Boston Bruins

UPDATE (Saturday): The Bruins have acquired defenseman Hampus Lindholm from the Ducks. Click here to read more about the trade.

The Anaheim Ducks are resting one of their top-4 defensemen, and a possible Bruins trade target, as they prep for a potential move ahead of the NHL trade deadline.

Hampus Lindholm is sitting for Anaheim’s game on Friday night against the Florida Panthers as the Ducks “focus on a trade for him,” according to Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic. Lindholm, 28, is in the final year of his deal with the Ducks.

LeBrun said on TSN’s “Insider Trading” this week that “there’s been no progress” on an extension with the Ducks and Lindholm, and noted the Bruins and Blues as potential fits. Lindholm is a 6-foot-4, left-shot defenseman who is averaging 22:32 of ice time this season for the Ducks, and is squarely in his prime physical years.

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That means he will come at a hefty price. According to Darren Dreger, the ask for Lindholm is a “top prospect” plus first- and third-round picks. Dreger noted that “there’s always wiggle room,” and perhaps the Bruins could find that in the prospect department. Otherwise, they could be looking at moving 21-year-old right-shot defenseman Mason Lohrei, a 2020 second-round pick.

Urho Vaakanainen, a 2017 first-round pick who has played a career-best 15 games so far in the 2021-22 season, seems like a fit for the Ducks in that he’s a left shot with a similar playing style.

Lindholm will never be an offensive force, but he’s scored between 20 and 34 points in all but one of his nine NHL seasons. His strength is more at the defensive end of the ice, where the Bruins could certainly use his 6-foot-4 frame in the top-4 mix.

He ranks middle-of-the-pack in some advanced defensive metrics, but he’s done it for a Ducks team that’s allowed the 10th-most goals (201) in the league. Anaheim is allowing 57 five-on-five shot attempts per 60 minutes with Lindholm on the ice, which ranks him 13th among 20 blue liners with at least 1,100 minutes in that situation. Lindholm is also an effective penalty killer; he’s allowed 4.4 power play goals per 60 minutes, which is fourth-best among all left-shot defensemen with at least 120 shorthanded minutes.

Lindholm seems like a solid complement for No. 1 right-shot defenseman Charlie McAvoy, but can also slide right in next to Brandon Carlo to form a possible shutdown pairing. Carlo could use a boost in what’s been a down year for him defensively.

The 2022 NHL trade deadline passes at 3 p.m. on Monday, March 21. Keep reading below for more possible targets for the Bruins.

Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 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? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at

2022 NHL trade deadline: No shortage of options on defense for the Bruins

  • PHILADELPHIA, PA – DECEMBER 05: Justin Braun #61 of the Philadelphia Flyers looks on after a goal by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first period at the Wells Fargo Center on December 5, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

    Justin Braun

    A right-shot defenseman, the Flyers’ Justin Braun is an underrated option on this market.

    On the board with five goals and 15 points through 59 appearances this season, the 6-foot-2 Braun is one of two Philly defensemen in the black this season, at plus-3 (Travis Sanheim is the other, at plus-3). Braun has done this while absorbing a buttload of defensive-zone grunt work for the Flyers, with the most defensive-zone faceoffs among all Flyers (400), and an offensive-zone start percentage just over 38 percent (lowest among all Flyer defensemen).

    The 35-year-old Braun, who spent the first nine years of his career in San Jose before a trade to Philadelphia in 2019, also ranks 19th in blocked shots per 60 (5.31) among NHL defensemen with at least 50 games played this season.

    In other words, he may very well be the perfect third-pairing complement to take some of the right-side burden and burden off of Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo.

  • ELMONT, NEW YORK – DECEMBER 05: Zdeno Chara #33 of the New York Islanders skates against the Chicago Blackhawks at the UBS Arena on December 05, 2021 in Elmont, New York. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    Zdeno Chara

    Off the bat, I gotta admit that I don’t really think I see the fit here. ‘Bad blood’ may be laying it on a bit too thick, but the split between Chara and the B’s was a bit of a weird one. The Bruins offered Chara more money than the Capitals did in 2020, but they made it clear that they weren’t going to guarantee playing time, and it seemed like the Bruins had a legit interest in building in some rest nights and perhaps reducing Chara’s workload to a second-pairing role. Chara, a prideful guy, decided to take his talents to Washington instead, where he was ultimately utilized in a third-pairing role, and has since taken them to New York in a similar role. To keep it simple, I just wonder if either side legitimately wants anything to do with the other at this point in time.

    That said, Chara is still a premier tough guy in this league, and isn’t afraid to drop the gloves and provide some nasty. It’s just the other stuff that’s dipped since the last time you saw No. 33 in a Boston sweater, and perhaps to a degree that would make the Bruins a bit uncomfortable with the idea of bringing him back.

  • GLENDALE, ARIZONA – MARCH 22: Jakob Chychrun #6 of the Arizona Coyotes skates with the puck against the Colorado Avalanche during the NHL game at Gila River Arena on March 22, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    Jakob Chychrun

    This feels like the name to watch for the Bruins between now and the trade deadline.

    The Bruins are hot for the Coyotes’ Chychrun, and that’s really no surprise. He’s a left-shot defensemen with a manageable contract ($4.6 million cap hit through 2024-25), and at 23, is set to enter the prime of his career real soon. It doesn’t hurt that he’s also a do-it-all defender standing at 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds. He’s basically exactly what they’ve looked for since embarking on this left-side defensive reset that started with moving on from Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug back in 2020.

    Now, the Bruins’ hopes for a Chychrun deal seemed to take a significant hit with word that he’d be out for up to a month with a lower-body injury. But additional testing Wednesday revealed that the injury is not as bad as initially feared and that he could be back on the ice later this week. And by that, they mean he’ll be back on the block by the weekend.

    The price to acquire Chychrun will not be cheap, as the Coyotes have been notoriously inflexible on their asking prices since beginning this rebuild of all rebuilds. You’re likely talking about moving a first-round pick and one of your high-end prospects (think Fabian Lysell or Mason Lohrei), and then some more.

  • SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – JANUARY 01: Mark Giordano #5 of the Seattle Kraken skates with the puck against the Vancouver Canucks during the second period at Climate Pledge Arena on January 01, 2022. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

    Mark Giordano

    With the ’22 Kraken unable to go full ’18 Golden Knights on the NHL, it’s certainly in the club’s best interest to trade Mark Giordano to the highest bidder ahead of next Monday’s deadline. Defensemen seem to be all the rage every deadline, Giordano is 38 years old and is a pending free agent, and he’s going to age out by the time the Kraken are competitive.

    And while Giordano isn’t the 74-point guy he was on the way to a Norris Trophy in 2019, the veteran of over 1,000 games still has a bit of pop in his game, with six goals and 23 points through 55 games. Giordano is also one of just five Kraken players to post a positive number on the shots-for percentage front, and same for a scoring chance for percentage front.

