Bruins players, prospects that could be dealt before NHL trade deadline

Matt Kalman
February 19, 2020 - 3:11 pm

The NHL trade deadline is coming up Feb. 24 and many teams have already gotten a jump on the deadline rush by making trades.

It’s been a sellers’ market so far, with teams acquiring players with term and rentals for mostly high-end prospects and high draft picks.

Jason Zucker, who has three years left on his contract, went from Minnesota to Pittsburgh for a top prospect (Calen Addision), a first-round pick and veteran player Alex Galchenyuk, who had had a disappointing career but was once picked third overall in the NHL Draft.

The Bruins probably weren’t all the interested in Zucker, but forward Tyler Toffoli (Los Angeles to Vancouver) and defenseman Brendan Dillon (San Jose to Washington) were rental players that would’ve fit Boston’s lineup well. Toffoli brought the Kings a top-five prospect and a second-round pick. Dillon was swapped for a second-round pick and a conditional third-round pick.

Now that we know the premium teams competing with the Bruins for supremacy in the NHL standing are willing to pay, here’s a look at some of the players and prospects that should be ready to answer their phone if and when general manager Don Sweeney eventually make his move to keep up in the trades race (keeping in mind also the Bruins have all their draft picks the next three years except for their fourth-rounder in 2020):

Urho Vaakanainen

The defenseman once seemed untouchable, but prices are high and if Sweeney wants to add a top-six forward with term, it might take dealing the 21-year-old. Keeping in mind that Jack Studnicka is probably untouchable because of the Bruins’ need for center depth looking ahead to the post-Patrice Bergeron, post-David Krejci era, Vaakanainen might have less of a future in Boston depending on the status of Torey Krug, Matt Grzelcyk and Jeremy Lauzon.

The 2017 first-rounder has four goals and nine assists in 45 games for Providence of the American Hockey League this season.

Sweeney should trade him if … he’s the only big piece bringing back a rental or a part of a package for a player with term.

Danton Heinen

Once one of coach Bruce Cassidy’s hockey sons, Heinen has fallen out of favor lately and that’s resulted in several healthy scratches. He’s a smart player that a rebuilding team could cast in a middle-six role knowing it won’t have to teach him the game, just encourage him to shoot more.

He has seven goals and 15 assists in 55 games, basically on pace for the same 34 points he had last season.

Sweeney should trade him if … he can deal Heinen straight-up for a scoring rental or as part of a package for a player with term.

Anders Bjork

This would be a painful player to part with based on his speed and the strides he’s made this year coming back from two shoulder injuries. But he has just nine goals in 52 games, and if Sweeney can land a proven finisher to put Boston over the top, maybe Bjork is enough to get a trade done without mortgaging much more future.

Sweeney should trade him if … he can land a Kreider, thinking he’ll re-sign, or a Kyle Palmieri-type player with term.

Jeremy Lauzon

He’s proven his defending is NHL-caliber and his puck moving is coming along. The new two-year deal he just signed would make him a solid fit for Boston’s bottom pair the next two years, but he might also appeal to a rebuilding team.

Sweeney should trade him if … the Bruins are getting back some defense depth in one of their deals before the deadline. Right now, you’d trust him over John Moore or Connor Clifton to play consistently on the right side of Matt Grzelcyk.

John Moore

He’s a noble warrior that fills in admirably on short notice, but when he’s in the lineup for longer periods he gets exposed. If the Bruins need cap space, Moore and his $2.75 million cap charge are the perfect throw-in. Lauzon has passed him on the depth chart.

Sweeney should trade him if … he needs a couple million in cap space. But he should also be looking to cheaply replace Moore in the defense corps, unless he’s comfortable with potentially playing Steven Kampfer and Jakub Zboril in the postseason.

Torey Krug

Just kidding. The Bruins might not be able to re-sign Krug this summer, but he’s going nowhere now.

Sweeney should trade him if … a star forward with term that no one thinks will be traded becomes available.

Matt Grzelcyk

See above. The only thing less likely than Grzelcyk getting dealt is Krug getting traded.

Sweeney should trade him if … he’s confident Krug is coming back because Grzelcyk is a restricted free agent this summer and the Bruins have left-shot replacements in their pipeline. But more than likely the defense group stays the same, except for the potential that Moore gets tossed into a trade.

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