MONTREAL — The sixth and seventh rounds of today’s 2009 NHL Entry Draft at Bell Centre turned out to be a chance for the Boston Bruins to add a couple “sandpaper” players to their organization.
At No. 176 in the sixth round, Boston selected Tyler Randell, a 6-foot-1, 191-pound winger from Kitchener of the Ontario Hockey League. Then in the last round, 206 overall, Boston picked Ben Sexton. He’s 5-10, 182 pounds and skated for Nepean of the Canadian Junior Hockey League last season.
“(Randell) is another strong, competitive kid. He scored 24 goals this year. He has an NHL shot already,” Bruins director of amateur scouting Wayne Smith said about the 18-year-old. “Another kid in 1-on-1 situations and pucks along the wall is going to be very hard to play against. His skating needs to get better. His straight-line skating is good. His first two steps and his quickness is going to have to improve as well as his agility. He had a high determination level.”
Randell did not attend the NHL combine and said he never even interviewed with the Bruins. So he was obviously surprised they picked him. He considers himself a power forward. He didn’t travel to the draft and opted to instead stay home with his family. CSS ranked Randell No. 116, so there was some concern on the Bruins part that he was suddenly available at No. 176.
“We spoke with his coaches, even today, wondering if there was a reason why he was falling to where we got him,” noted Smith. “He thought he was better than a lot of the players that were taken (ahead of him). He thinks he’ll be a 35-goal scorer on his team in Kitchener next year.”
Sexton, 18, is the son of Florida Panthers interim general manager Randy Sexton, who also worked with Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli in Ottawa. He’s slated to skate one more year at the Tier II junior level, but with Pilkington of the British Columbia Junior Hockey League. After that he’s scheduled to head to Clarkson University, where he could be teammates with fellow Bruins prospect Nick Tremblay.
“(Sexton) is a high-energy guy,” Smith said. “He pursues pucks. … He understands commitment and what it’s going to take to be an NHL player.”