    One thing that could be slightly concerning with Giordano beyond the age: He’s played just 23 career playoff games, and 10 of those came in the 2020 postseason bubble. So while the experience factor in there, postseason experience is a bit of a different story, which isn’t exactly what you want to hear when bringing in the proverbial grizzled veteran.

  • SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – NOVEMBER 11: Jeremy Lauzon #55 of the Seattle Kraken warms up before the game against the Anaheim Ducks on November 11, 2021 at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, Washington. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

    Jeremy Lauzon

    The Bruins really didn’t want to lose Jeremy Lauzon in the Seattle expansion draft.

    An affordable defender capable of playing both the left and right side, Lauzon’s loss was a significant one for the Bruins. Especially when Kevan Miller retired, Steven Kampfer departed for the KHL, and Jarred Tinordi left for the Rangers. The Bruins addressed Lauzon’s departure with the signing of Derek Forbort to a three-year, $9 million contract, and elevated Connor Clifton to full-time status. That’s had mixed results to date, with both players having their highs and lows with the B’s this year, and with both spending some time in the press box as a healthy scratch.

    In Seattle, meanwhile, Lauzon has gone through his own highs and lows, and has tallied one goal and six points through 51 games with the Kraken. The 6-foot-1, 204-pound Lauzon has also racked up a career-high 172 hits during his Seattle run. That rates out to an 11.39 hits per 60 rate, which is ninth-most among 358 NHLers with at least 800 minutes played this season.

    Lauzon would not be the cure to the Bruins’ biggest issue on the backend, but he would provide some much-needed depth, and bring some sorely-missed versatility in terms of where he can play in your lineup.

    And the Bruins sound like a team that misses what he can bring to their team.

    “Well, there is [an emotional attachment] for me. I mean, any young guy that you help develop his NHL career, whether it starts in the American League or here when he gets his chance, there always is,” Cassidy said of Lauzon following a Bruins-Kraken game last month. “Especially a guy like Lauzy. He’s a hardworking guy, very respectful kid, wants to be coached, practices well, understands what he has to get better at, all those things. So the growth for him is great to see. He’s no longer a Bruin, but he was a Bruin. So to me, he’ll always be part of a Bruin.”

  • ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 02: Hampus Lindholm #47 of the Anaheim Ducks controls the puck past Tomas Tatar #90 of the New Jersey Devils during the second period of a game at Honda Center on November 02, 2021 (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

    Hampus Lindholm

    Another situation worth watching for the Bruins will be Hampus Lindholm’s contract talks with the Ducks. A dependable, left-shot defenseman, Lindholm is in the final year of his contract with Anaheim, and it’s entirely possible that his demands don’t exactly line up with the Ducks’ timeline as a team stuck in the middle. If that’s the case, it’s pretty much guaranteed that new Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek will scour the market to maximize the return on the 28-year-old.

    Averaging 22:32 of time on ice this season, the 6-foot-4 Lindholm has put up five goals and 22 points through 61 games this season, and has been asked to be a guiding presence for first-year NHLer Jamie Drysdale. Lindholm has remained a five-on-five minute eater, too, as his 1,125:19 of five-on-five ice time in 2021-22 is the seventh-most in all of hockey this season.

    Like Chychrun, Lindholm another guy who would step right into a top-four defensive role with the Bruins and help balance out a Boston defense that’s a bit heavy on the right side compared to the left.

  • Feb 20, 2020; Newark, New Jersey, USA; San Jose Sharks defenseman Jacob Middleton (67) and New Jersey Devils center John Hayden (15) fight during the first period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

    Feb 20, 2020; Newark, New Jersey, USA; San Jose Sharks defenseman Jacob Middleton (67) and New Jersey Devils center John Hayden (15) fight during the first period at Prudential Center. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

    Jacob Middleton

    It’s real easy to see how the Sharks’ Jacob Middleton could fit with the Bruins. A 6-foot-3, 210-pound defenseman with a penchant for the nasty and some strong analytics on the penalty kill? Oh, and signed for less than $800,000? Yeah, the Bruins would be dumb not to get involved in that. But they were not, and are not, alone in their pursuit of Middleton.

    The market has only further intensified since word of the interest in Middleton broke, too, and the reported asking price on Middleton is a second-round pick and a prospect. That ultimately may be a little too rich for the B’s blood.

  • BUFFALO, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 16: Colin Miller #33 of the Buffalo Sabres attempts a shot during the second period of a NHL hockey game against the Arizona Coyotes at KeyBank Center on October 16, 2021 in Buffalo, New York. (Joshua Bessex/Getty Images)

    Colin Miller

    We’ve touched on a couple of old friends in this one, so why not add another with the Sabres’ Colin Miller?

    With the Bruins from 2015 through 2017, Miller put up nine goals and 29 points in 103 games with the Bruins before the Golden Knights plucked him out of town in the 2018 expansion draft. Upon leaving Boston, Miller tallied a career-high 10 goals and 41 points in his first year with Vegas, and later landed in Buffalo in a 2019 trade between the sides.

    And Miller’s offensive success in Vegas has certainly taken a nosedive since his move to the Sabres, with just seven goals and 35 points in 131 games with the Sabres over the last three seasons. This year, the now 29-year-old has appeared in 32 games for Buffalo, and is currently working his way back from surgery that’s kept him out of action since Jan. 15. That said, Miller still possesses a bomb of a shot, and the Bruins are always looking for some more pop from their backend.

    It’s fair to consider him a potential rental piece for the right side of Boston’s third defensive pairing if the price is right.

  • NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – MARCH 08: P.K. Subban #76 of the New Jersey Devils skates against the Colorado Avalanche at the Prudential Center on March 08, 2022 in Newark, New Jersey. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    P.K. Subban

    Now wouldn’t this be something?

    First off, let’s get this out of the way now: Subban is not the player he was during those Bruins-Canadiens wars from 2011 through 2014. Those days are long gone. But, if the Devils are moving Subban (a pending unrestricted free agent) ahead of next Monday’s deadline, he’s one absolutely intriguing option for Boston’s third pairing.

    After his game seemingly bottomed out over the last two seasons, Subban has bounced back in 2021-22 with three goals and 18 points through 57 games. He’s done this while having a revolving door of partners (he’s played at least 200 five-on-five minutes with three different partners this season), and has managed to post analytics that put him above water in corsi-for percentage (51.07 percent), shots-for percentage (51.09 percent), expected goals-for percentage (51.69 percent), and high-danger goals-for percentage (57.89 percent). It’s not Norris-caliber stuff, but it ain’t half bad either.

