Boston Bruins

If the Bruins really want to snag Rangers defenseman and captain Ryan McDonagh, it’s going to cost them. That likely includes a talented young player already on the NHL roster.

According to reporter Jim Matheson, who actually covers the Oilers for the Edmonton Journal, the young player the Rangers would want is winger Jake DeBrusk. Matheson tweeted on Friday that he’s “hearing” New York would want DeBrusk coming their way in any deal for McDonagh.

Matheson also mentions Rangers GM Glen Sather, who used to be the Oilers GM. So that’s likely where these whispers are coming from, which is no surprise. And neither is the idea that the Rangers would want at least one NHL-ready player with upside in order to give up McDonagh, their defensive stalwart and a perennial Norris candidate.

The 21-year-old DeBrusk would certainly give the Rangers the upside they seek. He has 11 goals and 18 assists in 51 games so far in his rookie year. He’s on pace for 17 goals and 28 assists in 78 games – solid numbers for a 21-year-old rookie.

Boston originally drafted DeBrusk with its own first-round pick, 14th overall, in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Likelihood Of A Deal

Ryan McDonagh of the New York Rangers (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

Ryan McDonagh of the New York Rangers (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

Rumors like these are bound to pop up in the coming days with the NHL trade deadline approaching on Feb. 26. They’re almost always a form of posturing by the two sides. This sounds like a response to Bruins president Cam Neely saying the Bruins will be “cautious” at the trade deadline and don’t want to disrupt their chemistry.

He’s ostensibly telling the Rangers that they aren’t getting DeBrusk. And the Rangers (read: Sather) is telling them they’re not getting McDonagh. As good a fit as McDonagh would be for the B’s, giving up a promising top-six winger is a steep price. And it doesn’t appear to be one that Neely or GM Don Sweeney is willing to pay.

Perhaps Matheson will be hearing whispers about Oilers winger Patrick Maroon. That might be a trade that Sweeney’s more apt to make.

— By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.