Could it be that the current NHL fiscal landscape is going to reduce what restricted free agent Jake DeBrusk will end up settling for with the Boston Bruins?
The 23-year-old DeBrusk remains the only unsigned player for the Bruins after the B’s inked RFAs Karson Kuhlman and Zach Senyshyn to deals this past week. Unfortunately, there’s been no real sign any progress has been made toward a new contract between DeBrusk and the Black and Gold. Some of that is about the Boston Bruins getting cost certainty on other contracts within a very tight, flat salary cap budget, but some of that is also directly attributable to an RFA landscape that’s clearly changed over the last few weeks.
It was thought that DeBrusk was going to be in line for a second contract in the $4-5 million AAV range based on comparable players from his draft class. The Bruins left winger has averaged 20 goals per season over his three-year NHL career and been a top-6 guy since breaking into the league, and players with goal-scoring on their resume usually get hefty bumps from their entry level deals.
DeBrusk wasn’t expected to reach the six-year, $33 million level that fellow 2015 first round pick Travis Konecny achieved with his second contract, nor was he going to get the three-year, $17.625 million deal that Brock Boeser settled for either. But DeBrusk was only a rung longer than those two peers with numbers not too far from Konecny’s when he signed his extension and then really exploded offensively with the Flyers.