    Subban also has an extensive playoff resume, and has that clutch gene kickin’ around in him, with 18 goals and 62 points in 96 career playoff games since the start of the 2010 playoffs.

    Without getting into the popsicle headache of the daily cap and how it all works out, the best path to a Subban-to-Boston trade that allows the Bruins to address some other needs at the deadline would likely involve retained salary from New Jersey. Or with a potential third team helping broker the deal for additional retained salary help, like when the Lightning involved the Red Wings at last year’s deadline to help get David Savard from Columbus to Tampa Bay.

2022 NHL trade deadline: A look at Don Sweeney's trade deadline history

  • 2016

    BOSTON, MA – MARCH 03: Lee Stempniak #20 of the Boston Bruins warms up before the game against the Chicago Blackhawks at TD Garden on March 3, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    Trade: Bruins acquire winger Lee Stempniak from Devils in exchange for 2016 fourth-round pick and 2017 second-round pick.

    Bruins record when acquired: 34-23-6 (third in Atlantic Division, seven points above ninth place).

    Sweeney’s first crack at addressing the Black and Gold’s constant need for help on the wings, Stempniak was brought to the Bruins in the midst of a Jersey run that included 16 goals and 41 points in 63 games. In Boston, Stempniak put up three goals and 10 points over 19 games, as the Bruins went 8-8-3 to finish the year and finished a tiebreaker short of the postseason.

  • BOSTON, MA – MARCH 01: John-Michael Liles #26 of the Boston Bruins looks on during the first period against the Calgary Flames at TD Garden on March 1, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    Trade: Bruins acquire defenseman John-Michael Liles from Hurricanes in exchange for forward Anthony Camara, 2016 third-round pick, and 2017 fifth-round pick.

    Bruins record when acquired: 34-23-6 (third in Atlantic Division, seven points above ninth place).

    A depth defenseman pickup, Liles put up six assists in 17 games with the Bruins to round out the 2016 stretch run, and re-upped with the B’s on a one-year deal for the 2016-17 season.

  • 2017

    BOSTON, MA – APRIL 4: Drew Stafford #19 of the Boston Bruins looks on during the first period against the Tampa Bay Lightning at TD Garden on April 4, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    Trade: Bruins acquire winger Drew Stafford from Jets in exchange for conditional sixth-round pick in 2018.

    Bruins record when acquired: 33-24-6 (second in Atlantic Division, four points above ninth place).

    Another attempt at addressing the team’s middle-six scoring woes, Stafford was a worthwhile addition for the Bruins, with four goals and eight points in 18 games with the Bruins. That sixth-round pick turned to a fifth-round pick sent to Winnipeg (and later landing in Nashville) when the Bruins clinched a playoff spot. Stafford would score two goals in six playoff games with the Bruins, and spent the final two years of his NHL career with the Devils. He’s also the only Bruins player to appear in an Every Time I Die music video, though that came during his Buffalo tenure.

  • 2018

    TORONTO, ON – APRIL 16: Nick Holden #44 of the Boston Bruins skates with the puck against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Air Canada Centre. (Claus Andersen/Getty Images) 

    Trade: Bruins acquire defenseman Nick Holden from Rangers in exchange for defenseman Rob O’Gara and 2018 third-round pick.

    Bruins record when acquired: 36-13-8 (second place in Atlantic Division, one point out of first place).

    The first move of what has been Sweeney’s busiest deadline of his general managing career, the Bruins brought Nick Holden to town as a third-pairing stabilizer. A 6-foot-4 left-shot defenseman, Holden tallied one goal and five points in 18 games with the B’s, and appeared in two postseason games with the team. Holden has since bounced between Vegas and Ottawa.

  • DETROIT, MI – FEBRUARY 06: Frank Vatrano #72 of the Boston Bruins heads up ice in the first period while playing the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on February 6, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

    Trade: Bruins trade winger Frank Vatrano to Panthers for 2018 third-round pick

    Bruins record when traded: 37-13-8 (second place in Atlantic Division, one point out of first place).

    A space-making move for the Bruins, Sweeney recouped the third-round pick he lost in the Holden deal by sending Frank Vatrano to the Panthers. Vatrano has stuck with the Panthers, too, and tallied 71 goals and 124 points in 269 games with Florida over the last five seasons. The Bruins later used that third-round pick to draft Jakub Lauko.

  • TORONTO, ON – APRIL 16: Rick Nash #61 of the Boston Bruins waits for a faceoff against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game Three of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

    Trade: Bruins acquire winger Rick Nash from Rangers in exchange for forward Ryan Spooner, winger Matt Beleskey, defenseman Ryan Lindgren, 2018 first-round pick, and 2019 seventh-round pick.

    Bruins record when acquired: 37-14-8 (third place in Atlantic Division, five points out of first place).

    Sweeney’s first try at a big home run swing, the Bruins sent out five pieces in exchange for Nash, and No. 61 finished with three goals and six points in 11 regular-season appearances, and added three goals and five points in 12 playoff games. A concussion suffered on a high hit from the Lighting’s Cedric Paquette interrupted and derailed Nash’s Boston run, and ultimately forced Nash to retire at the end of the season. The trade will always be one of the biggest ‘what if’ scenarios involving this core, as both Nash and the B’s were interested in a potential long-term partnership.

  • BOSTON, MA – FEBRUARY 27: Tommy Wingels #57 of the Boston Bruins skates on the ice before a game against the Carolina Hurricanes at TD Garden on February 27, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

    Trade: Bruins acquire winger Tommy Wingels from Blackhawks in exchange for conditional fifth-round pick in 2019.

    Bruins record when acquired: 37-15-8 (third place in Atlantic Division, five points out of first place).

    A depth move at the deadline, Wingels scored two goals and five points in 18 games with the B’s, and appeared in four postseason games. The conditional fifth-round pick the B’s sent to Chicago in that deal ultimately became a fourth when the Bruins advanced to the second round of the playoffs. Wingels had a direct hand in that, too, as he absorbed the hit that got the Leafs’ Nazem Kadri suspended for three games in the middle of the first round.

  • 2019

    BOSTON, MA – APRIL 25: Charlie Coyle #13 of the Boston Bruins reacts after scoring a goal in the third period against the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game One during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs (Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

    Trade: Bruins acquire center Charlie Coyle from Wild in exchange for winger Ryan Donato and 2019 fifth-round pick.

    Bruins record when acquired: 35-17-8 (second place in Atlantic Division, 18 points out of first place).

    Certainly the most impactful trade of the Sweeney era in terms of its direct impact on a long playoff run, the Bruins made out like bandits when they acquired Coyle from the Wild in exchange for Ryan Donato and a late-round pick. Slotted behind Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci on the B’s center depth chart, Coyle excelled as a puck-possession pivot, and racked up nine goals and 16 points in 24 playoff games for the Bruins on the way to the 2019 Stanley Cup Final. His nine goals were tied for the most on the team, while his 16 points were the fifth-most among all B’s.

  • BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – APRIL 23: Marcus Johansson #90 of the Boston Bruins celebrates after scoring a goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the first period Game Seven during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    Trade: Bruins acquire winger Marcus Johansson from Devils in exchange for 2019 second-round pick and 2020 fourth-round pick.

    Bruins record when acquired: 36-17-9 (second place in Atlantic Division, 17 points out of first place).

    Originally acquired to skate to the right of David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk on Boston’s second line, Johansson’s best fit ultimately came on the B’s third line with Charlie Coyle and Danton Heinen. The Swedish wing put up one goal and three points in 10 regular season games with the Bruins, and added four goals and 11 points in 22 playoff games.

    Johansson has played for the Sabres, Wild, and Kraken since leaving the Bruins as a free agent in 2019, and could very well be on the move again this deadline with the Kraken out of contention.

  • 2020

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – FEBRUARY 27: Ondrej Kase #28 of the Boston Bruins takes a shot against the Dallas Stars during his first game with the Bruins at TD Garden on February 27, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    Trade: Bruins acquire winger Ondrej Kase from Ducks in exchange for forward David Backes, defenseman Axel Andersson, and 2020 first-round pick.

    Bruins record when acquired: 38-11-12 (first place in Atlantic Division, three points above second place).

    The Bruins tried to make their best out of a garbage situation when they had to attach a first-round pick to rid themselves of the David Backes contract. Rather than just dumping him with the pick and moving on in the name of cap space after Backes’ role entered an uncomfortable territory for the Bruins and led to the veteran landing on waivers, the Bruins ditched Backes but took a chance on the oft-injured Ondrej Kase in the process.

    But after Kase had a stop-and-start jump into life with the Bruins in a COVID-interrupted 2020 campaign, the Czech wing’s concussion woes return and limited Kase to just three games during the 2021 season.

    The Bruins ultimately decided not to extend a qualifying offer to Kase and let him walk to the Maple Leafs, where he’s battled injuries but been productive when healthy, with 12 goals and 25 points in 47 games this season.

  • TORONTO, ONTARIO – AUGUST 29: Nick Ritchie #21 of the Boston Bruins fights Barclay Goodrow #19 of the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period in Game Four during the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. (Elsa/Getty Images)

    Trade: Bruins acquire winger Nick Ritchie from Ducks in exchange for forward Danton Heinen.

    Bruins record when acquired: 39-12-12 (first place in Atlantic Division, five points above second place).

    A ‘change of scenery’ trade for both Ritchie and Heinen, the Bruins thought that adding the big-bodied Ritchie would help the team score some of the more dirty, high-danger area postseason goals that the team struggled to produce when going up against bigger defenses. And though Ritchie’s 2020 fit with the Bruins proved to be a troubling one, Ritchie bounced back in 2021 with a career-high 15 goals and five power-play goals and 7th Player Award honors.

    But the Bruins ultimately decided not to bring Ritchie back for another round after a disappointing 2021 playoff run, and Ritchie landed with the Maple Leafs on a two-year, $5 million deal. That deal turned out to be a disaster for all involved, really, as Ritchie would fail to fit on the Leafs’ top line and score just two goals in 33 games with Toronto before the team waived him, and ultimately sent him to Arizona in a cap-clearing move.

    Heinen, meanwhile, would score just 10 goals and eight assists in 52 games with the Ducks, but has since rebounded with the Penguins, with 13 goals and 24 points through 54 games this season.

  • 2021

    BOSTON, MA – APRIL 13: Mike Reilly #6 of the Boston Bruins skates during the first period of a game against the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden on April 13, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

    Trade: Bruins acquire defenseman Mike Reilly from Senators in exchange for 2022 third-round pick.

    Bruins record when acquired: 21-12-6 (fourth in East Division, four point above fifth place).

    When the Bruins’ decision to go with a youth movement and walk away from Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug failed to pan out the way the Bruins envisioned, Sweeney made a call to Ottawa and swung a deadline deal for Mike Reilly. An underrated puck-moving threat, Reilly put up eight assists in 15 games with the Bruins to close out the regular season, and added another four helpers in 11 postseason games.

    The Bruins ultimately kept Reilly around on a three-year, $9 million extension, and are currently playing him next to Charlie McAvoy on the Black and Gold’s top defensive pairing.

  • BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – APRIL 15: Taylor Hall #71 of the Boston Bruins looks on during the first period against the New York Islanders at TD Garden on April 15, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    Trade: Bruins acquire winger Taylor Hall and forward Curtis Lazar from Sabres in exchange for winger Anders Bjork and 2021 second-round pick.

    Bruins record when acquired: 21-12-6 (fourth in East Division, four point above fifth place).

    Aided greatly by the fact that Taylor Hall had a full no-movement clause and made it clear that he wanted to go to Boston, the Hall-to-Boston trade remains Sweeney’s greatest deadline heist as the B’s general manager. Finally solving the team’s never-ending quest to acquire that high-ceiling second-line wing, Hall was productive and immediately bought in on what the Bruins were selling him, and has since emerged as a core piece for the team.

    The Bruins also acquired valuable fourth-line piece Curtis Lazar in that deal, while Anders Bjork has put up seven goals and 12 points in 66 games with the Sabres.

2022 NHL trade deadline: Looking at the Bruins' options down the middle

  • ST PAUL, MN – OCTOBER 19: Andrew Copp #9 of the Winnipeg Jets during the game against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center on October 19, 2021 in St Paul, Minnesota. (Harrison Barden/Getty Images)

    Andrew Copp

    An under-the-radar option ahead of the 2022 trade deadline: Jets center Andrew Copp.

    A do-it-all threat for Winnipeg, the 27-year-old Copp is on the market in the midst of a season that’s included a career-high 20:05 per night, which ranks as the third-most among all Jet forwards, and makes Copp one of just 23 NHL forwards averaging at least 20 minutes per night in 2021-22. The 6-foot-1, 206-pound center has certainly made use of that ice time, too, with 13 goals and 32 points through 53 games, which has him paced for what would be a career-high 19 goals and 50 points. (Not tooooo shabby when you consider his previous career-high marks on both fronts, with 15 goals and 39 points last season.)

    It’s likely that a good chunk of the Bruins’ interest in Copp, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, comes back to his status as a relatively complete player. Copp enters the weekend with the 24th-best faceoff percentage in the league (minimum 500 faceoffs), and has logged the sixth-most penalty kill time on ice among all forwards this season. With those numbers and that potential usage in mind for the Black and Gold, the Bruins would absolutely welcome Copp and his 54.4 defensive-zone faceoff percentage, which is the 16th-best in hockey.

