Earlier this week, I discussed a few players from the Arizona Coyotes who the Boston Bruins should consider pursuing. Although the rebuilding Coyotes do have plenty of worthy candidates, that does not mean that they are the only team who Boston should consider doing business with. The Seattle Kraken are another team who are struggling, as they currently are at the bottom of the Pacific Division with a 10-15-3 record. Due to this, it feels inevitable that they will be sellers at this year’s trade deadline and Boston should be contacting the NHL’s newest franchise.
The Kraken have multiple players who could be excellent fits for Boston’s current lineup. Before discussing three of them, I’d like to point out that Jeremy Lauzon and Calle Jarnkrok will be excluded from this one, as I previously talked about why each would be interesting additions for the Bruins previously. Still, though, these others would certainly be nice to see on the Bruins for different reasons.
Vince Dunn has been linked to the Bruins in the past, and he surely could be a nice fit for them right now. The 25-year-old puck-moving defenseman is capable of playing both sides and top-four minutes. Although Boston is high in quantity on the back end, their quality has come into question at times this season. For example, we’ve seen Mike Reilly healthy scratched more than once after he had an excellent campaign last season. Connor Clifton has been dealt the same fate.
With all of this, the Bruins could use a little more stability and Dunn would give them that. The Kraken clearly value him as they selected him from the St. Louis Blues instead of star winger Vladimir Tarasenko at the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft. So far, he’s been off to a decent season offensively, as he has three goals and 11 points in 26 games. It also is important to note that he sports a minus-10 rating, but a major reason behind that is Seattle’s inconsistent play as an entire unit. He would also be a nice boost to Boston’s power play, as he is capable of making magic happen from the point.
With the Kraken having a surplus of defensemen, a Dunn trade isn’t out of the question. He is also locked up until the end of the 2022-23 season with a $4 million cap hit. With that, he will also still be a restricted free agent once it expires. The Bruins have an attractive asset in Jake DeBrusk to start a potential swap, but his publicized trade request and early season struggles have understandably lowered his trade value a bit. If made available, however, Boston needs to jump into the sweepstakes.
Another player from the Kraken who could be worth exploring is forward Mason Appleton. The 6’2″ forward is quite versatile, as he can play both center and right wing. He seems to be a fit for the third line at either position, and that’s definitely not a bad thing. Yet, with him being just 25 years old, he also could improve from here and perhaps joining the Bruins could help him take that next step.
Appleton had himself an excellent campaign with the Winnipeg Jets last season. During it, he proved that he is capable of producing solid offense, as he scored 12 goals and recorded 25 points in 56 games. Yet, he’s been off to a slower start with his new team, as he has two goals and six points in 17 games. It’s also important to note that he also has five points over his last season games, so it appears that he’s moving past his cold streak. If this is the pace of production he can provide from here, the Bruins should pay very close attention to him.
Something that’s also extremely appealing about Appleton is that he only carries a $900,000 cap hit this season. He will be a restricted free agent during the summer, so the Bruins would still have control over him, too. He seems like a very nice option, as he could be an answer to the lingering questions for either the third-line center or third-line right wing position.
It is apparent that the Bruins need a second-line center, but they also could use some help at right wing, too. After Craig Smith, the Bruins do not possess the best of depths. That’s especially the case when Nick Foligno moves back to his natural left wing position. One player who could help the Bruins strengthen this position is Joonas Donskoi. He’s a very solid middle-six winger, who has consistently produced well over the last five seasons.
When it comes to this year, one may notice that he doesn’t have a single goal. Hold your criticisms, though, as he already has a respectable 14 assists in 28 games. With that, he has matched his assist totals from last season already. However, speaking of the previous season, he also added 17 goals in 51 games with the Colorado Avalanche. During the three seasons before, he also had at least 14 goals in each of them. Thus, it’s hard to believe that he won’t break the ice when it comes to his scoring. With that, he’s an excellent penalty killer, so he’s capable of providing a little bit of everything.
Like Dunn, Donskoi is another player who has an extra year on his contract. His $3.9 million cap hit is certainly acceptable for all he contributes to the lineup. He also would provide the Bruins with more options, as he would create notable competition in the top six. He’s such an underrated player and one who would look excellent in a Bruins jersey.
With the Kraken very likely to be sellers, the Bruins certainly should be checking in on them. Besides these three, there are plenty of other options that could be worth exploring, too. Some include captain Mark Giordano, old friend Marcus Johansson and forward Colin Blackwell. Ultimately, it doesn’t feel out of the question that these two teams will strike a deal by the trade deadline.
Michael DeRosa is a contributor who covers the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks for The Hockey Writers. Since 2017, he’s written and edited for numerous websites. Besides his work for THW, you can also find him on NHLTradeRumors.me, BBallRumors.com, BaseballRumors.me, FootballRumors.me and The Rat Trick.