Last week, I had the opportunity to join Mark Allred of Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast and have a nice chat with Boston Bruins prospect and Oshawa Generals center Brett Harrison. If you missed it, you can catch it here:
Check the Black N’ Gold website to find it on your favorite podcast platform.
Last week I looked at one of the lesser talked about prospects in Quinn Olson and today I will look at another in Riley Duran. For good reason, Fabian Lysell, Mason Lohrei, and John Beecher get the bulk of the attention in Bruins’ land but here, Duran gets his time in the spotlight.
Duran was a 6th round pick, 182nd overall of the Bruins at the 2020 National Hockey League Draft. The Woburn Mass native was selected from Lawrence Academy, a US High School Prep team. He scored 22 goals and added 22 assists in 27 games in his draft year. Considering the Bruins only had 4 picks at the 2020 Draft, (Lohrei, Trevor Kuntar, Mason Langenbrunner and Duran) this could be one of the Bruins better draft classes under General Manager Don Sweeney.
The following season, Duran made the jump to the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL. He appeared in 47 games and scored 8 goals along with 11 assists. Not bad numbers for a rookie coming out of high school hockey and into one of the premiere Junior League’s in the world and considering Youngstown was the league’s worst team.
As a Freshman with Providence College, Duran has 5 goals and 8 assists through 23 games to date. Early on he was trying to find his way while the coaching staff was trying to find his place. He was moved around a lot early in the season and appeared to find difficulty in adjusting. But in the last half-dozen games he’s appeared to settle in and it’s showing up on the scoreboard as well with 2 goals and 4 helpers in his last 4 games.
The 6th round of the NHL Entry Draft is where you should be looking for players like Duran – those that may have a year of junior remaining, then up to 4 years of college and maybe a year in the AHL. And the Bruins are no strangers in doing that as it appears to be the route, they are taking more often than not.
At 6’2” and 185 pounds Duran is a big body who is most effective playing a straight north-south games. He’s a very good skater with excellent speed and can carry and keep possession of the puck at top speed. He can get in on the forecheck and use his size and strength to win battles and then play the cycle game which he does very well.
That’s the type of game he excels at and what could be his bread and butter at the next level. We know he can put up points although he isn’t called upon to be a scoring leader with Providence College as a Freshman. We will see that come to the forefront in coming seasons if he continues to develop.
Duran is in a very good program with excellent coaching in Providence. But he is still a project and still a long term one at that.
For now, it’s looking bright!
Providence Bruins Player Stats
Providence Bruins Goalie Stats
Maine Mariners Stats
Coming up this week:
X = confirmed postponed game due to COVID restrictions
|CEHLARIK||At SAL||At SEV|
|MANTYKIVI||At KOO||Vs KAL||At PEL|
|JELLVIK||At ORE||At VAX|
|GASSEAU||At TC||At TC|
|LANGENBRUNNER||At TC||At TC|
|KUNTAR||At NH||Vs NH|
|BEECHER||Vs PS||Vs PS|
|LOHREI||Vs ND||Vs ND|
|BECKER||Vs NEU||At RIT||At RIT|
|SCHMALTZ||Vs OMA||Vs OMA|
|DURAN||At MER||Vs MER|
|OLSON||Vs MOH||Vs MOH|
|MCFAUL||Vs RPI||Vs UN|
|HARRISON||X||Vs HAM||At PBO||Vs MIS|
|MAST||Vs OS||Vs WSR||At LDN|
|LYSELL||Vs PG||Vs KEL|
With so many cancelations in the OHL, WHL and some European leagues already past the midway point of the season, it’s difficult to do a mid-season award winners. I’m calling these the mid-season awards winners anyway.
Phil Esposito Award for most goals goes to:
Brett Harrison leads the way with 16 goals in 25 games for the Oshawa Generals of the OHL. That’s two more than Peter Cehlarik who has 14 goals in 39 games with Avangard Omsk of the KHL.
