Boston Bruins Jake DeBrusk has been coming up clutch under new head Jim Montgomery this season. Elevating his game to levels previously not attained, DeBrusk is enjoying the best season of his six-year NHL career. With the beginning of a new year upon us, we look at the incredible turnaround the Bruins’ forward has had over the past calendar year.
Boston Bruins Jake Debrusk Having a Career Year
DeBrusk Regains Scoring Touch
DeBrusk’s play has reached new heights this season, and he currently sits second in goals for the Bruins with 16. In comparison, through 36 games played last season, the 2015 14th overall pick had scored just six goals. He is now on pace to score 36 goals this season which would shatter his previous career-high of 27.
It is almost unbelievable that the young forward wanted out just a year ago, asking General Manager Don Sweeney for a trade. Whether admitted or not, there appeared to be tension between former Head Coach Bruce Cassidy and DeBrusk as the latter found himself watching from the pressbox as a healthy scratch at times last season.
Cassidy should get some credit for initially deciding to play DeBrusk alongside Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand last season. The promotion to the Bruins’ top line initiated DeBrusk’s regained scoring touch. He scored 16 goals and nine assists to finish the season.
Bruin’s Jake Debrusk Steals the Show
The 26-year-old stole the show on the NHL’s biggest stage, scoring both of Boston’s goals at this year’s Winter Classic. With the Bruins trailing the Pittsburgh Penguins 1-0 after a somewhat sluggish 40 minutes played, DeBrusk evened the score 7:46 into the third period. As the period wore on, it began to look like overtime would be required to find the winner. However, DeBrusk had other plans as he pounced on a rebound from a Taylor Hall net drive and sealed the deal for the Bruins.
🚨 JAKE DEBRUSK 🚨
His second of the game gives the @NHLBruins a #WinterClassic victory! pic.twitter.com/8ZTeaqxbGH
— NHL (@NHL) January 2, 2023
“It’s Fenway Park, Winter Classic and something that you dream of doing. You dream of scoring in the Winter Classic” DeBrusk told reporters following the game.
The strong showing at Fenway Park further emphasizes the Bruins’ new bench boss’s impact on him. While his game-winning performance was impressive, his play throughout the season has been excellent.
Career-Highs Across the Board
The hiring of Montgomery marked a fresh start of sorts for DeBrusk as he rescinded his trade request over the summer. He has earned the trust of Montgomery as he is seeing a career-high average time on ice of 17:08. He has also been a heavier presence on the forecheck and has 51 registered hits in just 36 games, putting him on pace for 116 hits over 82 games.
His current career-high in hits is 7o, coming back in his rookie season with Boston. Looking at nearly every stat across the board, DeBrusk is closing in or on pace to break a career-high. This includes:
- Goals (on pace for 36, previous high of 27)
- Assists (on pace for 32, previous high of 27)
- Points (on pace for 68, previous high of 43)
- Powerplay Goals (five scored through 36 games, previous high of 8)
- Powerplay Assists (six to date, previous high of 7)
- Shots (on pace for 248, previous high of 184)
- Blocks (on pace for 32, previous high of 26)
- Hits (on pace for 116, previous high of 70)
- Plus/Minus (currently 15, previous high 13)
DeBrusk also boasts great possession metrics this season as he has a 73.9%CF/60 (Corsi For Per 60), an oiGF/60(On-Ice Goals For/60 Minutes) of 5.3, and an oiGA/60 (On-Ice Goals Against/60 Minutes) of just 1.8.
Boston Bruins Jake DeBrusk Evolving Into a Game Breaker
Playing alongside Bruins’ Captain Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand has benefited DeBrusk immensely. Bergeron was instrumental in developing Marchand’s outstanding all-around play and turning the one-time super pest into a leader for the Bruins team. DeBrusk’s growth isn’t going unnoticed either, as “He’s a lot tougher than people think. And he’s more committed than people are aware of. And because of those things, his game is growing. He’s matured, and you can see it.” Montgomery told reporters following his Winter Classic performance.
Quieting the Doubters
The 2015 draft will always loom over DeBrusk’s head as questions of the Bruins’ infamous three consecutive first rounds selections persistently arise. However, this season the Bruins forward is proving the naysayers wrong as he is developing into a game-breaking forward. As the Bruins continue to cement their lead at the top of the NHL standings, DeBrusk’s breakout campaign is yet another reason for the team’s success.
All stats for the article are provided by www.hockey-reference.com.