Bruins 2021 Season Thread

Jed Zeppelin

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6 game now, double the sample size!

90 minutes TOI
63% O zone start
37% CF (52 for 88 against
38% SF (30-49)
31% SCF (18-41)
24% HDSCF (5-16)
31% xGF
40% actual goals (2-3)

The indication from morning skate today is Tinordi is playing with Steve kampfer tonight. Vaakanainen is being scratched (healthy as far as I know) They literally could not have put Vaakanainen into a worse spot and now he seems to be getting blamed for that pairings ineffectiveness.

This is the most confusing thing the Bruins have done in a long, long time. Jarred Tinordi is awful and they are continuing to play him over superior options. I can see the argument for using him against Washington as a big body face puncher. That is literally all he is useful for. When he is on the ice it is a fire drill in our own end, hold your breath we don't get scored on.

I know I'm being very negative here but I just don't understand what they see and think he does that will help them win games. They excel at defending and limiting chances against. They don't need a stay at home guy (and it's being generous to describe Tinordi as stay at home). They need someone who will move the puck a little bit.
Maybe this is a dumb question—do we know how deep into analytics our FO is? I mean, not that there is anything in a theoretical eye test with Tinordi specifically that doesn't jibe with the stats anyway, but this is something I have been wondering in general. I know they have also acquired some statistical darling types recently, but there has always been that air of "need to be tougher" around this franchise when things aren't going quite right.
 

cshea

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Any chance they are holding Vaakanainen out because he’s in a deal?
I suppose that is possible, but I think it's pretty unlikely. They are 4 weeks away from the deadline. It'd be out of the ordinary for Sweeney to make a deal this far out. Additionally, when Grzelyck returned last week they scratched Vaakanainen. Carlo's injury is what got Vaakanainen back in.
 

Ferm Sheller

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They also have back-to-back games, tonight and tomorrow, so I wouldn't be surprised if a number of players only play one of the two games.
 

cshea

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Maybe this is a dumb question—do we know how deep into analytics our FO is? I mean, not that there is anything in a theoretical eye test with Tinordi specifically that doesn't jibe with the stats anyway, but this is something I have been wondering in general. I know they have also acquired some statistical darling types recently, but there has always been that air of "need to be tougher" around this franchise when things aren't going quite right.
You are likely on the right track. They are very analytical leaning. However, they still like the toughness and grit guys. There's no real way to quantify that part of the game, but I suspect we went down the Tinordi path because they felt they needed to replace Kevan Miller's toughness and grit, on ice results be damned.
 

veritas

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Tinordi has been awful, but Vaakanainen hasn't been very good either. They seem to like to make their young valuable players earn their minutes, as a way of motivating and helping their development. I'm not sure I agree with it necessarily, but I don't think it's always a bad idea. If they don't cut Tinordi when they get healthier, I'll be concerned. But I feel like he's just a warm, disposable body for a handful of games and I'm fine with that. The difference between him and Vaak isn't what's costing them points right now.
 

DeadlySplitter

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It seems like once small sample size was out of the way this is the team we expected: one great line, bad 5v5 scoring, and 5 good teams in a division with only 4 playoff spots for grabs.

They're going to regret not finishing the job against the Blues in 2019 for a very long time.
 

joe dokes

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Tinordi has been awful, but Vaakanainen hasn't been very good either. They seem to like to make their young valuable players earn their minutes, as a way of motivating and helping their development. I'm not sure I agree with it necessarily, but I don't think it's always a bad idea. If they don't cut Tinordi when they get healthier, I'll be concerned. But I feel like he's just a warm, disposable body for a handful of games and I'm fine with that. The difference between him and Vaak isn't what's costing them points right now.
Vaakanainen has been ineffective in different ways than Tinordi. I dont think I've seen him win too many board battles. I don't know if its just strength or he needs to get better using leverage. But I think he will be fine.
Tinordi is little more than bad McQuaid, totally minus the 2 games of 4 where you might say, "McQuaid is having a pretty good game here."
 

cshea

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Vaakanainen with Tinordi:

30 minutes TOI, 42% CF, 43% SF, 26% scoring chances, 10% high danger, 28% xGF actual goals are 0-0

Vaakanainen without Tinordi:

30 minutes TOI, 48% CF, 57% Shots, 51% scoring chances, 45% high danger, 49% xGF, actual goals 3-7

Tinordi without Vaakanainen

70 minutes, 37% CF, 39% Shots, 36% scoring chances, 42% high danger, 36% xGF, actual goals are 2-5.

