With the Boston Bruins back in town for a couple of days before sending off to Toronto, the B’s have made a couple of NHL roster moves by sending Joona Koppanen and Marc McLaughlin back to AHL Providence. It remains to be seen if it’s simply a salary cap-saving paper transaction move or if both players are truly headed back to the AHL ahead of this week’s upcoming NHL All-Star break following Wednesday night’s game in Toronto.
High-scoring B’s left winger Jake DeBrusk began skating a week ago and it’s been four weeks since he injured his foot while catching a slapshot Matt Grzelcyk rocket off the foot in the Winter Classic win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, so the transactions may also indicate that the B’s winger is about ready to return to the lineup. It certainly wouldn’t be because fourth line Tomas Nosek is ready to return as he’s slated to still miss a few more weeks after he too injured his foot following a blocked shot.
The Bruins may be ready to get a look at other P-Bruins players as well with top prospect Fabian Lysell down in Providence, and other possible energy players like Oskar Steen, Jakub Lauko and veteran NHL winger Chris Wagner are with the P-Bruins as well.
The 25-year-old Koppanen has played in five NHL games for the Bruins this season while bouncing between the AHL and NHL over the last couple of weeks, and recorded his first NHL point in a win over the Sharks.
The 23-year-old McLaughlin has played in two NHL games for the Bruins after being called up ahead of last week’s road trip, and has played 39 games in the AHL for the Providence Bruins, scoring 10 goals and seven assists for 17 points. The Billerica native is a minus-1 with three shots on net in his two games since his callup, and the 6-foot-5 Koppanen had two shots on net and an even plus/minus while averaging 10:49 of ice time during the game.