Bruins Have 3 Good Left-Wing Targets for the 2022 Offseason

Recently, I took a look at some pending unrestricted free agent (UFA) centers that the Boston Bruins should consider signing. Now, for the second installment of this series, it feels like the perfect time to discuss some potential left-wing targets.

Although the Bruins have a very strong one-two punch in Brad Marchand and Taylor Hall, it’s clear that they could use an upgrade at this position when it comes to the bottom six. Thus, this is an area that the team should look to address this summer. However, there’s also a star pending UFA that could be worth targeting if he’s open to switching positions. Let’s now take a gander at each player.

Filip Forsberg

If the Nashville Predators are unable to come to terms with Filip Forsberg on a new contract, he should be a player who the Bruins consider pursuing this summer. The 27-year-old winger has been Nashville’s top forward for several seasons, but this campaign was his best to date. In 69 games, he set new career-highs with 42 goals, 42 assists, and 84 points. Yes, it was a contract year for the Swede, but that kind of production cannot be ignored.

Filip Forsberg Nashville Predators
Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

However, if a Forsberg signing came to fruition, he would have to be utilized at right wing. Throughout his career, he has played on his off-wing, so it would likely take him some time to get used to playing on the right side. However, when remembering that he is an elite talent, this would be an experiment worth trying. This is especially true when noting that he would give Marchand and Patrice Bergeron (if he returns) a pure goal-scorer on their line again.

For a Forsberg signing to have any chance of coming to fruition, the Bruins would need to clear some cap space. With Jake DeBrusk’s trade request still on the table, he is someone who could be moved this summer. With that, the Bruins have a surplus of left-handed defensemen, so players like Matt Grzelcyk, Mike Reilly, and Derek Forbort could be in play too. If one of them is traded, that would give them at least another $3 million of cap space. Thus, a potential Forsberg signing would require several roster moves. Having said that, general manager (GM) Don Sweeney should still explore the possibility.

THW Betting Guide Banner

Max Domi

At the trade deadline, Sweeney had the opportunity to acquire a player like Max Domi. Yet, even with their clear scoring troubles, he elected to not bring in a single forward. This decision came back to haunt the Bruins in a major way. The 27-year-old scored two goals and recorded an assist in the Carolina Hurricanes’ Game 7 win over the Bruins. It was a truly ironic way to fall out of the playoffs, but now Sweeney could have the chance to right his wrong by targeting Domi this summer.

There’s no question that Domi would be an upgrade over Trent Frederic on the third line. He would provide the Bruins with more offense, and the truth is in his statistics this season. Even though his production slowed down a bit after being traded to Carolina, he still finished the regular season with 11 goals and 39 points in 72 games. He can be a solid point producer, and that’s something that the third line desperately needs. Frederic, on the other hand, could be utilized in a more suitable role on the fourth line if Domi is signed.

Related: Bruins & Jets Could Produce 2022 Offseason Blockbuster

Domi would also give the Bruins another weapon on the power play. When looking at how much it cooled off at the end of the season, it’s fair to say that this is an area that they need to improve on. Furthermore, perhaps joining a team like the Bruins could help him find his previous scoring touch. Keep in mind, that he had a 72-point campaign in 82 games with the Montreal Canadiens during the 2018-19 season. Thus, what’s the harm in taking a chance on him if it’s a short-term deal?

Nicolas Deslauriers

The Bruins have been criticized heavily by fans for being too soft to play against. There’s certainly an argument to be had there, so perhaps it’s time for Sweeney to help change this ongoing narrative. One player who would assist in successfully doing just that is Nicolas Deslauriers. He plays the game like an old-fashioned Bruin and would become an immediate fan favorite because of it.

Nicolas Deslauriers Minnesota Wild
Nicolas Deslauriers, Minnesota Wild (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Deslauriers split the 2021-22 season between the Anaheim Ducks and Minnesota Wild. In 81 games on the year, he scored eight goals and recorded 13 points. He also set a new career-high with an impressive 263 hits to go along with 113 penalty minutes. Therefore, even if he isn’t the most dominant of offensive players, his immense physicality would be welcomed to the fourth line.

If the Bruins are looking to become tougher, there’s no better option on the free-agent market than Deslauriers. It’s unlikely that the 31-year-old would command too much money, either. He would give the Bruins another option in the bottom six and has the potential to be an upgrade over Nick Foligno. At worst, he would be Anton Blidh’s replacement as the club’s 13th forward.

Nevertheless, it’s clear that the Bruins have some pretty interesting left wing options that they could target this summer. Out of the bunch, Forsberg would of course be the biggest splash. Yet, Domi could provide the team with more secondary scoring, while Deslauriers would give them that much-needed enforcer. Alas, we will have to wait and see if any of these three become Bruins for the 2022-23 season.

Explore everything hockey with THW’s Hockeypedia pages.

The Hockey Writers HockeyPedia 800x120