BRIGHTON, MA – Will Jake DeBrusk have a change of heart about his future with the Boston Bruins after things finished up fairly well for him individually with the Black and Gold?
It’s hard to say, of course, given the water under the bridge and a very public trade request made in the first few months of this just-concluded season by a winger that was clearly unhappy with his place on the team, but DeBrusk made the most of the situation with 25 goals and 42 points in 77 games along with a plus-6 rating.
Things took off for the left-shot DeBrusk when he was slotted at the right wing with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand on the top line, and that was the focus of the winger’s exit meeting with Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy earlier this week.
“The conversation was I thought that big picture we all came together and had a real positive finish for Jake – the players, the teammates, the organization, the staff…we all made it work,” said Cassidy. “But he’s the player. He does the work for the most part. I congratulate him on a great finish and a new contract. We didn’t talk much about where it goes from there but that’s between him and his representative and [Boston GM Don Sweeney].
“I thought he did as much for that line as they did for him. I’m proud of how he played. Where it goes from here would be speculation on my part, but it was a good finish.”
There’s no doubt DeBrusk played with energy, speed and the kind of second-effort oomph that was missing at times over the previous couple of seasons, and that squashed any differences of opinion, exaggerated or not, between the player and the coaching staff.
As for DeBrusk, he said he was simply happy to not have to think about any of it for a while as he was headed home to Edmonton for the summer to figure out what’s next for him. DeBrusk was the Boston Bruins nominee for the Masterton Trophy after showing perseverance while putting together one of his best NHL seasons amidst the in-season turmoil, and even earned himself a two-year, $8 million contract just ahead of the NHL trade deadline as well.
The most sensible, logical outcome would be that DeBrusk is moved somewhere after playing well, bumping up his value and having a reasonable contract attached to the player for the next couple of seasons.
The million-dollar question with the talented 25-year-old, though, is where exactly he’ll be playing out that contract next season and beyond.
“I haven’t thought about it, to be honest with you,” said DeBrusk during Monday’s breakup day for the players. “It was kind of nice to not think about it there since the deadline. I’ve been spending lots of time with the boys here. It’s been two days. I’ll go back home with my family and kind of go over the year more thoroughly and then kind of make my call from there. That’s kind of where I’m at.”
🎥 Jake DeBrusk on if he he’d like to remain with #NHLBruins: “It’s been nice not thinking about it there since the deadline. Been spending a lot of time with the boys here these past two days. I’ll go home and talk it through with my family and go over the year more thoroughly.” pic.twitter.com/sjvAbnUemK
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) May 17, 2022
DeBrusk did add that he wouldn’t have signed a two-year extension with the Boston Bruins if he wasn’t okay with potentially being in Boston for the next few seasons, so that’s something to think about for a team that clearly needs that offense if DeBrusk is bringing it again next season as a proven 20-goal scorer in the league.