The Boston Bruins have been targeting center Elias Lindholm on the NHL Trade market since last offseason, but instead of donning a Spoked B, the 29-year-old pivot will don an Orca until at least the end of this season.
On Wednesday night, the Calgary Flames traded Lindholm to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for forward Andrei Kuzmenko, a 2024 first round pick, prospects Hunter Brzustewicz and Joni Jurmo, as well as a conditional 2024 fourth round pick. Kuzmenko reportedly had to waive his no-trade clause to complete the trade.
The #Flames have acquired Andrei Kuzmenko, a 2024 first round pick, Hunter Brzustewicz, Joni Jurmo and a conditional 2024 fourth round pick from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Elias Lindholm: https://t.co/aGOGAdiJQ5 pic.twitter.com/8mhmTnRWQx
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) February 1, 2024
Elias Lindholm, who is in the final season of a six-year, $29.1 million contract that carried a $4.8 million salary cap hit, has nine goals and 14 assists in 49 games this season. He was recently named to his first NHL All-Star Game. Lindholm is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. As of 9:30 p.m. ET, there were no reports that the 6-foot-, 194-pound center was close to signing a contract extension with the Canucks.
Besides the 2024 first round pick that the Flames got in the trade, Kuzmneko, 27, is considered to be the main component going to Calgary. The 27-year-old, who was undrafted and played his first eight professional seasons in the KHL, originally signed a one-year, $950,000 entry-level contract with the Canucks on July 13, 2022. After racking up 21 goals and 22 assists in his first 47 NHL games, the 5-foot-11, 194-pound winger re-upped on a two-year, $11 million contract extension on Jan. 26, 2023. He finished last season with 39 goals and 35 assists in 81 games but has struggled this season with just eight goals and 13 assists in 43 games. He had also fallen into the doghouse of Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet and been a healthy scratch recently.
Brzustewicz, 19, was drafted by the Canucks in the third round (75th overall) of the 2023 NHL Entry Draft. The 6-foot, 188-pound defenseman has eight goals and 61 assists in 47 games for the Kitchener Rangers this season. He also had six goals and 51 assists in 68 games for the Rangers last season.
Jurmo, 21, was drafted in the third round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. The 6-foot-3, 203-pound defenseman is currently playing for Kookoo Kouvola in SM-liiga in Finland.
Could the Boston Bruins have matched that NHL trade offer for Lindholm?
Well, there has been chatter that the Flames ‘really liked’ Bruins top prospect defenseman Mason Lohrei. Given the Bruins really like Lohrei, too, and that Lindholm wasn’t coming with an extension, plus the fact that they don’t have a 2024 first round pick to offer the Flames, there likely wasn’t a fit for a Flames-Bruins trade here.