Will the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers pursue Alberta native and Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk if he hits NHL free agency next July?
In a recent one-on-one interview with Boston Hockey Now, Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk reiterated his desire to sign a contract extension with the Bruins.
“Yeah, of course,” Debrusk replied before the question was even finished. “That’s what I’ve been consistent with since – I think the first time I was asked was in the summer – but yeah. This is all I know, and I grew up here and have obviously evolved and grown in different ways. It’s one of those things where I want to win here. We were one game away in ’19, and I want to win a Cup here in Boston. So that’s my complete focus.”
By all accounts, it appears the DeBrusk camp is ready to make a deal, but besides head coach Jim Montgomery heaping plenty of praise on DeBrusk lately, as is usually the case regarding contract discussions on any player, the Boston Bruins have been quiet on their 27-year-old winger that can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
Meanwhile, DeBrusk’s value continues to rise though. He now has 12 goals and 13 assists in 47 games and had a three-game goal streak snapped in the Bruins’ 3-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes last Wednesday night. He’s continued to show on and off the ice; he wants to remain a Bruin. He has seven goals and seven assists in his last 16 games and has become a multi-faceted weapon for Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery, who recently said his recent play is the ‘best version’ of DeBrusk that he’s seen since becoming head coach of the Bruins prior to last season.
In a recent episode of ‘The Eye Test‘ hosted by this puck scribe and my co-host, longtime NHL analyst, head coach, and executive, Pierre McGuire, offered this assessment of the DeBrusk contract situation:
“If I were the agent, I’d be using [Ottawa Senators forward] Drake Batherson (six years, $29.8 million, $4.9M AAV) as one comparable, and I’d be using [Philadelphia Flyers forward] Travis Konecny (six years, $33 million, $5.5M AAV), as another comparable,” McGuire said. “And, know that those deals were signed a couple of years ago, so there’s going to be inflation in favor of DeBrusk.”
Then McGuire offered a word of caution by explaining what could very well happen if DeBrusk goes to market next July.
“But here’s what I do know: If the Bruins don’t sign him – and, I don’t know if they will or won’t, I’m sure they value him – I guarantee him an Alberta team will offer him a major contract,” McGuire said. “I guarantee you, whether it’s Edmonton or Calgary, he’s going to be taken care of in the province of Alberta. That’s if Boston doesn’t sign him, and that’s not a scare tactic; it’s reality. I mean, there’s a need there for that type of player.”