This past week, the Boston Bruins announced several changes to their scouting department. The offseason makeover includes the promotion of Keith Gretzky and the hiring of P.J. Axelsson and Keith Sullivan.
Keith Gretzky is better known as the younger brother of Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky. In the same Phoenix Coyotes organization where Wayne handled the head coaching duties, the younger Gretzky served from 2001 to 2005 as an amateur scout, before being promoted to the Director of Amateur Scouting in 2006.
Prior to being named Boston’s Director of Amateur Scouting, Gretzky joined the Bruins organization as an amateur scout in 2011. Initially an area-scout based out of Ontario, he will now oversee the team’s amateur scouting efforts across North America and Europe.
In his playing days, Gretzky spent five seasons in the Ontario Hockey League before being drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in the third round (56th overall) of the 1985 NHL Entry Draft. The playmaking center never made it to The Show, but amassed a respectable six years of minor league hockey on both sides of the pond. Following his playing career, Gretzky originally turned to coaching before scouting. With his diverse résumé and the exceptional eye for the game that can only come from his Gretzky family pedigree, the Bruins feel they have the man to right the ship in a heavily-scrutinized area of the organization.
The Bruins have also announced that they are bringing back one of the franchise’s fan favorites, P.J. Axelsson, as a Sweden-based European Amateur Scout. Number 11 spent eleven seasons with the Black & Gold, the only NHL team he played for. The two-way forward recorded 103 goals and 184 assists for 287 points in 797 career games played, while contributing throughout the lineup in all facets of the game.
Following his years wearing the Spoked-B, the Kungalv, Sweden-native joined Frolunda HC of the Swedish Elite League, playing from 2010-2013 before announcing his retirement from professional hockey this past April at the age of 38.
Keith Sullivan is joining the Bruins organization as an amateur scout after serving in the same capacity for four seasons in Phoenix from 2007-2011 and for the latest iteration of the Winnipeg Jets during the 2011-12 campaign. More recently, Sullivan served as the General Manager of the United States Hockey League’s Muskegon Lumberjacks in 2012-13. He will be Midwest-based, serving out of Omaha, Nebraska.
Boston Bruins Renew ECHL Affiliation with South Carolina Stingrays
Shortly after announcing their revamped scouting department, General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced that the Boston Bruins had renewed their affiliation with the South Carolina Stingrays of the East Coast Hockey League.
The Stingrays are the first professional ice hockey team to call the state of South Carolina their home. The minor league club has been based out of North Charleston, SC since 1993 and was the ECHL affiliate of the Washington Capitals from 2004 to 2012. This will be their second consecutive season as an affiliate of the Eastern Conference Champion Bruins.