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If Brock Nelson Becomes Available, Bruins Should Be Interested

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NHL Trade

If, as some are speculating, New York Islanders forward Brock Nelson becomes available on the NHL trade market, then Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney needs to call Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello ASAP!

In a recent article for NYI Hockey Now, reporter Russell Macias discussed the pros and cons of the Islanders trading Nelson or Jean-Gabriel Pageau, a previous Bruins NHL trade target.

‘Some have advocated for moving Brock Nelson, fifth on Team USA in scoring during the IIHF World Championship. Nelson has three goals and seven points in seven games while wearing a letter on a team chock full of NHL talent. He has also scored 30 goals in three straight years, something only done in the blue and orange one other time in the last 27 years. Nelson is older and has one year left on his contract, but that does not make him the better asset to trade. 

Nelson gets a better return, yes. But the Islanders won’t get back a 30-plus goal scorer. For a team bereft of constant goalscoring, trading their leader in goals is foolish and a disaster at worst. Nelson has led the team in goals this past year and five years running. Pageau has finished seventh on the team two years in a row.’

Nelson, 32, is entering the final season of a six-year, $36 million ($6M AAV) contract. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound forward scored 34 goals and had 35 assists in 82 regular season games this past season. He followed that up with two goals and two assists in the Islanders’ five-game series loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Nelson has hit the 30-goal plateau for the last three straight seasons and has 275 goals and 256 assists in 840 regular season games and has 27 goals and 23 assists in 78 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

In the Boston Bruins’ end-of-season press conference on Wednesday, Don Sweeney made it clear that he will aggressively use the $20.5 million in salary cap space he has this offseason on the NHL trade and NHL free agent markets.

“We are in a situation where we can look to add to our core group of guys,” Sweeney told the media. We’re going to be aggressive, you know, to complement what we currently have in some areas.”

The Boston Bruins dropped from 3.21 goals per game in the regular season to 2.38 goals per game in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Their three final games (3-2, 2-1, 2-1) all stayed under five goals total, and as Sweeney pointed out, the fact that the Bruins lost two of those three games was a painful reminder that his team needs more scoring depth.

“The margins are small. They just are, I mean, the final three games of the series were 3-2, 2-1, 2-1,” Sweeney said. “At the end of the day, the other team’s having difficulty to score, and as teams move through the playoffs, things tighten up. You have to find a way we didn’t get inside quite enough in rebound situations that we might have been able to take advantage of. So there are some things that we need to address, and I need to address from a standpoint of free agency and/or internal growth. We have to complement — I have to be able to find some players that can come in and provide secondary scoring for us at key times.”

Nelson has proven that he can do just that, and an added bonus will be the leadership and playoff experience intangibles. He also brings size and grit, something the Bruins have clearly been trying to add in recent years. Don Sweeney at least has to see what it would cost to acquire Brock Nelson if he becomes available.

 

 

 

 

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