Vaakanainen has not been great, but he has been significantly better away from Tinordi. I would also argue that John Moore is a better hockey player than Tinordi but they seem to disagree.

I understand I'm basically channeling my rage for the team against Tinordi. He's far from the only problem but it's their decision making that makes me scratch my head and wonder if they know what they are doing and can lead them out of the current situation.
 

Salem's Lot

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It seems like once small sample size was out of the way this is the team we expected: one great line, bad 5v5 scori

They're going to regret not finishing the job against the Blues in 2019 for a very long time.
They had the same issues in the 2019 playoffs. No 5 on 5 scoring. They relied on their power play, and got lucky that Tampa lost to Columbus. If they didn’t, they would’ve had the exact same result three years in a row. And they were toast as soon as they ran into a team with a coach that knew how to work the refs into the swallowing the whistles.

The biggest problem that I see is they have only one top six center and two elite wings. That’s it. Everyone else is a bottom 6 forward, with the lack of skill and/or consistency that comes with that designation.

It is especially glaring at the center position. Krejci is a 3rd line center, or possibly a 2nd line RW with an elite center, at this point in his career. Coyle is a 3rd line center that occasionally flashes when he’s motivated. Having those two guys as your 2nd & 3rd line centers you what they are, a team that can create zero offense at 5 on 5.

That is the main issue that I see. They need a top 2 center. The problem is that those guys tend to not be available outside of the top 5 in the draft. That’s why passing on Mat Barzal is and continues to be what’s killing this team. They had it gift wrapped for them and they fucked it up.

And honestly I don’t see any way out of this. They have no elite prospects. They’re bad, but not bad enough to go to the bottom of the league. And even if they did, by the time the kid they draft is ready to be that number 1-2 center, Bergeron in 38-39, Marchand will be declined, and they’ll be paying Pastrnak $11 million a year on the cap.

And do we really trust Cam & Donny to not make the same mistakes again? These are the same guys that didn’t bring back Chara because they wanted to play the young defenseman, and not two months into the season I’m watching Jarred Tinordi kick the puck around like a fat 50 year old men’s league bender while Vaakanainen sits, because they were worried that they weren’t “tough enough”. I don’t get it.
 
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The Napkin

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Vaakanainen with Tinordi:

30 minutes TOI, 42% CF, 43% SF, 26% scoring chances, 10% high danger, 28% xGF actual goals are 0-0

Vaakanainen without Tinordi:

30 minutes TOI, 48% CF, 57% Shots, 51% scoring chances, 45% high danger, 49% xGF, actual goals 3-7

Tinordi without Vaakanainen

70 minutes, 37% CF, 39% Shots, 36% scoring chances, 42% high danger, 36% xGF, actual goals are 2-5.

Vaakanainen has not been great, but he has been significantly better away from Tinordi. I would also argue that John Moore is a better hockey player than Tinordi but they seem to disagree.

I understand I'm basically channeling my rage for the team against Tinordi. He's far from the only problem but it's their decision making that makes me scratch my head and wonder if they know what they are doing and can lead them out of the current situation.
yeah, but when you factor in GRIT ...
sigh
At least they didn't give up a 3rd like they did for fucking Rinaldo? Sure is frustrating to see the same things over and over again. Maybe it'll work next time though.
 

Salem's Lot

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veritas

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Vaakanainen with Tinordi:

30 minutes TOI, 42% CF, 43% SF, 26% scoring chances, 10% high danger, 28% xGF actual goals are 0-0

Vaakanainen without Tinordi:

30 minutes TOI, 48% CF, 57% Shots, 51% scoring chances, 45% high danger, 49% xGF, actual goals 3-7

Tinordi without Vaakanainen

70 minutes, 37% CF, 39% Shots, 36% scoring chances, 42% high danger, 36% xGF, actual goals are 2-5.

