Boston Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk has requested a trade from the team that drafted him back in 2015. The club has since confirmed as much, though DeBrusk remains with the Bs for the time being. In the meantime, reports are emerging that several teams are kicking tires on the player – including the Calgary Flames.
DeBrusk, 25, was one of Boston’s three first round picks in the 2015 NHL Draft. He broke into the NHL in 2017-18 and posted 16 goals and 43 points and followed that up with a 27 goal, 42 point sophomore year. His performances made Bruins brass hopeful that he could emerge as a rock-solid second line left wing for their group.
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Unfortunately, DeBrusk hasn’t remained as consistent. In the years since, he’s posted seasons of 35 and 14 points (with his points per game declining from 0.618 to 0.538, and further to 0.341). So far this season he has six points in 17 games and has been a frequent healthy scratch for Boston.
DeBrusk makes $3.675 million against the cap this season and will be an arbitration eligible restricted free agent on July 13. It’s the combination of his cap hit and his lack of obvious role that make him a challenging potential asset for the Flames.
In terms of cap hit, the Flames have just over $400,000 in cap space and Boston would need to eat a lot of salary (either by retention or by taking back in a swap) to make the math work. It’s not clear how a deal like that would work for either side.
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In terrms of roles: how many left shot wingers do the Flames have the ability to use well on their roster? The Flames are carrying Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk, Andrew Mangiapane, Blake Coleman, Milan Lucic and Dillon Dube on their roster, and have several more waiting in the wings in Stockton. Even if the Flames could afford DeBrusk, it’s unclear what his function would be within the team’s systems.
But he’s a Western Canadian kid who played in the WHL as a youngster, his dad is a former NHLer, and he plays a physical style and has shown the potential to be a really effective player. You can probably imagine the Flames convincing themselves that he’s a player worth reclaiming – if they sent out assets to get Curtis Lazar, DeBrusk is within the realm of possibility.
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