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What assets do the Bruins have for the trade deadline?

Published January 30, 2024 at 8:41 PM
As the All-Star break nears, the trade deadline is becoming increasingly significant, set to occur in roughly six weeks. It's time to evaluate where each NHL team stands and the strategic moves they should consider. Our focus now shifts to the Boston Bruins.

While they may not be as overpowering as they were in the previous season, the Bruins continue to be a formidable force in the NHL's regular season, closely competing for their second consecutive President's Trophy, a feat last achieved by the 2016-17 Washington Capitals. Despite their impressive regular-season performances in recent years, Boston hasn't advanced beyond the semi-finals in the playoffs since their defeat in the 2018-19 Stanley Cup Final against the St. Louis Blues. However, thanks to creating some long-term cap space last summer, the Bruins are now in a position to consider acquiring players with longer contracts, a strategy they haven't been able to employ for some time.

Upcoming Draft Picks
2024: BOS 1st*, BOS 4th, BOS 5th, BOS 6th
2025: BOS 1st*, BOS 3rd, BOS 5th, BOS 6th, BOS 7th

*On March 2, 2023, the Boston Bruins exchanged their 2024 first-round pick for assets with the Detroit Red Wings, applying a top-10 protection to the pick. Should this pick be within the top 10 in the 2024 NHL Draft, Detroit would instead receive Boston's unprotected first-round pick in 2025. Later, on July 9, 2023, the Red Wings made a conditional deal with the Ottawa Senators involving this draft pick. Detroit retained the choice to offer either their own or the Bruins' 2024 first-round pick to Ottawa, maintaining the initial top-10 protection clause.

With only eight draft selections over the coming two years, it seems improbable that the Bruins will leverage their draft assets for significant roster enhancements at the trade deadline. Given that Boston is likely not to have a pick until the fourth round of the 2024 NHL Draft, the team might aim to secure a lesser-known fourth- or fifth-round pick in upcoming trades, even while actively seeking to bolster their lineup.

Additionally, the Bruins' need for young, cost-effective players suggests they might be reluctant to trade prospects like Matthew Poitras, Mason Lohrei, Georgii Merkulov, or John Beecher, considering their vital role in the franchise's future. However, Boston's main advantage lies in their substantial long-term cap space after this season. In pursuing a player with an ongoing contract, the Bruins could potentially offer up some current roster players without significantly impacting their long-term plans.

Boston is in a unique and advantageous position with two All-Star goalies, each capable of starting in every game. This puts the Bruins in a strong position to possibly trade one of them to strengthen other areas of their roster. Linus Ullmark, earning $5MM annually for this and the next season, has had an impressive run with a 15-6-2 record in 24 games, a .913 save percentage, and a 2.78 GAA. Conversely, Jeremy Swayman, who will be arbitration-eligible next summer, has been among the league's top goalies, boasting a 16-3-7 record in 27 games, a .924 save percentage, and a 2.30 GAA.

Beyond their goaltending surplus, the Bruins might consider proposals for Jake DeBrusk, who will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. As a consistent goal scorer, DeBrusk has tallied 12 goals and 25 points in 47 games this season. It wouldn't be shocking if Boston explored a deal with DeBrusk as a key component, especially if he's open to signing an extension with the team acquiring him.

Source: .prohockeyrumors
January 30   |   233 answers
What assets do the Bruins have for the trade deadline?

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