After combine, Benning boasts Bruins will get ‘good, solid kid’ at 9

Benning

VANCOUVER — Bruins assistant general manager Jim Benning just got back from the NHL Scouting Combine in Toronto, where he and other Bruins staffers interviewed around 60 kids.

Unlike last year, Benning said, there’s no clear-cut top two players but instead there are about four guys who could get picked No. 1 overall. As for what the Bruins might get at No. 9, Benning was confident the team would get a “good, solid kid.”

But don’t expect another Tyler Seguin, who was picked No. 2 overall by Boston last June, to arrive in the Hub and stick with the NHL team months after getting drafted.

“I don’t know if the ninth pick overall would be able to step in and play next year,” said Benning an hour before Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final at Rogers Arena. “It would depend on if they had a good summer, got stronger and put on weight — all those variables. But I think who we’re going to get, in time, is going to turn out to be a real good player.”

The Bruins aren’t focusing on a particular position right now and instead are going with the “best player available” philosophy. However, Benning sees a trend in recent years of teams drafting scoring, which could make a defenseman or two available. Last June saw Cam Fowler and Brandon Gormley drop lower from their ranked position because teams opted for forwards.

“I can’t say the way the draft’s going to fall. But just from the chatter out there, it seems everybody wants to draft scoring,” said Benning. “So we’ll see.”

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