  • Jan 31, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux (28) celebrates his goal with his teammates during the first period against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

    Claude Giroux

    If you’re asking me who I believe in as the perfect rental for the Bruins, it’s Claude Giroux. (Disclaimer: I’m an OG Giroux Fanboy and wish this guy spent his entire career in Boston, so there’s that.) But even at 34 years old, this is still a highly productive player, with 17 goals and 41 points through 54 games. And the type of all-zone threat that makes him the perfect replacement for David Krejci and perfect complement to Patrice Bergeron as Boston’s one-two punch down the middle.

    An offensive threat throughout his career, Giroux has proven that he can still create and finish at an acceptable rate. He’d be asked to do both as the driver of Boston’s second line with David Pastrnak and Taylor Hall.

    But Giroux would also provide the Bruins with yet another downright dominant faceoff option.

    While Bergeron ranks atop the NHL with a 62.2 faceoff percentage, Giroux sits right behind him, at 61.4 percent. Giroux has dominated draws in the defensive zone, too, at a league-best 64.2 percentage (Bergeron is right behind him there, at 61.5 percent), and is also top five in offensive-zone faceoff percentage and power-play faceoff percentage among qualifying threats. The ability to roll back-to-back lines with dominant faceoff options (equating to puck possession) and a grinding third line could be simply devastating in the playoffs.

    Giroux would also come to town with significant playoff performance, with 85 career postseason appearances, and with his 73 playoff points the 23rd-most among all active NHLers.

    Now, Giroux does possess a full no-movement clause, so the ball is entirely in his court. It’s been tough for many to forecast where Giroux will go (if he goes at all between now and Mar. 21 deadline), and the Bruins have not been mentioned at the same rate as teams like the Avalanche and Panthers. That’s understandable given their dominance this year, as well as the fact that Giroux would only leave Philly for a legitimate chance at a Stanley Cup given how much being a Flyer has meant to him.

    But honestly, plugging Giroux between Hall and Pastrnak may be enough to make the B’s legit as the rest.

  • SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 07: Tomas Hertl #48 of the San Jose Sharks reacts after he scored he second goal of the game against the Calgary Flames in the second period at SAP Center on December 07, 2021. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

    Tomas Hertl

    This is perhaps the most interesting situation to watch between now and the deadline.

    The word around the league is that the Sharks want to keep pending unrestricted free agent Tomas Hertl in San Jose. That’s no surprise. Emerging as one of the better all-around centers in the league, Hertl has put up 23 goals and 44 points through 57 games this year, and has been a constant bright spot in a Sharks season that’s short on ’em.

    But if the sides can’t pull a Chris Kreider-Rangers circa 2020 and come to terms on an extension before the deadline, the 28-year-old Hertl would be the top prize of the trade deadline, and the Bruins would be first in line. Because, boy, would Hertl solve a lot of their problems and in the future as a potential long-term to the impending doom that is the future of the center position once the 36-year-old Patrice Bergeron calls it quits.

    Like Giroux, Hertl would immediately slot into the middle of the Black and Gold’s second line with Hall and Pastrnak with absolutely no questions asked, and represent a clear upgrade over Haula given his takeover abilities.

    The big question with acquiring a player like Hertl would be the price going out the door. This isn’t a player the Bruins would be able to acquire for pennies on the dollar. This would be a top-dollar acquisition (and that’s before you even hammer out an extension that could pay the Czech pivot as much as $8 million a year), and would likely test the Bruins’ limits when it comes to parting with prospects they consider untouchable (Fabian Lysell and Mason Lohrei) as well as a future first-round pick.

  • Mar 9, 2022; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller (9) celebrates his goal against the Montreal Canadiens in the third period at Rogers Arena. Canucks won 5-3. (Bob Frid/USA TODAY Sports)

    J.T. Miller

    The Canucks are in a real weird spot this deadline.

    Since making the switch from Travis Green to Bruce Boudreau behind the bench in early December, the Canucks are a sizzlin’ 21-8-5, and only five teams have posted a better point percentage (the Bruins are one of them, in case you’re wondering). But even with that surge, the Canucks sit three points out third place in the Pacific Division and two points out of the second and final wild card spot in the Western Conference. Moneypuck’s playoff probability model gives them a 25.4 percent chance of making the playoffs, and that’s certainly understandable when looking at the teams in front of Vancouver. But when you’ve been that hot for 34 games, it’s awfully hard to suddenly reverse course and decide that you wanna sell, no?

    Now, let’s throw in the J.T. Miller situation and make things real weird.

    A gritty-but-talented center seemingly made for playoff play, the 28-year-old center signed through 2022-23 at a manageable $5.25 million cap hit has been brought up in trade rumors from the moment the Canucks struggled out of the gate this year, and is considered to have a potentially robust market. Miller’s success — the 29-year-old’s 69 points are the ninth-most in the NHL this year, while his 30 power-play points trail only Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid for the most in the NHL — would create an obvious bidding war this deadline, and the Bruins would be stupid not to get involved.

    That said, Miller himself doesn’t believe that he’s going to be traded.

    “I don’t think I’m getting traded,” Miller said earlier this week. “I never thought I was getting traded. Everybody is speculating, so I never even looked into that [the Canucks] were trying to trade me to begin with.”

    Reading between the lines here, getting the Canucks, who are facing a slight cap crunch of sorts up ahead, to bite on a Miller trade would require a good ol’ fashioned hockey trade.

    Those have been rare under this leadership in Boston.

  • COLUMBUS, OH – FEBRUARY 23: Jack Roslovic #96 of the Columbus Blue Jackets lines up for a face-off during the game against the Chicago Blackhawks at Nationwide Arena on February 23, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

    Jack Roslovic

    Not a sexy pick by any stretch, it’s fair to wonder if Jack Roslovic would be considered an option for the Bruins if they’re priced out of, well, just about everybody else this deadline.

    A 25-year-old right-shot center, Roslovic hasn’t exactly thrived with his move from Winnipeg to his hometown Blue Jackets, with 22 goals and 60 points in 106 games with Columbus.The 2021-22 season has been an especially trying one for Roslovic, as Roslovic has averaged his lowest nightly time on ice (12:24) since 2018-19, and has struggled to find his fit under new Blue Jackets head coach Brad Larsen.

    But for the Bruins, Roslovic, who is a pending restricted free agent making a hair over $1.8 million this year, may be a potentially perfect return if they want to go with a change of scenery for change of scenery swap involving Jake DeBrusk by the deadline.

    It’s unlikely that Roslovic is a long-term answer at center, of course, but he would give the Bruins another right-handed faceoff option, with Charlie Coyle and Curtis Lazar currently the only two on the roster right now. And his ability to also play right wing (arguably where he played his best hockey in Columbus) only adds value to a potential Boston fit.

