It’s now been one month since Jake DeBrusk officially requested a trade from the Boston Bruins. At this time, the 2015 first-round pick has yet to have his wish fulfilled, and he’s still a member of the black and gold. Although he openly wants a fresh start, it’s clear that he’s still working hard, while doing his best to help the Bruins. In 27 games, he now has five goals and nine points. Although it’s been another slow start for the winger, there is no shortage of interest for his services around the league. Here are four specific teams who could be excellent fits for the disgruntled forward.
It feels inevitable that DeBrusk will end up on the Edmonton Oilers at some point during his NHL career. He’s not only an Edmonton native, but his father Louie is also a color analyst for the team on Sportsnet. When seeing as how the 25-year-old winger is now available, this may be a good time for both parties to strike a deal.
Although the Oilers need a third-line center, they do technically have a worthy choice in Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. At this time, he has been playing the left wing, but acquiring DeBrusk could allow the 2011 first-overall pick to move back to his natural position. When seeing as how the Bruins want a player of equal value in return, Kailer Yamamoto arguably could fit that description. The 23-year-old has the potential to be a top-six right winger in this league. Although he only has seven goals and 11 points in 32 games this season, he did have 26 points in just 27 games during the 2019-20 season. If he can get closer to that kind of production again, he’d be excellent for the Bruins.
Both the Chicago Blackhawks and Bruins have players who need fresh starts. When looking at Chicago, center Dylan Strome has been in the rumor mill, and he’s somebody Boston could be interested in. During his best NHL days, he looked like a legitimate top-six center. Keep in mind, he just had 12 goals and 38 points in 58 games two seasons ago. However, he has since cooled off, as he has just seven points in 21 games this season. However, if utilized properly in Boston, he could be a very solid addition to them.
DeBrusk could also thrive in Chicago, too. When looking at their current lineup, he’d have a very good shot of being in their top six. He could compete for the second-line left wing spot with Brandon Hagel or even play on his off-wing. However, even if utilized on the third line, it still would allow him to have new teammates and play for a different organization. He also could be a nice addition to their power-play unit.
The Calgary Flames were interested in DeBrusk over the summer and reportedly are once again. It’s easy to comprehend why Calgary would want a player like him right now. At this juncture, they sport a 16-7-6 record and are looking like a team who are destined for the postseason. Yet, when looking at their current lineup, it wouldn’t hurt for them to add a little more firepower upfront. That is especially the case when looking at how deep the Western Conference is as a whole.
If DeBrusk does get moved to the Flames, there would be one negative from it for him personally. Because the Flames currently have Johnny Gaudreau and Andrew Mangiapane as their two top left wingers, there’s a good chance he would be a third-line winger there. Yet, would the change of scenery alone make him happier? When seeing how the Flames are once again showing interest in him, their spot on this list feels like a necessity.
San Jose Sharks
There’s no secret that the Bruins are looking for a second-line center. Tomas Hertl is the rental candidate who would be the biggest addition for them. At this time, the San Jose Sharks have a 17-15-1 record and are sixth in the Pacific Division. Although they are still in the playoff hunt, they are showing signs of falling back down to Earth. Over their last 10 games, they are 4-6-0. With that, they may decide to move the 28-year-old this season to avoid the risk of losing him for nothing through free agency.
Hertl coming to Boston would automatically have to include DeBrusk as one of the pieces heading to San Jose. He’s also somebody who currently fits what they need. They of course have a major hole at left wing because of the ongoing Evander Kane drama. Furthermore, he’s still just 25 years old, so the Sharks could view him as a potential long-term option.
As we await for a DeBrusk trade to be finalized, it would not be surprising to see him end up on one of these four teams. At this juncture, it would just be nice for him to begin his next chapter in the NHL. Until then, however, Boston will be happy to have him in the lineup if he continues to play as well as he has been over his last few games.
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.