Bruins’ 2022 Offseason Trade Targets: Arizona Coyotes

The Arizona Coyotes were major sellers last offseason, and that trend is expected to continue this summer. Assuming they carry on with their fire sale, the Boston Bruins should certainly be paying attention to which players they are willing to part ways with. This is because the Coyotes have some pretty interesting options that the Bruins should target. Now, let’s take a look at three who stand out.

Lawson Crouse

When Lawson Crouse hit the rumor mill before the trade deadline, the Bruins were one of the teams reportedly linked to him. It was very easy to understand why, as the team needed secondary scoring help and the 24-year-old put together a very strong season. In 65 games on the year, the 2015 first-round pick scored 20 goals and added 14 assists. If the Coyotes shop him again this offseason, the Bruins need to jump into the sweepstakes. Having that kind of production on the third line would be very beneficial.

Lawson Crouse Arizona Coyotes
Lawson Crouse, Arizona Coyotes (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Although Crouse finally found his scoring touch at the NHL level this season, he offers far more than just that. He plays like an old-fashioned Bruin, as he is noted for his immense physicality and overall toughness. To go along with his solid offensive totals this season, he also had an impressive 181 hits. When noting that the Bruins receive an abundance of criticism from fans for being too soft to play against, adding a player like him would help change that ongoing narrative.

When looking at Crouse, it’s clear that he would fit beautifully as the team’s third-line left-winger. In terms of offensive production and overall toughness, he would be an upgrade over Trent Frederic. Perhaps the Bruins could ship off the latter as a starting point in a potential swap. With that, a second-round pick and mid-tier prospect would also likely be needed.

Nick Schmaltz

Although the Coyotes traded away almost all of their top talent during the 2021 offseason, Nick Schmaltz still managed to put together the best season of his career. In 63 games, he scored 23 goals and recorded 59 total points. With the 26-year-old forward being just under a point-per-game player this year, his trade value is at its highest. Thus, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the rebuilding Coyotes shop the 2014 first-round pick. If this does come to fruition, the Bruins should take a look at him.

Related: Bruins’ 2022 Offseason Trade Targets: Winnipeg Jets

Schmaltz is a special kind of player, as he can play all three forward positions if needed. Yet, he is primarily a center, and that is an area where the Bruins need assistance. This is especially the case if Patrice Bergeron opts to retire this offseason. However, even if the future Hall of Famer decides to play at least one more year, Schmaltz could be a potential upgrade to the second-line center position. Furthermore, he also would be good enough to replace Jake DeBrusk at first-line right wing if the latter’s trade request remains on the table.

With the Coyotes embarking on a complete fire sale, they likely would be seeking picks and prospects in any Schmaltz trade. However, Schmaltz also carries a $5.85 million cap hit until the end of the 2025-26 season, so the Bruins would also need to find a way to move salary out. They could look to part ways with one of their abundance of left-handed defensemen to go along with a second-round pick and prospect. Mike Reilly and Derek Forbort are notable candidates of the bunch.

Christian Fischer

Fischer was another Coyotes player who many believed would be traded before this year’s deadline passed. The 25-year-old ended up staying put for the remainder of the season but will likely be placed on the trading block again this summer. This season was another fairly quiet one for him, as he had five goals and five assists in 53 games. However, with the Bruins having pending unrestricted free agents (UFA) in Curtis Lazar and Anton Blidh, they will need to add forward depth if they both walk. Thus, this could make Fischer a potential target for the Bruins this summer.

Christian Fischer Arizona Coyotes
Christian Fischer, Arizona Coyotes (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Fischer is a very interesting player, as he has shown in the past that he can be a solid point-producer. During the 2017-18 season, he scored 15 goals and added 18 assists in 79 games. Although he has not been able to replicate that kind of scoring since, one has to wonder if a change of scenery could help change that. Yet, at worst, the Bruins would be receiving a young fourth-liner if they acquire Fischer.

Unlike the two players above, it wouldn’t cost too much to land Fischer. At most, the Bruins would have to part ways with a fourth-round pick, and that’s a price that would be easy to meet. They would need to finalize a new contract for him, however, as he is set to be a restricted free agent (RFA) this summer.

Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see if the Bruins can strike a deal with the Coyotes this offseason. Crouse and Schmaltz would be great to acquire, but Fischer has the potential to be a solid under-the-radar addition as well. Lastly, although the Bruins had a previous interest in Jakob Chychrun, it seems unlikely that they will pursue him after acquiring Hampus Lindholm. Alas, time will tell if anything happens between these two clubs this summer.

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