The biggest flaw of this year’s Boston Bruins team has been secondary scoring, and now with David Pastrnak out for the next two weeks, the Bruins will have to look for new scoring options throughout their lineup. Along with that, the Bruins will be searching for some scoring options outside of the organization to play alongside David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk. With the NHL trade deadline creeping up, Don Sweeney will have his work cut out for him in looking for some talent outside the Bruins organization that can help them become more of a championship contender down the road. So, here are some of the Bruins’ best options going into the trade deadline that Sweeney will likely explore.
3. Micheal Ferland
Ferland is having the best year of his young career—recording 31 points in 48 games—and would give this Bruins team good scoring depth as a middle six forward. However, the Hurricanes are currently pushing for a playoff spot, so it is not entirely set in stone whether Carolina will be buyers or sellers at the deadline. If the Hurricanes decide to sell, then the ask will likely be a prospect and a first-round pick.
If the Bruins decide to give up a first-round pick for the second year in a row, then they should probably attempt to use it on someone a bit more skilled than Ferland. He is more of a gritty power forward than a natural scorer, and those types of players haven’t fared well in the Bruins in recent history. David Backes and Matt Belesky are prime examples of gritty forwards who came to the Bruins and did not perform up to expectations. So, the Bruins need to be careful when looking at a player like Ferland.
2. Wayne Simmonds
Wayne Simmonds is another one of those gritty, power-forwards that has been on the Bruins radar for years now. However, Simmonds is a much more proven goal scorer than Ferland and is a guy who has played top six forward minutes for most of his career. The ask for Simmonds will likely be similar to the ask for Ferland, a first-round pick and a prospect or two. Simmonds has had a down season so far this year, recording just 25 points in 57 games, but he has also played for a bad team. Perhaps a change of scenery for him could help get his production back in order.
1. Artemi Panarin
Panarin will undoubtedly be the most difficult player to acquire, as teams do not just give away players who have 64 points in 53 games. Although he has shown little desire to continue playing in Columbus, his tremendous production this season has pushed Columbus to be one of the top teams in their division. The ask for Panarin is speculated to be a first-round pick, a quality prospect, and an impact roster player. For the Bruins, this is doable; in fact this is very similar to what they gave up last year for Rick Nash. However, the real question is whether the Bruins would be comfortable giving up that much two years in a row for a half-year rental.
The Bruins have a large pool of prospects that they are willing to part with, which is not the issue when talking about making a trade. However, giving up a first-round pick for the second year in a row is a bit of a deal breaker. That is, unless the player they acquire elects to re-sign after this season, or if they get a player like Panarin who can really push the Bruins to become a Stanley Cup contender. I guess we will just have to wait and see what Don Sweeney has up his sleeve for the trade deadline on Feb. 25.