Bruins’ 2022 Trade Targets on the Vancouver Canucks

The Boston Bruins are on absolute fire, as they have won five straight games and eight out of their first nine games in 2022. This has been a monstrous boost for them, too, as they now have a 22-11-2 record and are inching closer to the third-place Toronto Maple Leafs in the Atlantic Division. Although it’s been quite enjoyable watching them play so well, it’s fair to say that they would benefit from adding to their roster. One team who they should consider contacting is their 2011 Stanley Cup Final opponent – the Vancouver Canucks.

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At this point of the season, the Canucks have a 16-18-3 record. Although they did have an excellent stretch of play after hiring Bruce Boudreau as their new head coach, they are showing signs of slowing down again. They have lost three straight contests and are seven points behind the San Jose Sharks for the second Wild Card spot. It seems probable that they will be sellers because of this, so the Bruins should target these few players from them.

J.T. Miller

J.T. Miller found himself in the rumor mill briefly during the beginning of the regular season. Although it’s cooled down a bit as the season has continued, one has to wonder if it will pick up again if the Canucks continue to struggle. The 28-year-old’s contract does not expire until the end of next season, but at the same time, the Canucks would receive a nice return for him. In 37 games this season, he has 11 goals and an impressive 36 points. The Bruins would love to have that kind of production in their lineup.

J.T. Miller, Vancouver Canucks-Bruins' 2022 Trade Targets on the Vancouver Canucks
J.T. Miller, Vancouver Canucks (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Miller is an immensely versatile forward, as he can play all three forward positions. That certainly should make him appealing to the Bruins. If acquired, he immediately could fill the huge hole at the second-line center position. Erik Haula has been playing quite well with Taylor Hall and David Pastrnak, but if the Bruins want to make a legitimate Stanley Cup push, they need to get better down the middle. Miller not only would provide better offense, but also is a very effective penalty killer, too. He could be such a good player for Boston because of this.

Brock Boeser

Although the center position is an area where the Bruins need to improve, the same can be said about their current right-wingers. David Pastrnak and Craig Smith have been playing extremely well since head coach Bruce Cassidy switched up the lines, but things drop off from there. Nick Foligno has struggled on his off-wing this year and may benefit from switching back to his natural position. Once Jake DeBrusk gets traded, perhaps the Bruins should focus on bringing in a natural right-winger and making Brock Boeser their guy.

Related: 4 Breakout Candidates for Bruins in 2022

Boeser has come up in the rumor mill just like Miller. The 24-year-old is having a bit of a down year this season, though, as he has nine goals and eight assists in 31 games. However, over his four previous seasons, he was just under a point-per-game player. He can be a 30-goal scorer when on his game and healthy, so he could be a very strong addition for the Bruins. Yet, he is a restricted free agent at the end of the season, so the Bruins would need to sign him to a new deal over the summer.

Tyler Motte

Once the playoffs come around, a team can never have too much depth. This is especially the case when it comes to this season. Due to the rise of COVID cases around the league, teams not only can lose multiple players at a time but also will have very condensed schedules as the year progresses. This naturally can result in more injuries. This should make the Bruins look to add a bottom-six forward and one who comes to mind is Tyler Motte.

Tyler Motte Vancouver Canucks-Bruins' 2022 Trade Targets on the Vancouver Canucks
Tyler Motte, Vancouver Canucks (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

For the vast majority of his career, Motte has been a very dependable depth forward. He’s capable of providing a little bit of scoring, while also playing a defensively responsible game. This season has been another solid one for the 26-year-old, as he has four goals and three assists. He is capable of playing all three forward positions like Miller, so he could be a fantastic 13th forward option, at a minimum. At the end of the season, he will be eligible for unrestricted free agency. Thus, he would be a pure rental for the Bruins if acquired.

Luke Schenn

The Bruins have a lot of left-handed defensemen, but the same can’t be said when it comes to right-handed ones. We are seeing that firsthand at this juncture, as Tyler Lewington was the team’s call-up to replace Connor Clifton on the right side with the latter being in COVID protocol. Although the 27-year-old has looked solid in his first two games with Boston, it wouldn’t hurt to add a depth defenseman with more experience. This is where Luke Schenn should intrigue the Bruins.

Schenn held a similar role with the Tampa Bay Lightning during their back-to-back Stanley Cup Final championships. Yet, when it comes to the Bruins, the 32-year-old could actually compete for a spot on the bottom-pair with Clifton. In 21 games this season with Vancouver, he has a goal, five assists, and a plus-7 rating. He also plays a very heavy game, as evidenced by his 85 hits this campaign. With Jakub Zboril done for the year, it wouldn’t hurt to add some competition on the right side. Schenn, who has a very affordable $850,000 cap hit until next season, would be a prime candidate to do just that.

It will be interesting to see if the Bruins and Canucks end up striking a deal by the deadline. If Vancouver does commit to selling, it’s clear that the Bruins have some pretty intriguing options from them. Out of the bunch, Miller would be the most impactful addition, but Boeser, at least in theory, wouldn’t be too far behind. As for Motte and Schenn, it wouldn’t be bad at all to add some depth in preparation for the team’s playoff run. Alas, let’s see if anything comes to fruition from here.

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