  • Mar 8, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Dylan Strome (17) celebrates his third goal of the game against the Anaheim Ducks during the third period at United Center. (David Banks/USA TODAY Sports)

    Dylan Strome

    This isn’t the first time we’ve talked about Dylan Strome. When word of Jake DeBrusk’s trade request went public, and with the Blackhawks among those mentioned as potentially interested in DeBrusk, a potential Strome-for-DeBrusk swap just seemed to make sense for both sides, especially with Strome’s name also in the rumor mill around that time. But Strome has since found his footing this season, and has tallied 12 goals and 24 points in 26 games since the start of January. Strome’s contract and his obvious fit between Alex DeBrincat and Patrick Kane, two players that certainly figure in the Blackhawks’ future plans even with the Hawks approaching an obvious rebuild, only further complicates Strome’s status.

    The No. 3 overall pick 2015 NHL Draft (a.k.a the first player taken after the Connor McDavid-Jack Eichel one-two), the 6-foot-3 Strome has tallied 60 goals and 153 points in 250 career games between the Coyotes and Blackhawks since 2016.

    Similar to a guy like Roslovic (and maybe Copp to a lesser degree), perhaps the Bruins circle to Chicago and inquire on Strome should the asking price for the top-tier targets prove to be a little too high for ’em this deadline.

2022 NHL trade deadline: Taking stock of the Bruins' trade bait

  • Oct 27, 2021; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Jake DeBrusk (74) skates on the ice against the Florida Panthers during the third period at FLA Live Arena. (Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports)

    Jake DeBrusk

    This is an obvious one. Jake DeBrusk wants out and the Bruins want to make that happen for him.

    But they’ve also made it clear that they’re not going to simply give him away just to put this behind them, so a deadline deal with some inflated value is certainly the best bet.

    The 25-year-old DeBrusk has certainly done his part to boost his stock of late, too, and has tallied eight goals and 10 points over his last nine games. That production will only help a trade market that was at one point considered rather robust, too, with as many as eight teams linked to the Edmonton native when word of his request first went public.

    But because nothing is ever easy, in addition to what’s been a topsy-turvy road of production over the last three years, interested teams (and uninterested teams for that matter) have been a bit spooked by DeBrusk’s heavy qualifying offer due as a pending restricted free agent this summer. DeBrusk’s camp has, however, made it known that they’re willing to negotiate an extension ahead of that deadline if it makes sense for both parties.

    That’s potential good news for the Bruins getting the most bang for their buck in any DeBrusk trade.

  • STATELINE, NEVADA – FEBRUARY 21: Trent Frederic #11 of the Boston Bruins in action against the Philadelphia Flyers during the ‘NHL Outdoors At Lake Tahoe’ at the Edgewood Tahoe Resort on February 21, 2021. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    Trent Frederic

    If the Bruins are to deal from a position of strength, it’s at left wing. The position is headlined by Brad Marchand and Taylor Hall, features Anton Blidh, and left wing is Nick Foligno’s natural position. The Bruins could also move centers Erik Haula and Tomas Nosek to left wing if and when push comes to shove. Both players have considerable experience there. But if left wing shuffling extends beyond DeBrusk this deadline, Trent Frederic is the name that would make most to a potential seller.

    Finally appearing to look like the player the Bruins viewed as a first-round talent back in 2016, the 6-foot-2 Frederic has started to round out his game on a new-look third line with Charlie Coyle and Craig Smith, and has recorded a goal and four points over his last three appearances, and has four goals and 10 points through 37 games this season. The Bruins have also worked with Frederic’s mindset as an offensive threat, and encouraged him to put himself in stronger shooting positions.

    Of course, the Bruins wouldn’t want to trade Frederic now given their investment in him as a capable NHLer, but he’s a name that’ll certainly be of interest given his age, contract status, and always desired game as a player with some nasty.

  • UNIONDALE, NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 25: Urho Vaakanainen #58 of the Boston Bruins skates against the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum on February 25, 2021 in Uniondale, New York. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    Urho Vaakanainen

    This season has finally seen the Bruins reap the rewards of the promise of 2017 first-round pick Urho Vaakanainen.

    In action for 15 games this year, the 6-foot-1 Vaakanainen has fit with Charlie McAvoy on the Bruins’ top pairing, played his off side on Boston’s third pairing when asked, and tallied a career-best four assists and 19:17 of time on ice per night. The Finnish defenseman has also stayed true to his roots as a potential stopper of a defender, with 10 hits and 12 blocked shots. But similar to Jakub Zboril, the numbers game is working against Vaakanainen at ‘LHD’ beyond this year, and this year’s sample may be promising enough for the Bruins to maximize their return on Vaak in a potential trade.

    One problem for Vaakanainen and the Bruins? He has played just two games since Kraken forward Yanni Gourde tried boarding him into another dimension and gave him a concussion, and was a late scratch from what would’ve been his third game after telling team trainers that he ‘wasn’t feeling right’ after the pregame warm-up.

  • UNIONDALE, NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 25: Jakub Zboril #67 of the Boston Bruins skates against the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum on February 25, 2021 in Uniondale, New York. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    Jakub Zboril

    Bit of a weird one here. The Bruins’ top pick from the forgettable 2015 NHL Draft, Zboril is done for the season with a torn ACL and is actually staring down a potential jump into unrestricted free agency as a Group 6 free agent.

    Given the way the B’s defense looks long term (all three left-shot defensemen in front of Zboril on the Boston depth chart have multiple years left on their deal), perhaps Zboril is wondering if it’s time for a fresh start himself. (It wouldn’t be the first time he’s thought about this.) And if you’re a team looking for a potential low-risk sweetener in a deadline deal, Zboril may be your guy. Especially if the Bruins don’t feel that he’s likely to return to the club in 2022-23.

    Prior to his season-ending injury, the Czech-born defender was appearing to have turned a corner in his development, with three assists to go with 24 hits and 10 blocked shots in 10 appearances.

  • BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – MAY 01: Jeremy Swayman #1 of the Boston Bruins looks on during the second period against the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden on May 01, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    Jeremy Swayman

    Jeremy Swayman is one of the Bruins’ few untouchables on the ‘prospect’ front. I honestly think that became official when they effectively chose Swayman over Daniel Vladar last summer instead of putting Swayman in the minors to begin the year, and Swayman’s only become more important to the Bruins since Tuukka Rask’s retirement. Oh, and he’s playing some lights out hockey. But if you’re a general manager looking to make a deal with the Bruins, you wouldn’t be doing your job if you didn’t at least ask about the 23-year-old netminder. You’re just gonna be told to piss off, so be prepared for that.

  • BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – OCTOBER 02: Jack Studnicka #23 of the Boston Bruins skates against the New York Rangers during overtime of the preseason game at TD Garden on October 02, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    Jack Studnicka

    It’s worth wondering if the Bruins are finally ready to cut bait with Jack Studnicka.

    While patience is certainly a virtue, this is Studnicka’s third full season as a pro, and he doesn’t look any closer to grabbing hold of a full-time NHL spot. The Bruins even season with an open second-line center vacancy, and still, Studnicka’s push didn’t come when the competition ramped up. The 23-year-old Studnicka has totaled two assists in 10 NHL appearances this year, and has one goal and six points in 32 NHL contests over the last three campaigns. In Providence, Studnicka’s tallied 10 goals and 30 points in 34 games this year, and has 34 goals and 91 points in 110 AHL contests over the last four seasons.

  • NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 28: Oskar Steen #62 of the Boston Bruins skates against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on September 28, 2021 in New York City. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    Oskar Steen

    Winger Oskar Steen’s fall out of frame at the NHL level is a bit unusual. The Swedish Quadzilla, Steen has put put up two goals and six points in 19 appearances with the Big B’s this season, and the Bruins have outshot opponents 109-86 when Steen is on the ice at five-on-five play. But Steen hasn’t made an NHL appearance since Feb. 8, and the B’s coaching staff didn’t seem to believe in the idea of plugging Steen to the right of Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand on the top line. The 5-foot-9 Steen has lit it up in Providence this year, with 14 goals and 26 points in 27 AHL contests this year.

  • BOSTON, MA – SEPTEMBER 16: Jakub Lauko #94 of the Boston Bruins looks on during the first period against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on September 16, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    Jakub Lauko

    A third-round pick (No. 77 overall) in 2018, winger Jakub Lauko has produced 13 goals and 41 points in 75 games since turning pro in 2019. This year has been a big time struggle for the Czech-born Lauko, too, with a Providence-worst minus-19 rating and a career-worst 4.2 shooting percentage to his name through 30 appearances this season. Lauko, who turns 22 later this month, is also on the wrong end of a numbers game as a left-shot forward.

  • BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – OCTOBER 02: Zach Senyshyn #19 of the Boston Bruins looks on during the third period of the preseason game against the New York Rangers at TD Garden on October 02, 2021 in Boston. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    Zach Senyshyn

    Another first-round pick who wants out of Boston, Zach Senyshyn is dying for an opportunity he doesn’t see himself getting with the Bruins. At this point, it feels obvious that the Bruins aren’t going to give it to him (they’ve decided to play natural left wings at right wing multiple times this season), especially with Senyshyn in the midst of a career year in Providence, with career-highs in goals (17), points (29), power-play goals (5), and game-winning goals (4) through 45 games played.

  • BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – FEBRUARY 12: Ilya Kovalchuk #17 of the Montreal Canadiens defends John Moore #27 of the Boston Bruins during the third period at TD Garden on February 12, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    John Moore

    An underrated weapon this deadline: Cap space possessed by teams like the Sabres and Coyotes. The Sabres are currently slated to have almost $40 million in cap space this summer, while the Coyotes will have nearly $44 million. The 31-year-old Moore, meanwhile, is in the fourth year of a five-year deal that pays him $2.75 million per season, and has spent the majority of the season in Providence as a cap-saving casualty for the Bruins. Moore has totaled one goal and six points in 11 games with the P-Bruins, and could be a potential acquire-and-flip-next-year talent for a team like Arizona or Buffalo.

  • VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA – JUNE 21: John Beecher poses for a portrait after being selected thirtieth overall by the Boston Bruins during the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft at Rogers Arena on June 21, 2019 in Vancouver. (Kevin Light/Getty Images)

    Johnny Beecher

    Boston’s first-round pick from the 2019 NHL Draft, Beecher, a 6-foot-3 left-shot center, has recorded 19 goals and 37 points in 76 games at the University of Michigan over the last three seasons. Beecher’s ceiling remains a considerable mystery, as he hasn’t looked close to matching his 16-point output as a freshman, but is obviously buried down the depth chart on what’s a simply stacked Wolverine forward grouping in terms of high-end talent.

  • NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 28: Fabian Lysell #68 of the Boston Bruins skates against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on September 28, 2021 in New York City. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    Fabian Lysell

    The B’s lucked into something special with 2021 first-round pick Fabian Lysell. Drafted by the Bruins with the No. 21 overall pick, Lysell has dazzled in his first year with the WHL’s Vancouver Giants, with 18 goals and 42 points through 37 games. A player with a tremendous blend of speed and skill, Lysell should be damn near untouchable for the Bruins, if only because he possesses a skillset that the Bruins severely lack in their organizational ranks. But he’s certainly a name that other teams will ask about, especially if the Bruins are going to take a home run swing or two this deadline.

  • MONTREAL, QC – NOVEMBER 05: A detail of the Boston Bruins logo is seen during the second period against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on November 5, 2019 in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

    Mason Lohrei

    Drafted by the Bruins with the No. 58 overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, Lohrei’s development has been an interesting one. At one point considered a reach by the Bruins, Lohrei has quickly developed into a player that certainly looks NHL capable, and has recorded four goals and 29 points, along with a plus-16 rating, in 31 games as a freshman at Ohio State. Scouts have raved about Lohrei’s skating game, and with a 6-foot-4 frame to go with that, the B’s are going to fight like hell to keep him out of any sort of trade talks this deadline and beyond. Lohrei and Lysell may very well be the only non-pro untouchables they have.

  • BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 25: Boston Bruins General manager Don Sweeney speaks to the media during the 2016 NHL Draft on June 25, 2016 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Jen Fuller/Getty Images)

    BUFFALO, NY – JUNE 25: Boston Bruins General manager Don Sweeney speaks to the media during the 2016 NHL Draft on June 25, 2016 in Buffalo, New York. (Jen Fuller/Getty Images)

    2022 first-round pick

    The Bruins have traded a first-round pick in a deadline deal on two separate occasions under Sweeney’s watch, with Sweeney including a first-round pick in the team’s 2018 deal for the Rangers’ Rick Nash and then again in 2020 in a deal for Anaheim’s Ondrej Kase. You can understand why the B’s would prefer not to part with a first-round pick — the pick sent to New York in the Nash deal was later used in a move-up deal that ultimately ended with K’Andre Miller in Manhattan while the Ducks selected right winger Jacob Perreault with the No. 27 overall pick in 2020 — but sometimes it’s the price of a bidding war.

    For the Bruins, their willingness to part with a first-round pick may very well come down to who and what they’re getting in return. I can’t see Sweeney moving with a first-round pick for a pure rental, but if it’s a player who is under 30 and has years left on their deal? That makes more sense. After all, a win-now team operating within this tight window could use that player more than they could use a late first-round pick who’s probably unlikely to crack an NHL roster within the next two years.

