Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk broke his silence with the media after elevating his NHL trade value to another level Thursday in a 3-2 overtime win for the Bruins over the Seattle Kraken.
After being elevated to the top line with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron Wednesday, in what many believed to be a showcase for NHL trade suitors, DeBrusk delivered arguably his best game of the season. He scored two goals, including the overtime winner 25 seconds into the extra frame. While the 25-year-old winger, that the Bruins selected 14th overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, didn’t divulge his reasons for his trade request that went public this past November, he did confirm it.
“To be honest, I had a meeting with the guys when it first got out there,” DeBrusk replied when asked about his request to be put on the NHL trade market. “I told them I wouldn’t be a distraction, so I respectfully plead the fifth on all of those…it’s a fair question, but I won’t be answering that.”
Since his trade request went public in late November, DeBrusk has been a constant in NHL trade rumors. While the rumors have run rampant and DeBrusk has played on with the Boston Bruins, he has remained silent and refused to face the media until last night. DeBrusk did not by any means, rescind his trade request and take himself off the NHL trade market, but instead, expressed how grateful he is for the way his teammates have not made him a pariah in the dressing room after asking out.
“It means respect. They think I’m a good and a good teammate. That’s all you really want to be at the end of the day,” said DeBrusk, who now has eleven goals and eight assists in 45 games this season. “You play in that room for all of those guys, and obviously lots of memories considering playoff runs and I’ve grown up in this organization…To hear them say that is obviously very nice. It kind of amplifies how close we are as a group.”
Even before DeBrusk requested a trade, he had constantly been a name mentioned in NHL trade rumors. Many NHL insiders have linked him to his hometown Edmonton Oilers and as reported here, the Vancouver Canucks have expressed interest on more than one occasion as well. The New York Rangers have been confirmed as a team interested in DeBrusk and as the March 21 NHL trade deadline approaches, many more teams could line up for him, especially if he plays the way he did in Seattle on Thursday.