The Boston Bruins are heading into this offseason with many questions. Although they had a strong regular season, their first-round loss to the Carolina Hurricanes made all of that irrelevant. This team is in need of some roster changes if they hope to be viewed as true contenders again. Thus, they should be active in the trading market this summer, and one team worth calling is the Seattle Kraken. They have a few players who the Bruins should consider pursuing. Let’s now look at each of them.
Vince Dunn has been linked to the Bruins in the past, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see that trend continue this summer. When viewing how the Kraken’s inaugural season went, it’s clear that they have a long way to go before they are a playoff team. With that, the 25-year-old defenseman is entering the final year of his contract. Although he will still be a restricted free agent (RFA) and under team control, he is getting closer to his unrestricted free agent (UFA) eligibility. Thus, if he only expresses interest in signing a short-term extension, the Kraken could elect to shop him.
If the Kraken begin to listen to offers for Dunn, general manager (GM) Don Sweeney needs to call the Kraken immediately. The Mississauga native would provide the Bruins with some much-needed offense from the point, and the truth is in his statistics from this season. In 73 games, he scored seven goals and recorded 28 assists. Keep in mind, this was on a much weaker Kraken team, so he would have the potential to produce more in Boston. He also is a great fit, as although he is a left-handed defenseman, he has plenty of experience playing on the right side.
If the Bruins were to pursue Dunn, they would have no choice but to trade one of their plethora of left-handed defenseman. Given their similar style of play, Mike Reilly would likely be a player who they could use in a hypothetical swap. However, it would take more than him to get a deal done. Perhaps adding a second-round pick and a prospect like Jack Studnicka could finish this move off.
Daniel Sprong had himself a very interesting 2021-22 season. With the Washington Capitals, it’s fair to say he struggled, as he had eight goals and six assists in 47 games. Yet, after being traded to the Kraken, he picked up his play. In 16 games following the move, he scored six goals and showed signs that he could blossom into a solid goal scorer at the NHL level. Due to this, the 25-year-old winger is someone who the Bruins should consider pursuing if he’s made available.
Sprong has shown in the past that he can have spurts of offensive success. During the 2020-21 season with the Capitals, he recorded 20 points in 43 games. With the Bruins not possessing the strongest depth at right wing, the Amsterdam native could be a player worth taking a chance on. He could compete with the struggling Craig Smith for the third-line right wing spot. At worst, he would provide the Bruins with a quality scoring depth forward.
Even after his solid finish to the season, it’s hard to believe that acquiring Sprong would cost too much. At most, the Bruins would have to give up a fifth-round pick or prospect. With Sprong set to become an RFA, perhaps this will lead the Kraken to look to move him. Time will tell what happens on that front.
After being dealt to the Minnesota Wild by the Bruins at the 2019 Trade Deadline, Ryan Donato has had trouble finding himself a long-term home. After a 20-point campaign in 50 games with the San Jose Sharks during the 2020-21 season, Donato was not re-signed by the team. From there, he ended up signing a late-summer contract with the Kraken and quietly put together a solid season. In 74 games, he scored 16 goals and recorded 31 points. With him set to be an RFA, it will be interesting to see if the Kraken decide to re-sign or shop him.
If Donato is made available by the Kraken, the Bruins should consider a reunion. At a cheap price, it would be worth bringing the hometown kid back to Boston. In terms of a potential fit in their lineup, he seems perfect to play third-line left wing. Although he doesn’t possess the same degree of physicality as Trent Frederic, it’s clear that he is more gifted offensively. With the team’s secondary scoring problems, he would be a welcomed addition to this group.
Like Sprong, the Kraken’s asking price for Donato shouldn’t be too outrageous. The Bruins would likely have to part ways with a fourth-round pick and prospect. When looking at the year he just put together, it has the potential to be a worthwhile investment. Let’s see if the reunion ends up coming to fruition.
Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see if these two teams end up becoming trading partners this summer. Out of this trio, there’s no question that Dunn would be the biggest splash if acquired. Yet, both Sprong and Donato have the potential to give the Bruins more secondary scoring, so they would also be solid additions too.
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.