Vaakanainen has not been great, but he has been significantly better away from Tinordi. I would also argue that John Moore is a better hockey player than Tinordi but they seem to disagree.

I understand I'm basically channeling my rage for the team against Tinordi. He's far from the only problem but it's their decision making that makes me scratch my head and wonder if they know what they are doing and can lead them out of the current situation.
The majority of his time away from Tinordi he was playing with McAvoy, who is maybe the best defenseman in the league. He also was getting a lot of D-zone starts with Tinordi.

The Vaak/McAvoy combination isn't a huge sample size, but it looks like a significant drop-off from Lauzon/McAvoy with similar usage. And Lauzon is not all that good himself.
 

cshea

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The majority of his time away from Tinordi he was playing with McAvoy, who is maybe the best defenseman in the league. He also was getting a lot of D-zone starts with Tinordi.

The Vaak/McAvoy combination isn't a huge sample size, but it looks like a significant drop-off from Lauzon/McAvoy with similar usage. And Lauzon is not all that good himself.
That's fair. Still think Vaakanainen is better than Tinordi.

The Moore injury news changes things a bit. It's basically play 2 of 3...Tinordi, Vaakanainen, Kampfer. Considering the recent struggles, I'd toss Ahcan in and see what happens but they are down to like 10-12 on the depth chart. There are no good options when you are reaching that deep.
 

joe dokes

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The Moore injury news changes things a bit. It's basically play 2 of 3...Tinordi, Vaakanainen, Kampfer. Considering the recent struggles, I'd toss Ahcan in and see what happens but they are down to like 10-12 on the depth chart. There are no good options when you are reaching that deep.
This is when we'll know the bulkhead has been breached and the lifeboats have to be lowered.

https://theahl.com/stats/player/4553/tommy-cross
 

Jordu

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Significant drop-off for all the veteran forwards but Ritchie and the first line in points per game.

Krejci
PPG career rate: 0.75
PPR this season: 0.59

DeBrusk
PPG career rate: 0.57
PPR this season: 0.32

Ritchie
PPG career rate: 0.39
PPR this season: 0.58

Coyle
PPG career rate: 0.49
PPR this season: 0.32

Smith
PPG career rate: 0.50
PPR this season: 0.36

Kuraly
PPG career rate: 0.26
PPR this season: 0.17
 

cshea

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Friedman has the B's mentioned a few times in his 31 Thoughts this week.

View: https://twitter.com/FriedgeHNIC/status/1371933958917722120?s=20


Says they are in on Ekholm and he speculates they would be in on Palmieri if he hits the market (currently talking to NJD).

Apparently the price on Ekholm is the Jake Muzzin deal to Toronto. That was a 1st, 2nd the following year, and a prospect. I think Ekholm is a better player than Muzzin so that makes sense. Of course, the biggest problem for the Bruins is the expansion draft. It is that package plus losing Grz or Carlo.

If I'm the Bruins, I'm in a holding pattern for the next few weeks. If they show some signs of life and snapping out of the current malaise, then I'd push some chips in. If they are still floundering I think I'd sell what I can and then try to regroup in the offseason with an enormous amount of cap space plus whatever additional assets they could get at the deadline. It wouldn't be much but a few extra picks perhaps.
 

joe dokes

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What an outrageous debut (not counting last year's playoff sub) by Vladar tonight. This save was unreal:

View: https://youtu.be/_DAfCV9yfj0


I can't believe someone as tall as Vladar (standing at 6' 6"/198 cm) can look so nimble and reactive. Loved watching the rookie play tonight.
I know there have been other tall goalies since, but in one shot last night, he reminded me of John Davidson (this one 39572 not this one 39569)
He needs a (mostly) black (with some gold) mask so we can call him Darth.
 

veritas

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Significant drop-off for all the veteran forwards but Ritchie and the first line in points per game.

