Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins

BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 21: David Pastrnak #88 of the Boston Bruins celebrates his goal during the first period with teammate Patrice Bergeron #37 against the Colorado Avalanche at the TD Garden on February 21, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)

Bruins general manager Don Sweeney wisely got ahead of things back in January with his decision to sign pending unrestricted free agent Pavel Zacha to a four-year extension.

Zacha has rewarded Sweeney’s in-season faith with a post-extension heater that has not slowed down even a little bit since the inked on the new deal dried, and if Sweeney’s smart, it’s just the start of more in-season work.

Because, boy, do the Bruins have a ton of players in need of new deals.

“Every situation is unique [and] every player is unique,” Sweeney said back in January when asked about the Zacha deal being the start of more in-house work between now and the offseason. “In the situation Pav was in, had an opportunity to take a one-year and turn it into four extra. Everybody else, we will continue to communicate with, and if the opportunity presents itself, and with the support of the organization, between Cam and Charlie and Mr. Jacobs, we’re very fortunate that when we’re in positions to execute, we try and do it right, and we will continue to try to do that moving forward.”

Just who does that list include? Well, since you asked…

  • Forwards

    Aug 23, 2020; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak (88) celebrates with center David Krejci (46) and center Patrice Bergeron (37) after scoring a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period in game one of the second round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

    Aug 23, 2020; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak (88) celebrates with center David Krejci (46) and center Patrice Bergeron (37) after scoring a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period in game one of the second round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena. (John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports)

  • David Pastrnak

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 02: David Pastrnak #88 of the Boston Bruins warms up prior to a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic at Fenway Park on January 02, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – JANUARY 02: David Pastrnak #88 of the Boston Bruins warms up prior to a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic at Fenway Park. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

    This is the big one, and we all know it. When — and, yes, I’ll go with a ‘when’ opposed to an ‘if’ — David Pastrnak and the B’s come to terms on a new contract, it will be the richest deal in team history. And Pastrnak will be worth every cent.

    Through 51 games this year, the 26-year-old Pastrnak has tallied 38 goals and 72 points. Only Edmonton’s Connor McDavid (41 goals) has scored more goals than Pastrnak this season, while Pastrnak’s 72 points are the third-most in the NHL this season behind the Oilers’ one-two punch of McDavid (92) and Leon Draisaitl (76).

    Since signing his last contract in 2017, Pastrnak ranks fifth in goals (219) and 10th in points (453). Only Draisaitl has scored more power-play goals, and Pastrnak’s 1.16 points per game is 9th among players with at least 300 games played.

    The Bruins should be thrilled if Pastrnak’s next average annual value checks in under $12 million per year.

  • Patrice Bergeron

    Nov 19, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) is congratulated at the bench after scoring against the Chicago Blackhawks during the second period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

    Nov 19, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) is congratulated at the bench after scoring against the Chicago Blackhawks during the second period at TD Garden. (Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports)

    The future of Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron remains a mystery. Bergeron, who will turn 38 years old this summer, could walk away (perhaps that’s considerably more alluring should the Bruins win it all this spring), or he could truly be in a year-to-year mode and sign yet another one-year deal a la Zdeno Chara towards the end of his Boston run and like Joe Thornton did towards the end of his time in San Jose. For Chara and Thornton, and Bergeron this past summer, the idea was that the one-year deals allowed the team to build the best team possible and make another grind worth it.

    And though I do think there’s been a bit of a premature ‘this is it’ vibe around Bergeron this year, nobody knows what he’s going to do just yet. If Bergeron is back, it’s almost guaranteed that the Bruins would aim for another contract similar to the one he signed this past season, which came with a $2.5 million cap hit and another $2.5 million in bonuses.

  • David Krejci

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - OCTOBER 25: David Krejci #46 of the Boston Bruins looks on during the second period at TD Garden on October 25, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – OCTOBER 25: David Krejci #46 of the Boston Bruins looks on during the second period at TD Garden on October 25, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    A coaching change, the realization that he still has plenty more to give, and a chance to play with David Pastrnak on a full-time basis was enough to bring David Krejci back to Boston after a year back home in Czechia. But will it be enough to keep Krejci around beyond this season? It’d be nice, but I gotta say, Krejci’s return has felt like a one-and-done. He’s here on an insanely cheap contract (his cap hit is a bargain $1 million), and his family did not move back to Boston with him.

