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Bruins Trade Jakub Lauko To Wild In Mid-Round Draft Swap

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AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

LAS VEGAS– The NHL Draft always comes with difficult decisions, and the Boston Bruins made one on Saturday by trading away a favorite both among their fans and within their locker room.

The Bruins traded forward Jakub Lauko and the 122nd overall pick in the fourth round of this year’s draft to the Minnesota Wild for forward Vinni Lettieri and the 110th overall pick in the fourth round. With the selection they acquired from Minnesota, the Bruins took defenseman Elliott Groenewold from Cedar Rapids of the USHL.

“At times [Bruins general manager Don Sweeney] and his staff have to do what they think is in the best interest of the team,” said Bruins director of amateur scouting Ryan Nadeau. “They made a deal, which actually helped improve one of our picks from 122 up to 110. It certainly, for me, I think, helped us get a player that we really wanted.”

Drafted by the Bruins in the third round of the 2018 draft, Lauko quickly became a glue guy in the Boston locker room. A feisty forechecker and spark plug on the fourth line, he played in 83 career games for the Bruins, scoring six goals and 11 assists for 17 points. Now in Minnesota, the plucky forward will play in a Wild system that should only complement his style of play.

Lettieri, 29, rejoins the Bruins after previously playing for their organization during the 2022-23 season, predominantly at the AHL level in Providence. In 129 career NHL games, Lettieri has scored 12 goals, 15 assists, and 27 points, playing for the Bruins, Wild, New York Rangers, and Anaheim Ducks.

Groenewold, 18, appeared in 57 games for Cedar Rapids this past season, scoring five goals and 11 assists for 16 points. The aggressive, six-foot-two defender was the 82nd-ranked prospect in this year’s class, according to Elite Prospects. The Bruins, who perhaps weren’t willing to wait and see if he fell to them at their original pick, got a steal by selecting him at 110 overall.

“I was certainly happy that we improved our pick, and I do think it probably helped us get him,” Nadeau said. “I don’t know what happens if he is there at 122. But it was a player that certainly we wanted to come out of the draft with.”

In total, the Bruins made four selections during this year’s draft. Along with Groenewold, the Bruins selected center Dean Letourneau with the 25th pick in the first round, center Jonathan Morello with the 156th pick in the fifth round, and defenseman Loke Johanssen with the 186th pick in the sixth round.

All four prospects are expected to take part in the Bruins’ development camp, which begins Monday morning at Warrior Ice Arena.

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