The Bruins selected Matthew Poitras, an 18-year-old center from Brooklin, Ontario, in the second round of the NHL Draft in Montreal on Friday, and he’s already with the team at development camp this week.
Poitras, a 5-foot-11, 176-pound right-shot center, comes to the Bruins from Guelph Storm (OHL).
Here are four things to know about the No. 54 overall selection.
He has “playmaking upside”
Growing up, Poitras was on the smaller side, and he was 5-foot-9, 149 pounds in 2020. The Storm selected him 12th overall, and since that point, he’s gotten bigger and stronger. Even so, he’s still not necessarily the most physically overpowering player.
“I’m a bit of a smaller guy,” Poitras said. “I kind of pride myself on the ability to win stick battles and possess the puck. I’m more of an offensive-skilled, gritty guy.”
A scout told Kirk Luedeke that Poitras needs to get stronger but brings “needed offense and creativity to the system.” Poitras, who looks up to Anthony Cirelli and Brayden Point, views himself as a “skilled, gritty forward.”
Elite Prospects refers to him as someone who has “playmaking upside,” is a great puck-handler, and maintains control at his top speed. The report says he shows signs of manipulation and deception while working in traffic.
He’s staying patient
Poitras, who is ranked 45th among North American skaters by National Hockey League’s Central Scouting, put up 21 goals and 50 points in 68 games in his first season in the OHL.
He’s expected to return to Guelph this season, and he’s staying patient with the knowledge that it may take time to play in the NHL.
“They’ve got the core group now,” Poitras said of the Bruins roster. “Hopefully in the future, I’ll get myself into the lineup.”
He said his plan is to go to Development Camp with the hopes of proving himself there. Then the next step is getting back to work in the gym and on the ice and doing some power skating.
Regardless of when he gets to that next level, he knows Friday was a huge step in his hockey journey. His family, including his parents, brother, sister, grandparents, and uncle, were all there to see him get drafted.
“I just want to thank everybody who’s done something for me,” Poitras said. “I really appreciate it, I couldn’t be here without them.”
His nickname is Potsy
In a wide-ranging interview with the OHL’s Sarah Jean Maher, Poitras discussed everything from his childhood memories to pregame superstitions and more.
He mentioned that he, his brother, and his dad all like No. 19. His dad’s favorite player was Steve Yzerman, and Poitras inherited the number as a result.
Poitras said his nickname is “Potsy” — a play off his last name — and he used to go by “Potsy Jr.” when his brother was nearby. Poitras got the nickname during lacrosse — a sport he knows well.
He’s a lacrosse player and fan
Poitras loves lacrosse and sees some similarities to hockey.
“Playing lacrosse during the summer helped me work on playing in tight, playing in traffic,” he said.
He said it gives him a good summer to get away from the rink, refresh, and mentally and physically prepare himself for the next hockey season.
“I love playing lacrosse,” he said. “Lot of contact, lot of slashing.”