Krejci
PPG career rate: 0.75
PPR this season: 0.59

DeBrusk
PPG career rate: 0.57
PPR this season: 0.32

Ritchie
PPG career rate: 0.39
PPR this season: 0.58

Coyle
PPG career rate: 0.49
PPR this season: 0.32

Smith
PPG career rate: 0.50
PPR this season: 0.36

Kuraly
PPG career rate: 0.26
PPR this season: 0.17
Krejci's decline, as I mentioned in another thread, is even more severe when you look at his 5v5 numbers. He's gotten a bump in his PP numbers from playing a lot on the first unit this season.

When looking at all of the forwards who have declined, I think it suggests the defense and the system covering for said defensive weaknesses are a big part of the problem. Especially when players coming from other teams are involved in this sample size.
 

cshea

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Krejci's decline is 2 years running. His points per 60 the past 3 seasons have gone 2.47, 1.34 and this year he is at an even 1.00. He has 5 even strength points this season, same as Trent Frederic. I don't think it's entirely his wingers fault anymore. His rate stats are mostly good, but the glaring drop off is what I've been pounding the table about recently- high danger chances. Over the last 6-years his lowest high danger chances per 60 was 8.78. He's consistently been in the 9's for his career. This year when Krejci is on the ice, they are getting 5.38 high danger chances per 60.

I think he's clearly in decline, but I also think the issues stretch beyond individual under performance. I think the defense being in shambles means the forwards are covering/coming back further and deeper and then I think the offensive system could use some tweaks. It's all board work and low to high. They don't have the D personnel to run the in zone offense through the points, IMO. McAvoy and Grzelyck can do it, the other 4 guys can't yet. Zboril maybe can develop more in this area but we have a track record on Carlo, Miller, etc.
 

teds_head

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Friedman has the B's mentioned a few times in his 31 Thoughts this week.

View: https://twitter.com/FriedgeHNIC/status/1371933958917722120?s=20


Says they are in on Ekholm and he speculates they would be in on Palmieri if he hits the market (currently talking to NJD).

Apparently the price on Ekholm is the Jake Muzzin deal to Toronto. That was a 1st, 2nd the following year, and a prospect. I think Ekholm is a better player than Muzzin so that makes sense. Of course, the biggest problem for the Bruins is the expansion draft. It is that package plus losing Grz or Carlo.

If I'm the Bruins, I'm in a holding pattern for the next few weeks. If they show some signs of life and snapping out of the current malaise, then I'd push some chips in. If they are still floundering I think I'd sell what I can and then try to regroup in the offseason with an enormous amount of cap space plus whatever additional assets they could get at the deadline. It wouldn't be much but a few extra picks perhaps.
What are the rules for trading after the post-season but prior to the expansion draft? Could the B's conceivably trade for Ekholm, and after the post season potentially trade Carlo or Grz (preferably for picks/prospects) as they would lose one of them anyway, and try to re-up Ekholm for a few more years after next season?
 

teds_head

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I guess what I was asking was - if they traded for Ekholm in the next 4 weeks, is there a window after the playoffs where they could still trade one of Carlo/Grz for value, rather than losing one of them in the expansion draft? Or is there a blackout on trading prior to the expansion draft?
 

Salem's Lot

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I guess what I was asking was - if they traded for Ekholm in the next 4 weeks, is there a window after the playoffs where they could still trade one of Carlo/Grz for value, rather than losing one of them in the expansion draft? Or is there a blackout on trading prior to the expansion draft?
I believe that teams can make trades at any time. The deadline is for playoff eligibility. Players acquired after the deadline can’t play in that years playoffs.
 

Salem's Lot

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Also, if they acquired Ekholm, they may want to only protect 4 forwards.

Pastrnak
Bergeron
Marchand
Studnicka
McAvoy
Carlo
Grzcelyk
Ekholm
Vlader

Everyone else is available. You only lose 1. The only one I would lose sleep over is Frederic.
 
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BostonFanInCanesLand

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Also, if they acquired Ekholm, they may want to only protect 4 forwards.

Pastrnak
Bergeron
Marchand
Studnicka
McAvoy
Carlo
Grzcelyk
Ekholm
Goalie

Everyone else is available. You only lose 1. The only one I would lose sleep over is Frederic.
You’d have to protect Coyle (NMC/NTC) as the 4th forward. Lucky for you Studnicka is exempt.

