Boston Bruins Forward Quietly Making an Impact

OTTAWA, ON - DECEMBER 27: Boston Bruins Forward Taylor Hall (71) skates in the offensive zone during third period National Hockey League action between the Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators on December 27, 2022, at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, ON, Canada. (Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Boston Bruins have gotten off to a historical start this season. When looking across their roster, there are plenty of reasons for their torrid start to the campaign.

Some of these reasons for success include the Bruins having an elite-level scorer. David Pastrnak sits near the league leaders in goals and points.

Another obvious observation is the strong goaltending that Boston has been getting from Linus Ullmark. In addition, Patrice Bergeron has continued to play at an elite level on both sides of the ice.

However, one player that may get overlooked on the Bruins roster is former Hart Trophy winner and 2010 1st overall draft pick Taylor Hall.

Boston Bruins Forward Taylor Hall Quietly Making an Impact

A Steal of a Deal

When general manager Don Sweeney acquired Taylor Hall ahead of the 2021 NHL Trade Deadline, the Bruins were looking to add to their scoring depth as they pushed for the playoffs. Sweeney was the clear winner as the gifted left winger Hall and fourth-line checker Curtis Lazar came to the Bruins in exchange for Anders Bjork and a second-round pick.

When looking back at the deal, the Bruins fleeced the Buffalo Sabres. Bjork has totalled just eight goals and six assists while playing in 74 games. The left winger is playing in the AHL with the Rochester Americans this season and has four goals and four assists in 18 games.

With the second-round pick from the Bruins, Buffalo selected Aleksandr Kisakov, who has yet to play an NHL game. This season, the Russian forward has three goals and two assists in 20 games with the Americans.

Bruins Forward’s Production Elevates in Boston

At the time of the trade, Hall had posted just two goals and 17 assists in 37 games with the Sabres. However, Hall immediately found chemistry with longtime Bruins center David Krejci as he posted eight goals and six assists for 14 points in 16 games.

The Bruins’ hopes for a lengthy playoff run were cut short in the second round. The New York Islanders defeated Boston in six games. In addition, Hall’s production tailed off during the playoffs, as he was limited to three goals and two assists in 11 playoff contests.

After the playoffs, Hall was set to become an unrestricted free agent. However, he expressed a desire to remain in Boston rather than testing the open marketĀ  “After playing in Boston for that period of time, I knew that was where I wanted to play.” Hall announced shortly after re-signing with the Bruins. The Bruins signed Hall to a four-year, $24 million contract extension worth $6 million per season.

There was plenty of optimism about having Hall play alongside Krejci for an entire season. However, Krejci opted to leave Boston and played the 2021-22 season with the Olomouc HC of the Czech Extraliga.

Hall instead developed a new chemistry playing alongside Pastrnak for much of the season. He posted 20 goals and 41 assists for 61 points in 81 games during his first season with the Bruins.

The 61 points marked Hall’s highest single-season output since he put up a career-high 93 points with the New Jersey Devils in 2017-18. Hall won the Hart Trophy as league MVP that season.

Boston Bruins Forward Having Quiet but Vital Impact

As previously outlined, the Bruins have been experiencing a historical start this season. Taylor Hall’s play this season has been a quiet reason for Boston’s early success.

With Krejci returning to Boston on a one-year deal, head coach Jim Montgomery has many options for his forward group. Hall has spent time alongside Krejci and Pastrnak on the second line. However, he has also been deployed alongside center Charlie Coyle on the Bruins’ third line.

While the third-line role may discern some players with Taylor Hall’s stature, the Bruins left winger has taken it in stride. With Hall flanking Coyle, the Bruins have three lines that provide high-scoring threats to opposing teams.

Hall currently ranks third on the team in scoring, as he has notched 13 goals and 14 assists for 27 points.

Coyle has been notably more productive with the former MVP on his wing. He has nine goals and nine assists in 34 games. Hall’s goals have also been timely for the Bruins, leading Boston with five game-winning goals this season.

Hall also plays well on the game’s defensive side as he is becoming a stronger two-way player. Since coming to Boston, he often demonstrates excellent effort on the back check. This may not have been a considerable part of his game in the past.

He’s tied for fourth among Bruins players with 15 takeaways. He also ranks fifth with a 55.5 Corsi-for percentage despite fewer offensive zone starts than Bergeron, Marchand, and Pastrnak, who each sit ahead of him in the category.

A Look Ahead at Bruins Forward Taylor Hall’s Production

With Hall posting 27 points through 34 games, he is on pace for a 65-point season. In addition, he’s on pace to score 31 goals this season, a mark he has only eclipsed once before. While he may no longer be a Hart Trophy candidate, Bruins’forward Taylor Hall is making his presence felt for the club currently sitting on top of the NHL standings.

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