With the Trade deadline now less than 24 hours away it’s been a little too quiet around the Bruins. Which teams could be potential trade partners and what players could management target? With so many injuries and players moving around the lineup, it’s hard to say exactly what the team needs. Obviously, depth plays a huge role in the playoffs but I think we can all agree we want a little more. So here are some trade partners the Bruins could look to make a deal with.
The North Division Trade Partners
The Flames are currently fifth in the North Division with a 17-21-3 record. That is good for 37 points six behind Montreal for the last playoff spot. The first potential target from this is Derek Ryan. The 34-year-old center/rightwing has just this season left on his deal paying 3.125 million dollars. In 28 games this season Ryan has only scored 6 points. However, he did have back-to-back 38 point seasons in 17-18 and 18-19. With a career faceoff winning percentage of over 55% he could provide some decent depth at center if guys get hurt.
Now for a bigger name in Andrew Mangiapane. Andrew is just 24 plays left-wing and has two years left on a deal playing 2.425 million dollars. So far this season in 41 games he has scored 12 goals and 10 assists for 22 points. Last season in 68 games Andrew scored 32 points with 17 goals. His ice time has taken a significant jump going from just under 14 minutes a game to 17 but the team around him has taken a step back. His production has him on pace for a 24 goal 44 point season. Mangiapane won’t come cheap, but his growing game and the term left to make that price easier to deal with. As a second line left-wing Andrew could provide the spark this offense needs.
Vancouver has had a roller-coaster season and now are 16-18-3 8 points behind Montreal. COVID has currently shut the team down over the last few weeks. Not knowing which players have been affected the worst makes any deal a challenge. For the article let’s assume the players named recover and are back at 100% soon. First up from this is Braintree, MA native Adam Gaudette. Gaudette is a 24-year-old center with this season left making 950k. In the 19-20 season, Gaudette showed flashes of some pretty good play scoring 12 goals and 33 points in just 59 games. This season has been a struggle with Gaudette only scoring 7 points in 33 games.
Vancouver as a whole has struggled this season so maybe a return home turns his game around. While listed as a center this trade would see Gaudette shift to the right-wing. This season Adam has only won 43.5% of his faceoffs which is an improvement over the 41.2% he won last year. The playoffs are about puck possession and winning faceoffs is where that all starts. Considering he is a struggling soon-to-be RFA on a cap-strapped team the cost shouldn’t be too high.
The next possible target is the first defensemen on the list, Jordie Benn. Benn is listed as being able to play either side but he is a left shot. He is also in the last year of his deal-making 2 million dollars. Benn has played 31 games this year scoring 9 points but is a +5. That +5 rating is first on the Canucks. For his career, Benn has played in 548 games including 20 playoff games. Jordie also brings the physical play we all love and is almost a guaranteed 100 hits and blocked shots.
The West Division Trade Partners
Arizona is an interesting team to watch. Just one point out of the playoffs with a 19-17-5 record, however, ownership has made it very apparent they want to cut costs. With that in mind, the first name is Alex Goligoski. The 35-year-old left-shot defenseman is in the final year of his deal-making 5.475 million dollars. Alex doesn’t have the same offensive game he once did with just 11 points in 41 games this season.
For his career however he has scored over 30 points 9 times. Goligoski has also been a workhorse only averaging under 22 minutes once in the last 11 seasons. He also isn’t afraid to block shots with over 130 blocks each of the last 7 seasons. Alex has also thrown at least 79 hits in each of those 7 seasons. A veteran of 953 games including playoffs he brings the experience and leadership the Bruins defense needs.
Next on the list is Jason Demers. The 32-year-old right shot defenseman is in the final year of his deal-making 4.5 million dollars. This season has not been easy for Demers with just 3 points in 28 games. Demers only has one 30 point season to his name and has never been a very physical player. What he does bring is 686 regular-season games of experience along with 61 playoff games.
The LA Kings are still a rebuilding team even though they are only six points out of a playoff spot. With young kids coming up soon they need to make room for the future of the franchise. With that in mind, the first name here is Adrian Kempe. The 24-year-old left-wing has 2 years left on his deal making 2 million per year. In 40 games this season Kempe has scored 13 goals and 22 points. Adrian isn’t afraid to throw some hits either with 91, 86, and 71 hits the last 3 seasons. His goal-scoring talent physical play and extra years left to make him an ideal target.
Next up is Alex Iafallo a 27-year-old left-wing. Iafallo is in the last year of his deal with a cap hit of 2.425 million dollars. This season in 39 games he has scored 11 goals and 25 points. In 70 games last season Iaffallo had career highs across the board with 17 goals 26 assists for 43 points. Alex has spent most of this year as the left-wing on the King’s top-line and hasn’t disappointed. Iafallo would be a significant offensive addition to the Bruins middle six.
The Central Division Trade Partners
While Dallas has started to push for that final playoff spot they are still 5 points back of the resurgent Predators. Dallas could look to sell off a player they don’t want to lose in the expansion draft for nothing. That player could be defenseman Jamie Oleksiak. At 6’7 255 Oleksiak could bring some much-needed size and strength to Boston. The left-shot defenseman is in the final year of his deal with a 2.1375 million dollar cap hit. This season in 39 games Jamie has 107 hits with 60 blocks playing just over 20 minutes a game. Just think of the shutdown pair of Carlo and Oleksiak. Oleksiak has played 352 regular-season games and thrown 804 hits in that time. You want to clear the crease he’s your guy.
Chicago like Dallas is still fighting for that final playoff spot sitting just 2 points behind Nashville. Unlike Dallas Chicago already told their fans this was a rebuilding year. Yes, the young guys have stepped up but it’s not out of the question for them to be sellers at the deadline. One name the Bruins should kick the tires on is Nikita Zadorov. Another towering left-shot defenseman Zadorov is a pending RFA making 3.2 million dollars this year. He also turns 26 on April 16th. Just like Oleksiak Zadorov isn’t coming here to score he’s coming to punish opposing players. In 398 career regular-season games Zadorov has an incredible 1185 hits. Again at 6’6 235 pairing him with Carlo would be an impressive shutdown pairing. In 42 games this season Zadorov has 7 points 139 hits and 57 blocked shots while playing just under 19 minutes per game.
You probably noticed the East Division is missing from the trade partners list. That’s because I don’t see the teams chasing Boston trading with them. Even Buffalo is back in the Bruins division next season so any deal between them is very unlikely. I also tried to avoid the bottom-feeding teams like Detroit Anaheim and Ottawa because everyone knows to keep an eye on them. I would also like to add a pair of wild cards that probably won’t be moved but could be.
First is Tanner Pearson who just signed a 3-year extension in Vancouver worth 3.25 million per year. The second is Mass native Conor Garland. Garland should be a cornerstone of Arizona’s offense for years to come. However, the pending RFA might be too costly for ownership and could replenish the draft picks taken away by the league. I’m not saying we are trading for these guys while some have been connected to the team in the past. But any of them would be welcome additions that would improve this team. Feel free to add any trade partners you think could work in the comments. As always stay safe out there and hopefully I’ll be introducing you to some new players very soon until then LET’S GO BRUINS.
Featured image courtesy of NHL.com.