Bobby Orr Award for best offensive defenceman goes to:
Its Mason Lohrei and it’s not even close. Not only is the he best offensive defenceman among Bruins prospects and has led the Ohio State Buckeyes in scoring for most of the season, but he’s one of the top scoring blueliners in the NCAA.
Zdeno Chara Award for best shut down defenceman goes to:
There may be some recency bias involved here but I am going with Mason Langenbrunner of the Fargo Force of the USHL. His upwards trajectory (at both ends) has been steep and impressive. There was some head shaking when the Bruins drafted a “family member” in Langenbrunner, but this is a very pleasant surprise.
Terry O’Reilly Award for most penalized player goes to:
Did anyone ever imagine Fabian Lysell would be at the top of this list? Well, he is. On most nights, Lysell is a target of the opposition, but he stands up for himself which gets him into some penalty trouble. But it’s good to see him standing up for himself.
Ray Bourque Award for Rookie of the Year goes to:
Ty Gallagher gets the nod for me here. Averaging .55 points-per-game as a freshman on a not-so-great team. But he’s doing it at both ends of the ice and playing in all situations.
Gerry Cheevers award for top goaltender:
Not much competition here as Philip Svedeback is the only netminder prospect here.
Patrice Bergeron Award for best defensive forward goes to:
I really want to give this one to John Beecher but instead I have to give it to Matias Mantykivi of Ilves Tampere in the Finnish Liiga. I was tough on Mantykivi at the start of the year for lack of production, but there is no questioning his effort and determination on the defensive side of the game. You can tell by watching him he takes pride in his defensive game.
Eddy Shore Award for Most Valuable to his team goes to:
This wasn’t an easy one and you could not go wrong with picking Mason Lohrei or Fabian Lysell here. But I went with Lysell simply because the Vancouver Giants record with him in the lineup versus without him is night and day. They are 2-6-0 in their latest stretch without Lysell and the Giants should count their blessings that their 3-game weekend was postponed.
Rick Middleton Award for Gentlemanly Conduct goes to:
Trevor Kuntar plays the game the right way and with respect for his opponents (and officials) evidenced by his 4 penalty minutes in 18 games.
AROUND THE GLOBE
Riley Duran even though the Providence Friars had an off week has 2 goals and 4 assists in his last 4 games.
Last week I reported here that Oskar Jellvik and his Djurgardens IF squad will be in the final 10 in the J20 in Sweden and for the remainder of this season until the top-10 begins, they will only face off against the top five teams in the country. Well, it started this past weekend and Jellvik notched a goal and 2 assists in 2 games to start it off. He is carrying a 3-game point streak on 2 goals and 3 assists.
Mason Langenbrunner has a 2-game point streak going on a goal and an assist. He has 2 goals and 2 assists in his last 5 games. The rookie blueliner is showing great poise at both ends of the ice, playing bigger minutes and in all situations.
Ty Gallagher played his first game in 27 days on Friday and scored the game winning goal. On Saturday, he scored the game’s opening goal and Boston University never looked back. He has a 3-game point streak on 2 goals and 3 assists going. BU is not in a great situation but Gallagher has more points than any three other freshmen on the team combined.
Ryan Mast played in his first game in 27 days on Saturday and scored the game winning goal. He has a modest 2-game point streak with a goal and an assist. He leads all Sarnia defencemen in goals, assists, points, PP goals, PP assists, penalty minutes and shots on goal and second on the team in game winning goals.
While he hasn’t been putting up points, Roman Bychkov has finally found a spot with Amur Khabarovsk of the KHL playing in 8 consecutive games after dressing sporadically throughout the season. He has been more than solid for Amur in those 8 games with his team being scored on just once 5vs5 with him on the ice in that time.
John Beecher scored a short-handed, empty net goal with 28 seconds remaining on Saturday to end a 10-game pointless streak. He had several chances in this game including two-breakaway attempts. He added a second empty netter on Sunday to seal the deal for Michigan. Sometimes it takes just one to get a player going. Let’s hope this is the one.
Peter Cehlarik is pointless in his last 5 games – his longest stretch in this KHL season, and just 3 points in his last 12 games.