It’s hard to believe, but the trade deadline is less than a week away. With the Boston Bruins getting closer to their division rivals in the standings, they are expected to be major buyers during it. The Anaheim Ducks, on the other hand, made it clear that they are selling, as they recently traded Josh Manson to the Colorado Avalanche.
This could be very good news for the Bruins, as there are some players on the Ducks who could be great additions to their roster. Furthermore, both teams are reportedly linked to players on each other’s rosters too, so the possibility of a trade occurring between both teams seems likely. Let’s dive into why that is.
Ducks Expressing Interest in Jake DeBrusk
The Ducks are one of the teams currently linked to Jake DeBrusk, according to David Pagnotta. He requested a trade earlier this season, but the team has yet to find him a new home. Since then, however, he has found himself a spot on the Bruins’ first line. That has resulted in him having a bounce-back campaign, as he has 15 goals and 10 assists in 56 games this season. With that, he is showing signs of being a potential top-six winger again, and that understandably has grabbed the attention of the Ducks.
With DeBrusk still being just 25 years old, he certainly fits into the current dynamic that the Ducks have. Although they started the year off very strongly, they have come back down to Earth and sport a 27-25-11 record. With that, they have found themselves out of the playoff race and are still embracing their current rebuilding stage because of it. The 2015 first-round pick could be a long-term part of their roster and be a solid mentor to their younger players if acquired. Keep in mind, he already has 300 games of experience too.
Bruins Have Big Trade Targets on Ducks
While the Ducks have been linked to DeBrusk, the Bruins have two big trade targets they are looking at in Hampus Lindholm and Rickard Rakell. In his piece, Pagnotta noted that they are also linked to both of those players, and it’s easy to understand why. Lindholm would provide them with a legitimate top-pairing defenseman for the left side, while Rakell could take over DeBrusk’s spot at first-line right wing in a potential swap.
Out of the pair, Lindholm would be the bigger splash, however. In 61 games this season, the 28-year-old has five goals, 17 assists, and an even plus/minus rating. That certainly is strong production from a defenseman and would be welcomed with open arms by the Bruins. Still, Rakell would also be a very good addition, as he would give the team another solid point-producer. In 51 games this season, he has 16 goals to go along with 12 helpers. Furthermore, his versatility is very impressive, as he is capable of playing all three forward positions.
Ducks’ Deslauriers Could Be Nice Consolation Prize
Although Lindholm and Rakell are the big-name players still available from the Ducks, there is another who should get the attention of the Bruins, too. Nicolas Deslauriers is another pending free agent who will likely be traded before the deadline passes. Although he is not a star by any means, he is an extremely tough player who would be a wonderful addition to the Bruins’ forward depth.
Although the Bruins have a deep history of being a tough team, that is honestly not the case this season. One could put up an argument that they have become too easy to play against when it comes to the physical side of the game. Deslauriers would help change that narrative in a heartbeat. In 60 games this season, he has a very impressive 210 hits to go along with 73 penalty minutes. Yet, he is also capable of producing offensively, as he has five goals and five assists on the season.
Potential Deals Between Both Teams
Now that we have established potential players who could benefit both teams, let’s discuss some potential trades, starting with Lindholm. For the Bruins to acquire the 28-year-old Swedish defenseman, they will have to part ways with at least this year’s first-round pick. If the Montreal Canadiens acquired one from the Florida Panthers for Ben Chiarot, the Ducks will easily demand one for Lindholm. With DeBrusk included, the Bruins could likely add a mid-round pick or prospect to get a deal done.
When it comes to Rakell, they would find their replacement for DeBrusk immediately. Yet, given the fact that the latter still has his $4.41 million qualifying offer, they would probably need to add more than just him in a hypothetical swap. With both players producing at a similar level, they wouldn’t have to part ways with a first-round pick. However, I could see the Ducks asking for the 2022 third-round pick they acquired from the Calgary Flames in this hypothetical swap.
The Bruins will, of course, not be trading DeBrusk in any deal that has Deslauriers as the main piece heading the other way. However, if they wanted to acquire only him from the Ducks, they would likely have to trade their 2022 fourth-round pick at a minimum. Although he is not a star, his toughness does help raise his trade value a bit. Furthermore, the Ducks could also want a lower-tier prospect along with the pick.
Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see if these teams make a deal before the deadline passes. They are no strangers to trading with one another, as they completed two trades back during the 2019-20 season alone. Furthermore, with both teams expressing interest in each other’s players, it seems very likely that something will eventually occur. We shall find out for sure by Monday at 3 PM ET.
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.