Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug is less than a year away from unrestricted free agency. A premier puck mover in a game based on mobility and skill, Krug is an extremely valuable player. Considering how most free agent contracts are over-payments, Krug is in line for a big payday should he hit the market next July.
A strong season for Krug will only help his case for a massive contract. Another 50 point campaign could very well price Krug out of the Bruins’ range. He’s reliable, he’s a leader and he fits the modern game perfectly. This is a very good player that has developed in a top-four defenseman and elite powerplay weapon with the Bruins.
He’s got a lot to play for from a personal standpoint in 2019-20. He’s also going to have a perfect opportunity to have a monster year and cash in next July. Krug is Boston’s best offensive defenseman and will be put in positions to succeed.
Krug played in 64 games for the Boston Bruins a season ago. He was the club’s top offensive defenseman and saw a steady diet of powerplay time. He played quite a bit with Brandon Carlo on the second pairing. Expect that duo to reunite this coming season.
Krug finished with 53 points, the second-best mark of his career. It was also the third consecutive season where he eclipsed the 50 point plateau. His six goals were the second least of his career, however, and were eight less than his career-high 14 in 2017-18. Krug also finished with a -2 rating, the second time in three years where he was a minus player in goal differential.
Possession wise, Krug had the puck going in the right direction. He posted a Corsi For of 54.9% at five-on-five. That was considerably better than most Bruins, evident by his +3.5% Corsi Rel. His 54.7% Fenwick For at five-on-five was also positive relative to his teammates.
Krug can expect to be the anchor again on the second pairing with Carlo in 2019-20. He can also expect a major role on the powerplay, potentially on the Bruins’ top unit. Another season of heavy offensive zone starts is likely in his future as well. Krug started 66.6% of his shifts in the offensive zone a season ago.
What makes him so dangerous is his combination of speed and skill from the blueline. Krug is arguably the quickest defenseman on the Bruins, which allows him to transition the puck up ice. He can both carry the puck and dish off with a crisp first pass, giving the Bruins multiple transition options. His offensive instincts are off the charts, and he’s as lethal as some forwards in the offensive zone.
Krug is a weapon. On a team with so many offensive options upfront, Krug will benefit. His sublime passing skills are a perfect fit for forwards like Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. Someone has to get the puck. It will be Krug in 2019-20.
Official Prediction: 77 GP, 11 Goals, 46 Assists, 57 Points, +2, 21:02 TOI