Credit to Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk for stepping up his game, answering the critics and scoring in Thursday night’s win while playing one of his best all-around games in the last few seasons. The hope is that he’s discovered a path toward becoming a better all-around player and is taking that next step in his development as a 24-year-old top-6 winger at a crossroads.
But don’t expect to hear his name vanish from trade chatter anytime soon and his first appearance on the vaunted TSN “trade bait” this week is a testament to that. DeBrusk, Richard Rakell, Colin Miller, Jamie Oleksiak and Marcus Sorensen were the other names that were just added to the annual trade bait board, “which always seeks to blend a player’s prominence with his likelihood of a deal.”
As my partner-in-crime Jimmy Murphy reported this weekend, there are NHL talent evaluators at Bruins games specifically watching DeBrusk at this point.
I will have more in the latest @nathockeynow ‘Off The Record’ tomorrow but I’ve confirmed at least one of the nine people scouting #NHLBruins vs #NYR Thursday was there to scout Jake DeBrusk. https://t.co/DAFXlRKfWL
— MurphysLaw74 (@MurphysLaw74) March 13, 2021
So clearly other NHL teams believe that the talented left wing could end up available even if Don Sweeney and the Boston Bruins aren’t actively fielding offers right now.
DeBrusk is young enough at 24 years old, talented enough as a winger that scored 27 goals just two years ago and affordable enough at a $3.68 million cap hit that he’s going to hold considerable value on the trade for teams enamored with speed and scoring ability. For the Bruins, they can wait to see if he bounces back to his top form after starting with one goal in his first 17 games this season now that he’s back on the left side with David Krejci on the second line.
If it happens then the Bruins get back a player that can be a secondary scoring force for them in big games, and it doesn’t then expect him to move higher on a TSN trade bait list where he debuted in the top-10 this week.
Here are the rest of today’s BHN Puck Links:
*Boy, those Minnesota Wild retro reverse jerseys are molten lava-level fire.
Those Wild unis are 🔥 https://t.co/9r3QyCIcmx
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) March 13, 2021
*The Philadelphia Flyers need to upgrade their defense if they truly have their sights set on a big playoff run this summer. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
*The Tampa Bay Lightning admitted what everybody already knows: They don’t expect to make any moves ahead of the trade deadline with a healthy Nikita Kucherov coming back for the playoffs as their big acquisition. It also pretty neatly circumvents the salary cap, but that’s a story for another day. (The Athletic)
*The Oilers fooled around with putting Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl back together against Ottawa, and it led to the Senators’ doom. (Sportsnet)
*In case you were wondering, old friend Milan Lucic can still kick a little ass and take some names.
Milan Lucic has some heavy hands.
— Hailey Salvian (@hailey_salvian) March 12, 2021
*It’s a tough blow for the first place New York Islanders as they are going to lose Anders Lee to injury for what sounds like a long period of time. FOH (Friend of Haggs) Christian Arnold has the story from the Island. (NYI Hockey Now)
*Darryl Sutter gets win for the Calgary Flames as there’s clearly a new sheriff in town with his arrival. (Calgary Sun)
*In another tough break for former Boston Bruins first round pick Zach Senyshyn, he’s going to miss time with an injury after a solid debut this season on Thursday night. (Boston Sports Now)
*For something completely different: This tour de force reporting about one of the most hilarious events at Fenway Park is something definitely worth reading. The video makes me laugh every time I see it. (MLB.com)