bruins and others.
Could O'Brien, who tallied eight goals and 24 assists in 39 games for the Terriers last season, become the second NCAA free agent to be signed by the Bruins this offseason after not being retained by his drafting team?
"I'm not quite sure at this point," the previously mentioned NHL Amateur scout expressed. "He's not the biggest player and has challenges in getting to the net."
A similar sentiment was echoed by another amateur scout.
"For me, he's a pretty average player," shared the scout on Sunday. "He lacks the skill set to lead the charge and isn't robust enough for a fourth-line role that I typically look for."
Given the circumstances, is there a chance that O'Brien could transition to a wing position for the Bruins or another NHL team?
"Perhaps," the scout considered. "I think that could be an option down the line, but currently, I see him more as an AHL player."
As the situation unfolds, the road not taken in 2019 might offer a second chance for O'Brien to make his mark, whether it's with the Bruins or another chapter of his hockey journey.
Source bostonhockeynow

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John Beecher
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The Bruins May Look To Steal A Top Prospect From The Flyers

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