    But if he continues to perform at this level — Krejci has recorded 12 goals and 42 points through 46 games, and is paced to challenge his previous career-high of 73 points — the Bruins will almost certainly try to keep him around.

  • Nick Foligno

    Nov 12, 2022; Buffalo, New York, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Nick Foligno (17) before a faceoff during the first period against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports

    Nov 12, 2022; Buffalo, New York, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Nick Foligno (17) before a faceoff during the first period against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center. (Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports)

    It’s been one hell of a turnaround for Nick Foligno.

    Signed to a two-year deal worth $3.8 million per year back in 2021, the 35-year-old Foligno has rebounded from a disastrous 2021-22 campaign with seven goals and 20 points through 51 games.

    Foligno has also been a perfect fit for the B’s fourth line as a physical presence that can use his size and reach to keep plays alive and truly make the line more of a grind line than it was last season. That turnaround from a production standpoint currently has Foligno paced for what would be his best goal-scoring run since a 17-goal 2018-19 season, too, and it appears that a healthier Foligno does indeed have more to give at the NHL level.

    Now, with that said, the current cap structure of the B’s beyond this season indicates that Foligno is most likely a luxury that the Bruins cannot afford in 2023-24. But how badly does Foligno want to be here (he loves it in Boston) and how badly do the Bruins want to keep Foligno and his leadership qualities around? Depending on the haircut he’s willing to take, and how much he enjoys being here, perhaps there’s a value deal to be made between the sides.

    He’s another one whose Boston future may come down to how the team performs in the postseason.

  • Trent Frederic

    BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 31: Trent Frederic #11 of the Boston Bruins and Rasmus Dahlin #26 of the Buffalo Sabres push one another during the first period at the TD Garden on December 31, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)

    BOSTON, MA – DECEMBER 31: Trent Frederic #11 of the Boston Bruins and Rasmus Dahlin #26 of the Buffalo Sabres push one another during the first period at the TD Garden on December 31, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)

    One of countless Bruins embarking on a career year in a contract year this season, forward Trent Frederic‘s first half of the 2022-23 has set him up for a nice pay raise this summer.

    In action for 48 games this season, Frederic has already set new career-highs in goals (10), points (19), game-winning goals (four), and blocks (26). The 24-year-old has also established a strong grip on his third-line gig, and has really only been ‘demoted’ when lineup issues (an injury elsewhere) have called for it. And if Frederic’s first-half pace continues through the end of the season, the 2016 first-round pick will finish with a 16-goal and 31-point season.

    A pending restricted free agent, Frederic is arbitration-eligible this summer, and a qualifying offer to retain his RFA rights will cost over $1.1 million. Given the Bruins’ investment in Frederic from a time standpoint alone, it’ll be interesting to see where this one goes. Might just be the most interesting non-Pastrnak payday for Sweeney & Co. this summer.

  • Tomas Nosek

    Nov 25, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Tomas Nosek (92) gets set for a face-off during the first period against the Carolina Hurricanes at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports

    Nov 25, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Tomas Nosek (92) gets set for a face-off during the first period against the Carolina Hurricanes at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

    Boston’s fourth-line center, Tomas Nosek is in the second year of a two-year deal that comes with a $1.75 million cap hit, and will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

    Currently out of action with a foot injury, the 30-year-old Nosek has been a penalty-kill monster for a Boston penalty kill that ranks at the top of the league’s leaderboard this season.

    One of 24 NHL forwards to log at least 100 shorthanded minutes this season at the time of his lineup-exiting injury, Nosek ranked second in on-ice shots against per 60 (45.99) and second in on-ice goals against per 60 (4.87). Nosek had also been on the ice for a league-low 16.23 high-danger chances against per 60 among that group of 24.

    Nosek’s 58.3 faceoff percentage ranked second on the Bruins behind Patrice Bergeron’s 62.7 percent at the time of his injury, which was Nosek’s second-highest single-season career figure, trailing only 2018-19’s 62.1 percent mark in Vegas. And one of 88 skaters to take at least 150 faceoffs in their own zone this season at the time of his injury, Nosek’s defensive faceoff success rate of 58.8 percent was the ninth-best among that group of 88.

    Worth noting that overextending yourself to retain bottom-six talent is often the quickest way for Cup contenders to run into salary cap trouble, and that’s been something that the Bruins have (for the most part) been good at avoiding throughout Sweeney’s tenure. But if the Bruins don’t have what they view as a suitable replacement for Nosek lined up, perhaps he’s someone who factors into their plans beyond this season.

