The Boston Bruins may not be giving up on young defenseman Jakub Zboril just yet.
On Monday, two days after the Bruins’ season ended in a Game 7 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, Bruins GM Don Sweeney announced through the team that he’s signed Zboril to a two-year contract extension. The deal will be for an annual cap hit of $1.1375 million.
Zboril, 25, played 10 games for Boston in the 2021-22 season, logging three assists and averaging 15:44 of ice time. The left-shot defenseman is currently recovering from surgery to repair a torn ACL, which he underwent in December.
Since he was on track for unrestricted free agency, the extension saves the Bruins from losing the former first-round pick to the open market, and keeps a young, skilled defenseman around at an affordable number. Zboril has yet to live up to his status as the 13th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, Sweeney’s first selection as GM. But the B’s could have used him for depth on the left side of the defense down the stretch and in the playoffs, when Hampus Lindholm and Matt Grzelcyk both had to miss time.
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The deal doesn’t necessarily mean Zboril is locked in for the next two years. Two years at just over $1.1 million annually is a tradable contract, for a 25-year-old defenseman who may yet have untapped upside. But since he’s recovering from a torn ACL, it’s unlikely anyone’s beating down Sweeney’s door for Zboril right now. The Bruins also signed Jake DeBrusk to an extension earlier in the season, but the winger still ostensibly prefers to be traded.
As for Sweeney himself, this move may raise eyebrows for those who thought Sweeney may not be around much longer as Bruins GM. The belief is that his contract is up, so his immediate and long-term future is unclear. But it appears that he’s proceeding with business as usual to start the 2022 off-season.
Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster 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? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @realmattdolloff. You can also email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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