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Boston Bruins Studnicka Gets Top Line Look Ahead Of Trade Deadline



In Boston’s final game leading into the NHL trade deadline, young Boston Bruins center prospect Jack Studnicka will get a look centering the top line between Brad Marchand and Jake DeBrusk. The 23-year-old Studnicka will be playing in place of the injured Patrice Bergeron, who is reportedly recovering from an infection-related upper body injury that’s forced him to miss Wednesday night’s loss to Minnesota and Friday night’s tilt in Winnipeg.

Studnicka didn’t make it to Minnesota in time for that game where Tomas Nosek centered the top line, but instead the youngster will play his 11th NHL game of this season with a pair of assists and 12 shots on net in the first 10 games with the Black and Gold. It will be the best spot to succeed his been in this year while previously centering a couple of games with Taylor Hall and Charlie Coyle on his wings as a de facto second line center earlier in the season.

Certainly, Studnicka has been playing well in Providence (nine goals and 33 points in 37 games for the p-Bruins) as of late after a lot of strength gains in the offseason, so he’s getting another NHL look at the right time.

“[Providence Bruins head coach] Ryan Mougenel gave him a really good recommendation, one of their best players if not their best player over the last two or three weeks and playing well in all areas,” said Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy. “Offensively you see the numbers, but away from the puck his habits and details have been really good too. It’s a big ask for Jack but it’s also a really good opportunity for him too.”

The timing is no doubt due to the Bergeron injury, but it’s also interesting with the Bruins deeply interested in upgrading their back end with both Jakob Chychrun and Hampus Lindholm as the desired targets. San Jose Sharks bruising defenseman Jacob Middleton is another name on the Boston Bruins wish list as well as they look to get bigger, tougher and grittier in the defensive zone against of the slug-it-out Stanley Cup playoffs.

Studnicka is undoubtedly a name in the mix in any number of trades given his age, his ceiling as a solid top-9 center at the NHL level that’s drawn comparisons to Anthony Cirelli and a Boston Bruins organization that’s loathe to trade youngster prospects like speedy Swedish winger Fabian Lysell and Ohio State defenseman Mason Lohrei. The question is whether a package including Studnicka would be good enough to beat out other teams like Carolina, St. Louis, Toronto, Colorado, the LA Kings and others that are still looking to upgrade their hockey clubs.

Here’s the Boston Bruins lineup for Friday night’s game against the Winnipeg Jets, courtesy of the Boston Bruins team twitter account:

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