  • Craig Smith

    Mar 12, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins center Craig Smith (12) reacts after scoring a goal against the Arizona Coyotes during the first period at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

    Mar 12, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins center Craig Smith (12) reacts after scoring a goal against the Arizona Coyotes during the first period at the TD Garden. (Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports)

    In the final year of a three-year, $9.3 million contract signed back in 2020, Craig Smith is staring down a jump into unrestricted free agency in the midst of a year that’s come with just three goals and nine points in 37 games played. Smith was also placed on waivers earlier this season, and went unclaimed. One thing you can say about Smith in an undeniably difficult year is that his nightly effort has not been an issue at any point.

    It’s also worth wondering if Smith finishes the year with the Bruins, as the B’s could look to include him as salary filler in any swing-for-the-fences kind of move at the 2023 NHL trade deadline.

    Smith has scored 32 goals and 77 points in his 165-game run with the Bruins.

  • Chris Wagner

    Oct 4, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Boston Bruins right wing Chris Wagner (14) against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports

    Oct 4, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Boston Bruins right wing Chris Wagner (14) against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center. (Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports)

    Another player who seems likely to hit the open market and land somewhere else next season, Walpole, Mass. native Chris Wagner has spent the last year and a half as a P-Bruins mainstay. In Providence, Wagner has put up 25 goals and 42 points over 98 games, including 10 goals and 15 points in 36 games this season.

    The 31-year-old Wagner, who joined the Bruins as a free agent in 2018 and signed a three-year extension in 2019 worth $1.35 million per year, has appeared in one NHL game this season, and racked up six hits in 12:36 of action in that outing.

    Overall, Wagner has recorded 20 goals and 34 points, along with 531 hits, in 186 games with Boston.

  • Jakub Lauko

    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. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    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)

    A third-round pick of the Bruins back in 2018, Jakub Lauko finally broke through into an NHL gig this year in a supporting role, and has performed admirably, with one goal and three points in eight NHL tilts to date. The numbers game (when the Bruins are healthy, anyway) has knocked the 22-year-old Lauko back down to Providence since Charlie McAvoy returned to action back in November, but it’s clear that the Bruins have a potential keeper on their hands.

    Lauko, who is making just over $764,000 on his current contract, is a restricted free agent this summer, and a qualifying offer to retain Lauko’s rights this summer is expected to cost just under $800,000.

  • Marc McLaughlin

    MONTREAL, QC - APRIL 24: Marc McLaughlin #26 of the Boston Bruins skates against the Montreal Canadiens during the second period at Centre Bell on April 24, 2022 in Montreal, Canada. The Boston Bruins defeated the Montreal Canadiens 5-3. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

    MONTREAL, QC – APRIL 24: Marc McLaughlin #26 of the Boston Bruins skates against the Montreal Canadiens during the second period at Centre Bell on April 24, 2022 in Montreal, Canada. (Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

    Another pending restricted free agent, Marc McLaughlin has recorded three goals, along with 15 shots and 17 hits, in 13 NHL games since joining the Bruins as a college free agent last year following a strong career at Boston College. The Billerica, Mass. native has spent the majority of his 2022-23 campaign with AHL Providence, and has tallied eight goals and 19 points in 42 games with the P-Bruins this year.

    McLaughlin’s qualifying offer would check in at over $870,000 this summer.

  • Joona Koppanen

    NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 05: Joona Koppanen #45 of the Boston Bruins skates against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on October 05, 2022 in New York City. The Bruins defeated the Rangers 5-4. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 05: Joona Koppanen #45 of the Boston Bruins skates against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on October 05, 2022 in New York City. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    A big-bodied Finnish center, Joona Koppanen has slid into the NHL picture this year thanks to a Tomas Nosek injury, and has given the Bruins a much-needed lefty center option. In action for five NHL games this year, the 6-foot-5 Koppanen has recorded one assist, racked up eight hits and two blocked shots, and won 56.8 percent of his faceoffs in his limited NHL showing with the Big B’s. A restricted free agent this summer, the Bruins would have to issue a qualifying offer just under $790,000 to retain Koppanen’s rights this offseason.