In that scenario Frederic, Ritchie, DeBrusk, Kase, Smith, Lauzon, Zboril and Clifton would all be at risk (Unless they were already traded for Ekholm).

(I think I might protect Vladar and see which vet goalie I can line up to re-sign immediately after the expansion draft).
 

McDrew

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The B's have to expose a goalie and Vladar is the only eligible one currently.

https://www.nhl.com/news/seattle-kraken-2021-nhl-expansion-draft-rules-same-as-vegas-golden-knights-followed/c-302586918

In addition, all NHL teams must meet the following minimum requirements regarding players exposed for selection in the draft:
...
* One goalie who is under contract in 2021-22 or will be a restricted free agent at the end of his current contract immediately prior to 2021-22. If a team elects to make a restricted free agent goalie available to meet this requirement, that goalie must have received his qualifying offer prior to the submission of the team's protected list.
 

Salem's Lot

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You’d have to protect Coyle (NMC/NTC) as the 4th forward. Lucky for you Studnicka is exempt.

In that scenario Frederic, Ritchie, DeBrusk, Kase, Smith, Lauzon, Zboril and Clifton would all be at risk (Unless they were already traded for Ekholm).

(I think I might protect Vladar and see which vet goalie I can line up to re-sign immediately after the expansion draft).
Coyle has a limited no trade. Only no movement clauses need to be protected. If Studnicka is exempt then I can protect Frederic. Problem solved. And if Vladar needs to be protected as the goalie than he’s the guy.
 

cshea

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It’s possible to have a partial no trade and a full no move?
Yep, because NHL.

Basically, a no-move covers everything. A player can't be traded, waived, assigned or exposed in an expansion draft without consent. the modified NTC is essentially an addendum to the NMC where he lists the teams. A stand alone NTC just applies to trades only. Anyone with an NMC needs to be protected for the Seattle expansion draft.

https://www.capfriendly.com/faq#nmc

A No-Move Clause (NMC) can be added to a player's contract in the years after they are eligible for Group 3 Unrestricted Free Agency (7 Accrued seasons or 27 years of age), and has the following properties:
  • Player cannot be traded without his consent (however, the clause can specify a modified no-trade clause that limits the NTC to a certain number of teams)
  • Player cannot be placed on waivers without his consent
  • Player cannot be assigned to the minors without his consent
 

BostonFanInCanesLand

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Deciding whether to protect a 4th Defenseman or a 5th/6th/7th Forward will be interesting (even if they don’t trade for Eckholm).

Recent poor play and injuries have really muddied the waters about DeBrusk, Grezlyck, Lauzon, Smith, and Kase.

You might not be upset if Bjork or Clifton gets selected. Unfortunately I don’t think that’s likely to happen.

What if protecting 2 of Lauzon, Zboril, or Grzelcyk means that you lose DeBrusk or Frederic? On the flip side, protecting all 3 of DeBrusk, Ritchie, and Frederic means that the team will lose a good young defenseman (or Smith or Kase).

I’d like to see Senyshyn, Kase and Lauzon healthy and playing well enough to make these choices difficult. And DeBrusk, Smith and Zboril all hitting their strides too, with Frederic and Ritchie rolling along.

(And yes, Booth is the goalie offered on the altar of the Kraken, but he will not be selected).
 

jk333

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At this point, I’d rather keep the defense intact and redo the forwards after (or before!) the draft. So 4/4 forwards/defensemen protected for me.

It can be argued that losing either Zboril OR Lauzon is better than Frederic or Debrusk as we have more depth a D.

Basically the Bruins have to choose a player for Seattle, and the list to choose from is: Frederic, Debrusk, Lauzon, Carlo, Zboril, or Gryz?
 
