As I said in my last Torey Krug article I think Vince Dunn would be the perfect guy to fill Krug’s role. A young offensively gifted left-shot defenseman with a little more size and snarl to his game. Now we have all seen the Pietrangelo story of the Blues saying he should pursue free agency. However, that doesn't seem to be what Pietrangelo wants according to this tweet from Jeremy Rutherford. The tweet which links to an article from the Athletic has a quote from Pietrangelo. "You spend your whole career somewhere and to go through this, the real kind of hits that there’s a chance you're going to be wearing a different jersey one day. It’s kind of a tough pill to swallow when you have your heart somewhere".
That doesn't sound like a player who is fully committed to leaving in free agency. With the reported low initial offer of 7.7 million in salary, this might be an attempt to put pressure on the Blues. I still think Pietrangelo ends up in St. Louis. When they eventually work out that deal there will no longer be money to match an offer sheet on Dunn. At this point, the Blues still only have 5.15 million in cap space. With Bozak, Steen, and Schwartz all making over 5 million next season one of them could be moved to make space for Pietrangelo. Even if the Blues let Alex walk 5.15 million is not enough to keep Vince Dunn with other holes to fill as well.
Vince Dunn Early Years.
Vince Dunn was a highly touted prospect coming out of the OHL. A look at his Elite Prospects page will give you a brief scouting report heading into the 2015 draft. An offensive defenseman that sees the ice well and makes high-percentage plays. Very mobile, poised with the puck, and actively joins the rush. Is great with his stick possesses a good shot and makes seamless tape-to-tape passes. Not the biggest body, but can out-work bigger opponents for puck possession. All in all, an offensive defenseman who will thrive in a system where puck possession is key. Doesn't that sound exactly like what this team could use to replace Krug?
In his draft year, Vince Dunn played in 68 OHL games scoring 56 points with 18 goals and 38 assists. In the 2015 draft, he was a second-round pick taken 56th overall. His next season saw him back in the OHL where he played 52 games scoring 43 points with 12 goals and 31 assists. In the 2016-17 season, Dunn made the jump to the AHL In his first and only AHL season Vince Dunn played in 72 games scoring 45 points with 13 goals and 32 assists. While not NHL level competition those are some impressive numbers for a 20-year-old defenseman. Here is a little clip showing some of his toughness from his AHL days.
Vince Dunn In The NHL
Dunn made his NHL debut in the 2017-18 season at just 21 years old. He played in 75 games with the Blues scoring 24 points with 5 goals and 19 assists including 9 points on the power play. During his second season, Dunn played in 78 games scoring 35 points with 12 goals and 23 assists. A nice jump in production considering he only had 8 points on the power play. Dunn would then play in 20 playoff games helping the Blues win the Stanley Cup scoring 8 points along the way. Finally, we come to this season where Dunn played in all 71 games but only scored 23 points his lowest total so far. He still scored 9 goals but only had 14 assists and 10 points on the power play. A big reason for the dip in production was his ice time.
Dunn was sixth among defensemen in ice time for the use of playing just over 16 minutes a game. Being stuck behind some big names in Pietrangelo Parayko and even Faulk this season really prevented his game from progressing. An interesting stat for Dunn this season was his defensive point shares. A point share is how many points a player contributed to his team with his play. For example, David Pastrnak had 13.2 point shares so he contributed 13 points in the standings to the Bruins with his play. This season Vince Dunn finished with 3.5 defensive point shares only 0.1 behind Parayko. By comparison, Krug only finished with 2.3 defensive point shares this season. Click here for a clip of some NHL highlights for Dunn. Finally here is one more fun clip to get the old-time Bruins fans fired up.
while Vince Dunn might not have the same offensive impact as Krug just yet he's still only 23. His added size and the visible toughness in some of those clips will be welcome additions to this team. With a 35 point season all ready to his name, Dunn clearly has some offensive potential. A spot in our top 4 and quarterbacking the top power-play unit would see him easily surpass that total. Obviously with an offer sheet the Bruins would be sending a draft pick to the Blues.
If the Bruins were to offer Vince Dunn a four-year deal worth 4.3 million dollars per year it would only cost our 2021 second-round pick. At that number, the Blues and other potential teams would be hard-pressed to match or beat our offer. Giving up a second-round pick for a top 4 defenseman with 50 point upside seems like a steal to me. While Dunn is not the only potential Krug replacement available getting such a young and talented player for a low cost is too good to pass up. Feel free to comment your thoughts on this move or who you would like to see fill Krug’s role. Until next time stay safe out there and LET’S GO BRUINS!
Featured image courtesy of nhl.nbcsports.com.