After grabbing some speed and some skill in this year’s draft, the Calgary Flames went with a big body with their final selection of the 2015 NHL Draft. They selected defenseman Riley Bruce of the North Bay Battalion at 196th overall.
Bruce has two dominant attribute. He’s big and he’s young. He stands 6’6″ and is listed at 195 lbs, and he’s right-shooting. He’s also a July 16 birthday, so when he comes here for development camp he’ll still be just 17 years old. He’s described by scouts as a defensive defenseman, but given that he’s a young, big defenseman in the OHL it’s unclear if that’s because that’s all he was asked to do. He’s not said to be amazing in terms of mobility, but it’s said that he uses his size and reach fairly well as a stay-at-home guy.
Still, he’s not even 18 and he’s already spent two full seasons in the OHL. He’s definitely not a scoring machine, though, as he’s put up just 7 points in his 109 OHL contests.
Bruce was ranked 210th among North American skaters by Central Scouting and wasn’t ranked in the top 210 by Future Considerations. He’s definitely a project pick, but he’s super young and as the old cliche goes: you can’t teach size.