  • Defensemen

    Oct 27, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins center Charlie Coyle (13) is congratulated by left wing Brad Marchand (63), defenseman Derek Forbort (28) and defenseman Connor Clifton (75) after scoring against the Detroit Red Wings during the first period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports

    Oct 27, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins center Charlie Coyle (13) is congratulated by left wing Brad Marchand (63), defenseman Derek Forbort (28) and defenseman Connor Clifton (75) after scoring against the Detroit Red Wings during the first period at TD Garden. (Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports)

  • Connor Clifton

    Oct 15, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Connor Clifton (75) skates after the puck during the second period against the Arizona Coyotes at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports

    Oct 15, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Connor Clifton (75) skates after the puck during the second period against the Arizona Coyotes at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

    If there’s one player who has made a great case to almost certainly price himself out of Boston this offseason, it’s absolutely defenseman Connor Clifton.

    In the final year of a contract that comes with a modest $1 million cap hit, the 27-year-old has gone from depth defenseman to lineup fixture for the NHL-best Bruins, and has already established new career-highs in goals (four), assists (10), points (14), and blocked shots (76), and is averaging a career-high 18:28 of time on ice per game. And barring something insane, the 5-foot-11 Clifton will also establish new career-highs in plus-minus (he’s currently at plus-17) and hits (his 141 hits are just 15 shy of his previous career-high, set last year), and, again, will absolutely cash in this summer.

    Now the problem for Clifton, who will be an unrestricted free agent, is that the Bruins already have six defensemen signed to NHL contracts next year, and seven if you include Mike Reilly down in Providence. There’s just not a lot of space and/or cap space to pay Clifton what he’ll deserve on his next contract.

  • Anton Stralman

    Sep 27, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Anton Stralman (36) skates the puck ahead of New York Rangers left wing Dryden Hunt (29) during the second period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports

    Sep 27, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Anton Stralman (36) skates the puck ahead of New York Rangers left wing Dryden Hunt (29) during the second period at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

    Back in September, veteran defenseman Anton Stralman was debating between accepting the B’s offer of a professional tryout or retiring. He obviously opted for the former, and turned that tryout into a one-year deal with the Bruins.

    It’s been a straight-up weird time for Stralman since then, really, as he was placed on waivers (and cleared) back in November but has remained in Boston and around the team for the most part.

    Stralman, who has appeared in eight games for Boston this season and two for the P-Bruins since clearing waivers, is basically waiting for the postseason. In the playoffs, Stralman will be able to rejoin the Bruins without any salary cap or roster size restrictions keeping him ‘away’ from the team, and he’ll essentially be the Black and Gold’s eighth or ninth defenseman depending on what other moves the team makes between now and then.

    As far as the offseason goes, this is almost certainly the final ride for Stralman and his 938-game NHL career.

  • Jack Ahcan

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MARCH 10: Jack Ahcan #54 of the Boston Bruins skates against the Chicago Blackhawks during the first period at TD Garden on March 10, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – MARCH 10: Jack Ahcan #54 of the Boston Bruins skates against the Chicago Blackhawks during the first period at TD Garden on March 10, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    Down in Providence for all of 2022-23 to date, the 5-foot-8 Jack Ahcan has put up two goals and 21 points through 42 games for the P-Bruins this season. He’ll be an arbitration-eligible restricted free agent at the end of the year (his qualifying offer will be under $800,000), and headlines the list of P-Bruins defensemen who will need new contracts this summer. Other defensemen are on that list: Nick Wolff (arbitration-eligible restricted free agent), Kai Wissmann (arbitration-eligible restricted free agent), and Connor Carrick (unrestricted free agent).

    The Minnesota-born Ahcan has one goal, along with 10 hits and 10 blocked shots, in nine NHL games with Boston.

  • Goaltenders

    Nov 25, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo (25) hugs goaltender Jeremy Swayman (1) after defeating the Carolina Hurricanes in overtime at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports

    Nov 25, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo (25) hugs goaltender Jeremy Swayman (1) after defeating the Carolina Hurricanes in overtime at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports

  • Jeremy Swayman

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 01: Jeremy Swayman #1 of the Boston Bruins walks to the ice to practice for the 2023 Winter Classic at Fenway Park on January 01, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – JANUARY 01: Jeremy Swayman #1 of the Boston Bruins walks to the ice to practice for the 2023 Winter Classic at Fenway Park on January 01, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

    One of the sneaky-important contract negotiations on deck for Sweeney & Co. this offseason will come with a new deal for Bruins netminder and pending arbitration-eligible restricted free agent Jeremy Swayman.