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cshea

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I think you still go 7-3-1. i know he's having a down year, but DeBrusk has too much value to lose for free. If they tried to trade him now, I suspect there would be a long line of teams willing to take him off our hands at a discount. He's 24, signed for $3.675 million through next season and under team control beyond the expiration of the contract as an RFA. He has a history of being good, if a bit streaky. He's currently shooting 7% on the year which is almost 6% lower than his career average so a rebound is expected. He's scored in 2 of his last 4 games and I thought was excellent in both Pittsburgh games even if he didn't make it onto the scoresheet. We'll see where he is at the end of the season. I suspect that If he was unprotected, Seattle would waste no time picking him. It sucks, but the Bruins are constructed to withstand losing one of the young defensemen. Seattle grabs one of Zboril or Lauzon, the Bruins have Vaakanainen and Ahcan ready to step in, plus Lohrei further out.

If they acquire Ekholm I guess they'd have to consider 4-4. To get Ekholm, they likely have to trade something like a first a second and Vaakanainen. Add in probably losing DeBrusk. I know people are down on DeBrusk, but DeBrusk, Vaakanainen, 1st, 2nd for Ekholm is crazy bad. If they stay 7-3-1 and protect Ekholm over Grzelyck or Carlo then it is Grzelyck/Carlo, Vaakanainen a 1st and a 2nd for Ekholm. Not good either.
 

BostonFanInCanesLand

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I think you still go 7-3-1. i know he's having a down year, but DeBrusk has too much value to lose for free.
[Snip]

If they acquire Ekholm I guess they'd have to consider 4-4. To get Ekholm, they likely have to trade something like a first a second and Vaakanainen. Add in probably losing DeBrusk. I know people are down on DeBrusk, but DeBrusk, Vaakanainen, 1st, 2nd for Ekholm is crazy bad. If they stay 7-3-1 and protect Ekholm over Grzelyck or Carlo then it is Grzelyck/Carlo, Vaakanainen a 1st and a 2nd for Ekholm. Not good either.
I agree on 7-3-1 and on the value of the sometimes frustrating DeBrusk. And the fact that the Bruins are likely losing one of Zboril or Lauzon to the Kraken.

While I want to see the Bruins win the cup this year (and want to see Bergeron lift that cup) I think the best course is to keep feeding valuable experience to the youngsters.

If they feel like injuries have left them too short-handed on the back end I’d trade for a rental. If they feel like they can acquire a scoring forward then that player either has to be worth protecting over Ritchie (or Frederic), or be a rental.

Adding a strong player with term like Ekholm would certainly fortify/shake up the team, but as @cshea notes, the cost would end up being higher than the acquisition cost so it better be a game-changing deal.

Lauzon should be back in a couple of weeks (and hopefully Miller too, possibly on a Kemba-like schedule). That should allow Cassidy to have a reliable top 4 and pick his spots for the 3rd pair. It doesn’t solve the lack of offense but it is a start. A stronger back end should let the forwards open up their game. We’ll see.

Edit: forgot that Carlo is still on the shelf. That sucks. But Lauzon’s return will still help settle things down - it just doesn’t have as much of an impact on allowing the forwards to loosen up their game.
 

teds_head

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Trading a first round pick this year is such an unknown. A lot of the draft eligible players are getting very little meaningful ice time this season. The start of year and end of year draft rankings would always see players falling and rising based on their in-season play. Assuming the B's are slotted around the 20th draft position (as the standings are now, and ignoring playoff results), they could be poised to luck into a top 10 talent who didn't see much ice time, or they could draft a total bust.
 

cshea

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FWIW on DeBrusk. He made The Athletic's most recent trade board. There's a blurb on him with some interesting quotes from GM's. In terms of gauging his value, one exec says he'd rather have DeBrusk than a late first round pick this year.

https://theathletic.com/2414935/2021/03/19/nhl-trade-deadline-big-board-taylor-hall-mattias-ekholm-and-28-others-who-could-be-dealt/

• Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk’s name has been added to the board and probably should have been there earlier, as The Athletic’s Fluto Shinzawa has been on top of it for weeks. His play after he was a healthy scratch was noticed by one exec. “He was so good after being called out,” he said. And more than one source has connected the Bruins and DeBrusk to Nashville’s Mattias Ekholm. “Ekholm for DeBrusk would be a great deal for the Bruins,” said the exec. “And I’d rather have DeBrusk than a late first-round pick.”