The Boston Bruins are under the biggest of microscopes this week, in the wake of the team’s decision to part ways with head coach Bruce Cassidy. They are decidedly not going to be under a microscope for their most recent signing.
GM Don Sweneey announced through a team press release Tuesday that the Bruins have agreed to an entry-level contract with defenseman Kai Wissmann. The deal is for one year and an $825,000 cap hit.
Wissman is a native of Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany, and represented his country at the 2022 World Championships. He scored two goals and seven points in eight games for Team Germany.
The 25-year-old Wissman stands at 6-foot-4 and 207 pounds and shoots right. He’s spent the past seven seasons with the Berlin Polar Bears in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (“German Ice Hockey League”), a.k.a. the DEL.
Sweeney has recently prioritized adding size and depth on the right side of the defense. The Bruins acquired Josh Brown (6-foot-5, 221 pounds) as a rental from the Ottawa Senators ahead of the 2022 trade deadline. Wissmann ostensibly replaces that size in the reserves on defense.
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But, unless Wissmann turns out to be a late-blooming hidden gem, the Bruins may be in trouble if they have to play him for meaningful minutes in the 2022-23 season. There’s a good chance they’ll need him early on, with Charlie McAvoy expected to miss at least the first month of the season after undergoing arthroscopic shoulder surgery.
Perhaps Wissmann can provide similar value to Connor Clifton as the third right-shot defenseman, with more size. That’ll be something to watch at training camp. But we’re a long way away from knowing what Wissmann can provide at the NHL level, if anything.
Now, back to your regularly scheduled Sweeney scrutiny.