4 Potential Landing Spots For Bruins’ Jack Studnicka

Although the Boston Bruins have a 27-16-4 record and are well on their way to make the postseason, they still have multiple holes in their lineup. Therefore, if they expect to go on any sort of run this spring, they will need to try to fix these issues before the trade deadline passes. However, if they want to land a second-line center, top-pairing defenseman, or top-six right-winger, it will likely require them to trade top prospect, Jack Studnicka.

Morning Skate newsletter Click To Subscribe

After seeing the Montreal Canadiens acquire a 2022 first-round pick, prospect Emil Heineman, Tyler Pitlick, and a 2024 fifth-round pick from the Calgary Flames for Tyler Toffoli, we now have a better picture of the trade market. If the Bruins want to land a high-impact player, it seems inevitable that one of their best prospects will have to go. With how well Fabian Lysell and Mason Lohrei are playing in their respective leagues, they should be the untouchables from their system. Thus, with Studnicka being older, he may be the odd man out of the trio. The possibility of him being traded this deadline is there, so here’s a look at some potential landing spots for the 22-year-old.

Vancouver Canucks

The Bruins have been linked to two notable players from the Vancouver Canucks in Conor Garland and J.T. Miller. The former would finally give them another legitimate top-six right-winger, while the latter would become their second-line center. Yet, to acquire either one of them, Boston would have to give up at least one of their top prospects, so Studnicka is naturally a potential target. Furthermore, they would have to add at least a first-round pick and another prospect for either player.

Jack Studnicka Boston Bruins
Jack Studnicka, Boston Bruins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

A move to the Canucks could be beneficial for Studnicka, too. They currently have Jason Dickinson as their third-line center, and he has six points in 45 games. With numbers like these, it’s easy for one to argue that he may be better suited for the fourth line. Although the Bruins’ top center prospect hasn’t produced very well at the NHL level yet, that could change if given consistent playing time in Vancouver. They are also expected to be sellers at the deadline, so this could open up more spots for him. That is if he’s acquired by them, of course.

Arizona Coyotes

If the Bruins want to successfully acquire Jakob Chychrun from the Arizona Coyotes, Studnicka would have to be one of the pieces heading the other way. They would, understandably, need much more than just him to land the top-pairing defenseman, as the Coyotes would also want at least a first-round pick and young player as well. Furthermore, the Bruins also have been linked to forward Lawson Crouse, but trading Studnicka in a package for just him likely wouldn’t be worth it.

Related: Bruins: 4 Right-Wingers to Target Before 2022 Trade Deadline

The Coyotes are in a full-on rebuild, which is why they are shopping Chychrun. They also already traded away several of their former core players last offseason, so they sport one of the weakest rosters in the league. This is especially true down the middle. Travis Boyd has been their most effective center, but he is also one of their rental candidates. After him, their talent down the middle drops off dramatically. Thus, Studnicka would probably not have too much trouble making their middle six, especially considering that other centers like Johan Larsson, Ryan Dzingel, and Alex Galchenyuk are also rental candidates.

San Jose Sharks

We will find out shortly if the San Jose Sharks end up trading pending unrestricted free agent (UFA) Tomas Hertl. He hasn’t ruled out the possibility of signing an extension, but as we inch closer to the deadline, a decision will have to be made. At this time, they possess a 22-21-4 record and are seven points out of a playoff spot. Therefore, they may not be ready to move the star center right now. Yet, if they officially shop him, the Bruins will automatically have to consider him given their current second-line center problem. In this scenario, Studnicka would likely head the other way with a first-round pick and roster player in a hypothetical trade.

Tomas Hertl San Jose Sharks
Tomas Hertl, San Jose Sharks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Like with the two teams listed above, Studnicka could also potentially make their roster immediately. They are a bit older down the middle, as their two best centers besides Hertl are Logan Couture and Nick Bonino. With this, it wouldn’t be a bad thing for them to add a prospect with middle-six potential like him. This is especially true when noting that they are a fringe playoff team at best and still have a lot of work to do to improve their roster in the long term.

Anaheim Ducks

I recently discussed how the Anaheim Ducks have a decent number of appealing rental candidates for the Bruins. Yet, if they want to acquire their biggest fish in Hampus Lindholm, it may require them to trade Studnicka and a first-round pick at a minimum. He would immediately fix their problem at left defense, while the Ducks would land another young forward in the process. When it comes to Josh Manson and Rickard Rakell, however, sending him the other way may not be the best course of action.

At this point of the season, the Ducks have a 23-17-9 record and have fallen to fifth place in the Pacific Division. They also have lost six of their last 10 games, so if this trend continues, we may see them become sellers. They are still rebuilding their team, and acquiring Studnicka could be a nice way to help that process. Furthermore, it could also be equally beneficial to him if he is given more opportunities to play at the NHL level. When looking at their current forward group, there is a good chance that this would be the case.

At the end of the day, if the Bruins want to land a big-name player for their playoff run, it may force them to trade Studnicka. Center is one of the team’s weakest positions, and there is risk moving on from him. But, if they do want to boost their chances of winning another Stanley Cup during the Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand era, it may be a necessary evil.

Sign up for our regular 'Bruins Newsletter' for all the latest.