General Manager Don Sweeney is apparently starting a rebuild in Boston. After trading star defenseman Dougie Hamilton to the Calgary Flames, forward Milan Lucic is the next member of the Bruins to leave town, as he has been dealt to the Los Angeles Kings. The return is currently said to be the 13th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft and goaltender Martin Jones. More details as they come in.
Lucic is an LA King
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 26, 2015
The deal was in the works for some time, but was pending a medical report from Lucic to make sure he was ready to compete next season. With him being cleared, General Manager Dean Lombardi traded the 13th overall pick in this year’s draft in exchange for the rugged power-forward.
Lucic, 27, has played eight seasons in the NHL, all with the Bruins, and has hit the 20-goal mark twice and the 30-goal mark once. Last season, his numbers were down from the previous season and his ice-time was reduced, averaging his lowest time since the 2009-10 season. His production rate was lower than usual, but was on par with the rest of the team, which struggled to put up any production last season. Towards the tail-end of 2014-15, Lucic was playing on the team’s top line which included rookie David Pastrnak.
On the Kings team, Lucic’s power-forward game should translate well on a team that already has some big bodies that can hit. No word yet on what the deal could mean for a few players currently on the team who are either on expiring contracts or have seen their play and role on the team fall over the last few seasons, such as Dustin Brown.
Jones, 25, played 15 games for the Los Angeles Kings this season backing up Jonathan Quick. He posted a .906 save percentage and a 2.25 goals against average with a 4-5-2 record and three shutouts. He’s a restricted free agent.
For the Bruins, who already have a pair of first-round picks, their third first-round pick now gives them six in the first two rounds of this year’s draft. Whether they use all picks and stockpile some promising prospects or create a super package deal to move up into the top-5, or possibly top-3, one thing is for sure and that is that Sweeney is building the team in his vision. The only problem is how much different that vision could be from what Chiarelli had in mind.