The Bruins made a trade with the Rangers for a defenseman – but it’s likely not the move you envisioned. They have acquired veteran blue liner Nick Holden from New York in exchange for 24-year-old Rob O’Gara and a 2018 third-round pick.
Bruins GM Don Sweeney announced the move on Tuesday. Holden, 30, played in 55 games for the Rangers this season, averaging 18:59 of ice time.
The 6-foot-4 Holden played his first five seasons between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Colorado Avalanche before being traded to the Rangers in 2016. His first full season with the Rangers was a relative success, as he played 80 games and scored 11 goals to go with 23 assists and a plus-13 rating.
O’Gara, a fifth-round pick in 2011, played in 11 games at the NHL level with the Bruins over the last two seasons.
Nick Holden Trade: Instant Reaction
Depth move for Sweeney and the Bruins. That’s assuming that there isn’t a corresponding trade coming, which is entirely possible. It feels quite unlikely that this is all you’ll see from the B’s (even with the Rangers in particular) before the Feb. 26 NHL trade deadline.
Holden is a big, left-shooting defenseman who can log some real minutes for the Bruins when needed. The trade could mean that the B’s aren’t in on a much better left-shot defenseman from the Rangers, Ryan McDonagh. It could mean that Torey Krug or Matt Grzelcyk are on the move and Holden will take their place. It could mean some combination of these things.
If the B’s do nothing else with their defensive corps, then Holden is likely to slide into the third defensive pairing when called upon.
Another thought … Sweeney really seems to hate third-round picks. He lit one on fire when he traded one for Zac Rinaldo in 2015. He gave up a year of O’Gara’s development for a likely rental in Holden. So there’s potential that he’s throwing away another third-rounder here. That could also be an indication that Holden will get legit ice time here, or that a bigger trade is imminent.
Ultimately, the third-rounder could be a bigger loss for the B’s than O’Gara. But with Holden, there’s certainly some solid depth added to the Boston blue line as currently constituted.
— 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 email@example.com.