2022 Boston Bruins Trade Deadline Outlook

Boston Bruins Trade Deadline
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With the NHL trade deadline just weeks away, teams across the league are looking to load up for the playoffs or retool for next season. Fortunately for the Boston Bruins, they have a good idea of where their season is going. The Bruins are comfortably sitting in the second wild-card position in the Eastern Conference and odds are it will stay that way. However, qualifying for the playoffs is not enough for this team or its fans. Over the next couple of weeks, the Bruins will have to make tough decisions to improve this team’s chances of winning the Stanley Cup.

Outlook for 2022 Boston Bruins Trade Deadline

Another thing going in the Bruins’ favour is that they have two clear, distinct areas in need of improvement. First, the Bruins need to solidify their play up the middle with an upgraded center on the second line. The Bruins are no stranger to going after high-end offensive talent at the deadline, just ask Taylor Hall. Second, an addition to the left side of their defensive group would go a long way to improving this team’s defensive markers writ large. This need stems primarily from injury problems that have plagued Urho Vaakanainen and Jakub Zboril.

Although this sounds great on paper, the Bruins will need to make tough decisions to make these improvements. Prospects like Fabian Lysell, John Beecher, and Oskar Steen will have to be on the table for the Bruins to get these deals done. The Bruins should also think about off-loading Jake DeBrusk, who requested a trade earlier this season and will be an RFA this summer. The Bruins may also have to part with a future first-round draft pick. Despite having a relatively weak prospect pool, parting with a first-rounder might be necessary to fill these needs.

Here are two defensemen and two forwards the should be pursued by the Boston Bruins at the trade deadline:

Need #1: Second-Line Center

Best “Rental” Option: Max Domi, Columbus Blue Jackets

Domi will be an Unrestricted Free Agent this summer, but that may not matter to the Bruins. Despite having an up-and-down tenure in Columbus, Domi has shown lots of promise this year. After starting the season with nine points in eight games, Domi was plagued with injuries and a spell on the COVID-19 protocol list.

Taylor Hall benefitted last season from being surrounded by the Bruins’ talented forwards, and Domi could see the benefit if he joins the black and gold.

Best Option with Term: J.T. Miller, Vancouver Canucks

Miller would fit into the Bruins’ lineup like a glove, and the team would be happy to have him. He is a great two-way player; he has superior playmaking ability and the size to play the physical game that the Bruins expect.

Trading for Miller may require the Bruins to pay a king’s ransom, but it might be worth it for a center with term. Miller’s cap hit is at a team-friendly $5.25M and if the Bruins can work some magic, he would fit in nicely. Despite the recent success, Vancouver is on the outside of the Western Conference playoff picture. Knowing this, the Canucks may be looking to retool for the future. They could take some prospects or draft picks from Boston in exchange for this skilled center.

Need #2: Left-Shot Defenseman

Best “Rental” Option: Calvin de Haan, Chicago Blackhawks

De Haan is a strong, big-body defenseman who would slot in well on the Bruins’ left side. De Haan is fourth in the league in shots blocked (126) and is not afraid to be physical against the league’s best. With De Haan becoming a UFA this summer, odds are it won’t cost the Bruins much to acquire him. If De Haan can stay healthy, which is a big “if” considering his style of play, he would add immense value to the Bruins’ blueline.

Best Option with Term: Jakob Chychrun, Arizona Coyotes

Chychrun is one of the most talented young defensemen in the game today, and the Bruins should be salivating at the opportunity to acquire him. Chychrun would pair perfectly with Charlie McAvoy and give Boston a top-tier first pair. Despite having a rough season, 13 points in 41 games, Chychrun’s value is still sky-high. Arizona will require a substantial return in order for Boston to get their hands on him.

Fortunately for the Bruins, the Coyotes only have four forwards signed for next season. A deal for Chychrun would be an opportunity to offload disgruntled DeBrusk and several prospects. If the Bruins are serious about acquiring a top-tier defenseman, they need to become comfortable with losing at least a few high-level prospects to get the conversation going.

Overall Assessment

Bruins general manager Don Sweeney is no stranger to making trade deadline deals. Through six seasons as Bruins GM, Sweeney has made acquisitions at each deadline. Look for the Boston Bruins’ trade deadline to be active over the next couple of weeks. Given the aging core of the Bruins, this may be the last opportunity for a playoff run. Sweeney will do his best to improve this team between now and March 21st.

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