    In the final year of his $925,000 per year entry-level deal, the 24-year-old Swayman has been the 1B to Linus Ullmark’s 1A and has posted a 12-3-4 record and .914 save percentage through 21 appearances this season. It’s really been a tale of two seasons for Swayman, and the Alaskan-born netminder has been on fire since a nightmarish loss in Arizona, with a 7-0-3 record and .932 save percentage in 10 decisions since then.

    If that continues down the stretch, Swayman could be looking at a substantial raise in 2023-24.

    A couple of recent contracts of note when it comes to Swayman’s potential extension in Boston: Spencer Knight and the Panthers came to terms on a three-year, $13.5 million extension (beginning in 2023-24) prior to the start of the season, while the Stars’ Jake Oettinger signed a three-year, $12 million contract last September. Of the two, Swayman is likely closer to Knight given the Bruins’ situation in net (Oettinger is thee guy in Dallas), but the money sounds about right for a B’s goaltender who’s posted a 42-20-7 record and .918 save percentage since jumping to the NHL in 2021.

  • Keith Kinkaid

    Nov 12, 2022; Buffalo, New York, USA; Boston Bruins goaltender Keith Kinkaid (30) during a stoppage in play against the Buffalo Sabres during the second period at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports

    Nov 12, 2022; Buffalo, New York, USA; Boston Bruins goaltender Keith Kinkaid (30) during a stoppage in play against the Buffalo Sabres during the second period at KeyBank Center. (Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports)

    Boston’s No. 3 netminder, the veteran Keith Kinkaid will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Signed for $750,000 at the NHL level (and $400,000 in the minors), you could argue that the Bruins have already gotten their money’s worth from the 33-year-old, who stopped 30-of-31 in a Nov. 12 win over the Sabres.

    In Providence, Kinkaid has posted a 7-7-3 record and .906 save percentage in 18 games played.

    The Bruins’ in-house development in goal, as well as the nature of No. 3 goaltenders in this league and their desire for pathways to NHL minutes, would indicate that either party could or will make the call to part ways after 2022-23.

  • Brandon Bussi

    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. The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Boston Bruins 5-4. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

    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. (Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

    The college free agent market has always been a strong resource for the Bruins. But 2022 may have provided the club with its crown jewel, as Brandon Bussi continues to look like a legitimate piece of the B’s future.

    A 6-foot-5 product of Western Michigan University, Bussi kicked his pro career off with a 3-2-0 record and .920 save percentage in five outings with the P-Bruins to close out last year, and has continued that run with an impressive 14 wins and .934 save percentage through 20 games with Providence this season. His 2022-23 was enough for the New York native to earn an appearance in the 2023 AHL All-Star Challenge in Quebec last weekend.

    The 24-year-old will be an arbitration-eligible restricted free agent this summer.

  • Kyle Keyser

    NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - OCTOBER 03: Kyle Keyser #85 of the Boston Bruins skates against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on October 03, 2022 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – OCTOBER 03: Kyle Keyser #85 of the Boston Bruins skates against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on October 03, 2022 in Newark, New Jersey. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    An undrafted signing back in 2017, the 23-year-old Kyle Keyser will be a restricted free agent at the end of the 2022-23 season. Health has been an issue for Keyser throughout his career (including a lengthy recovery from a concussion a few years back), but he’s been great for the P-Bruins when called upon this season, with a 6-0-2 record with a .931 save percentage and 1.88 goals against average in 10 AHL outings this season.

  • Michael DiPietro

    VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 9: Goalie Michael DiPietro #75 of the Vancouver Canucks readies to make a save during the team warm up prior to NHL action against the Calgary Flames on February, 9, 2019 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)

    VANCOUVER, BC – FEBRUARY 9: Goalie Michael DiPietro #75 of the Vancouver Canucks readies to make a save during the team warm up prior to NHL action against the Calgary Flames on February, 9, 2019 at Rogers Arena. (Rich Lam/Getty Images)

    Acquired from the Canucks in the Jack Studnicka trade, the 23-year-old Michael DiPietro (no relation to Rick DiPietro) has put up a 9-3-0 record and .914 save percentage in 12 games with the ECHL’s Maine Mariners since jumping to the B’s organization from Vancouver’s AHL affiliate, and will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season.

    Above the ECHL, the 2017 third-round pick has appeared in 74 career AHL games, with 39 victories and a .905 save percentage over that span. DiPietro has also appeared in three (largely forgettable) NHL games in his career.

    DiPietro would be due a qualifying offer of $882,000.

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