  • BOSTON, MA – JUNE 24: Boston Bruins fans hold a giant flag with the Boston Logo on it prior Game Six of the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks at TD Garden on June 24, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Elsa/Getty Images)

    2022 second-round pick

    Second-round picks have been common trade fodder for the Bruins under Sweeney. They moved a second (and a fourth) in a 2016 trade for Lee Stempniak, did the same in a 2019 deal for Marcus Johansson, and parted with a second-round pick to bring Taylor Hall to Boston from Buffalo last deadline.

  • BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – MAY 26: General Manager Don Sweeney of the Boston Bruins speaks during Media Day ahead of the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden on May 26, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    2022 third-round pick

    Another popular round frequently traded by Sweeney for deadline help, the B’s traded their 2022 third-round pick in last year’s deadline deal for Mike Reilly, but they do possess the Flames’ third-round selection in 2022 as a result of last summer’s Daniel Vladar trade. The Bruins have moved a third-round pick at or near the deadline on three separate occasions, parting with such an asset in their 2016 deadline trade for John-Michael Liles, in 2018 for Nick Holden, and for Reilly last year.

2022 NHL trade deadline: Just what do the Bruins need for a Stanley Cup run?

  • Feb 8, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak (88) celebrates his goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins with left wing Taylor Hall (71) during the first period at TD Garden. (Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports)

    Second-line center

    For most, this seems to be the go-to need. That’s understandable, really. Having the one-two punch of Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci for over a decade made the Bruins a constant threat for a deep postseason run, not to mention drastically changed our expectations for what a second-line center’s production should look like.

    And it’s no secret that most, if not all, champions are deep down the middle.

    In the now, the Bruins have plugged Erik Haula between Taylor Hall and David Pastrnak on Boston’s second line.

    It’s a trio that’s certainly done their part — the B’s have outshot opponents their opponents 135-117 and scored 14 goals in 242 minutes and change of five-on-five play — but is it sustainable for the stretch run?

    That’s a question that could make the difference between a first-round exit or deep run, and despite the success, it’s a completely fair question. This line has produced, but they’ve been fed offensive-zone opportunities, and David Pastrnak has been the hottest scorer in the NHL since the start of the new year. If that dries up, however, what happens to that line? Is Haula the guy you could ask to become the line’s driver? The Bruins had that hope for Taylor Hall when they started the year with Charlie Coyle in the middle of their second line, and the results were certainly a mixed bag.

    (Haula, for what it’s worth, served as the Golden Knights’ second-line center during their run to the 2018 Stanley Cup Final, so this isn’t a totally foreign concept to him. It’s just a matter of whether or not you believe in him successfully turning back the clock and being that guy for the Black and Gold until the wheels fall off.)

    This is also a good deadline to need some center help, with players such as the Flyers’ Claude Giroux, San Jose’s Tomas Hertl, and Vancouver’s J.T. Miller among those rumored to be available.

  • BOSTON, MA – JANUARY 18: Charlie McAvoy #73 of the Boston Bruins wears a ceremonial patch during the second period in honor of former Boston Bruins player Willie O’Ree as he has his No. 22 jersey retired prior to the game. (Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)

    Another impact defenseman

    Consider this the 1A or 1B of the Bruins’ deadline wishlist. This need goes beyond the deadline, too.

    It’s been almost two years since the Bruins made the decision to move on from Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug. Now, we can debate those players’ long-term fits with the Bruins both at that point in time and in the present, but it was a decision that forced the Bruins to replace about 40 minutes of left-side, top-four defense performance per night.

    The Bruins’ internal solution was Matt Grzelcyk, and their external solutions to this point have been 2021 trade deadline addition Mike Reilly and 2021 free agent signing Derek Forbort. All three have been fine, but it’s made the Bruins’ defensive mix a more matchup-dependent grouping, when what the Bruins could use more than anything else is another defenseman they can throw over the boards against any opponent without worry.

    Potential options to address that include Anaheim’s Hampus Lindholm (if the Ducks and Lindholm are unable to come to terms on an extension) as well as Arizona’s Jakob Chychrun. But, expect to pay a bounty and a half.

  • BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – NOVEMBER 09: Logan Shaw #20 of the Ottawa Senators defends Craig Smith #12 of the Boston Bruins during the first period at TD Garden on November 09, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    A natural right wing

    Earlier this week, the agent for Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk made it clear that his client still wants out. That request remains in effect with DeBrusk skating with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand on Boston’s top line, Pastrnak and Hall developing chemistry on line two, and Craig Smith looking like a potential game-changer on line three.

    If the Bruins are to accommodate DeBrusk’s request by the deadline and want to leave the second and third lines untouched, they’ll need another wing to slot to the right of Bergeron and Marchand. The preference for the Bruins there should be a natural right wing like Smith and Pastrnak, too.

    Now, it’s worth mentioning that the Bruins do have an in-house option with Oskar Steen down in Providence. Steen had his moments with the Big B’s this season, and has totaled two goals and six points in 19 appearances with Boston this season, but B’s coach Bruce Cassidy made a somewhat passing comment that he wasn’t sure that Steen was ready to skate in a top-line role just yet. Bringing him back into the mix would likely force the Bruins to reconfigure either their second or third line, so again, if they want to leave everything else as is, an external option is their best bet.

    The good news: Just about every player given a real chance to skate with Bergeron and Marchand has produced.

  • BOSTON, MA – DECEMBER 21: Charlie McAvoy #73 of the Boston Bruins celebrates Brandon Carlo #25 after scoring the game winning goal during a shoot out against the Winnipeg Jets at TD Garden on December 21, 2017. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    Right-side defensive depth

    It was a little surprising that the Bruins decided not to address their right-side defensive depth this past offseason following Kevan Miller’s retirement, the Kraken’s selection of Jeremy Lauzon (a left shot who could and did play the right side on a somewhat regular basis), and Steven Kampfer’s move to the KHL.

    The Bruins instead went with an internal competition. That competition has since become a war of attrition. John Moore has been up and down with the big club this season due to cap concerns, Jakub Zboril suffered a season-ending knee injury back in December, and Urho Vaakanainen is dealing with what sounds like post-concussion woes. That’s left Connor Clifton as the last line of right-shot defense behind McAvoy and Carlo on the B’s depth chart.

    By now, we know that McAvoy is going to take on a ton of work and that Carlo is going to be asked to be the right side’s defensive stopper whenever the Bruins have to come up with a big stop in their own end. But the Bruins could certainly use a complementary presence on the right side of that third pairing.

    If that player could have a little Kevan Miller to his game (think a physical player with a decent skating game), that could go a long way for keeping the rest of the defense fresh and the rest of the Black and Gold skaters upright.

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