Although the Boston Bruins won 51 games during the 2021-22 regular season, their first-round postseason loss to the Carolina Hurricanes showed that they are not true contenders. Due to this, it seems time for general manager (GM) Don Sweeney to make a major addition to their roster. The Winnipeg Jets would be the perfect trade partner if he’s aiming to complete a blockbuster this summer. Let’s now take a look at why this is the case.
Jets Could Be Forced to Trade Star Forward
While speaking with reporters after the completion of the regular season, Mark Scheifele was rather transparent. The 29-year-old noted that he was contemplating his future with the team and needs to know what direction they are heading in. Honestly, this is understandable to hear, as the Jets missed the playoffs a year after they were swept by the Montreal Canadiens in the second round.
It is important to note that Scheifele has not made an official trade request. However, when looking at his recent comments, it is certainly possible that he will eventually. This is especially true if GM Kevin Cheveldayoff isn’t planning on making the Jets contenders right now. Like Scheifele noted to the media, he is in the prime of his career, so he understandably wants to play for a team who will be competing for the Stanley Cup.
However, after these comments from Scheifele, it also seems that the Jets will at least listen to offers for him this offseason. With the star forward considering the possibility of playing elsewhere, Winnipeg would be wise to hear what other teams are willing to give up. He has a lot of trade value, as he has two years left on his deal at an affordable $6.125 million cap hit. Thus, they are in a position where they could take advantage of it.
Bruins Need Help At Center
If Scheifele and the Jets decide that it’s time for both parties to move on, the Bruins need to be major players in the sweepstakes. It’s abundantly clear why this is the case. Since David Krejci’s departure last offseason, the Bruins have been noticeably weak down the middle. This fact will only worsen if Patrice Bergeron elects to retire this summer instead of returning for the 2022-23 season. Either way, Scheifele would still provide them with the major boost that they need to become real contenders again.
Although Scheifele gets some criticism over his defensive play, his scoring ability significantly makes up for that. This season alone clearly shows that, as in 67 games on the year, he had 29 goals to go along with 41 assists. Thus, for the sixth straight season, he was at least a point-per-game player. With the Bruins being well-known for their scoring woes, he would help them immensely with this ongoing issue.
If Bergeron returns, Scheifele would still be an amazing fit on the Bruins’ second line. A trio of him, David Pastrnak, and Taylor Hall would simply be lethal. One could argue that this line would even be better than the majority of other teams’ top lines. With that, Scheifele would of course be a major part of the club’s power play. The Bruins’ power play was horrible at the end of the year, so this is an area that they should be looking to improve this summer, too.
Potential Blockbuster Between Both Teams
There’s no question that a Scheifele addition would be game-changing for the Bruins. However, they would need to give up a lot to have any real chance of acquiring him. Not only is he among the top centers in the sport, but he also has term left on a very team-friendly contract. Furthermore, with the Jets not being in a full-on rebuild, they would likely want NHL-caliber talent to go along with other assets.
When looking at the Bruins’ current roster, it’s hard not to view Jake DeBrusk as a player who could head the other way. Although he ended the season amazingly, he still hasn’t taken back his trade request. Thus, using him in a package for Scheifele could make sense. With that, the Bruins could also part ways with one of their surplus of left-handed defensemen. Although often criticized, Matt Grzelcyk has proven he can play top-four minutes, so perhaps the Jets would target him. Other potential fits include Mike Reilly and Derek Forbort.
Besides losing two roster players, the Bruins would have to part ways with their 2023 first-round pick to successfully land Scheifele. A top prospect of some kind would probably need to be the final part of the trading package as well. Fabian Lysell should be untouchable, but other prospects like Jack Studnicka and Johnny Beecher would be worth trading if it means acquiring a top-flight center like Scheifele.
Alas, this is something that we should pay attention to as the offseason gets underway. If Scheifele decides that he does want a change of scenery, the Bruins need to pursue him. They have the assets that could allow a blockbuster to go through, but would Sweeney be willing to pay the big price? If it means that the Bruins would be legitimate contenders again, it needs to be at least considered.
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.