On Thursday night (Oct. 27), the Boston Bruins dominated the Detroit Red Wings and defeated them by a final score of 5-1. With the win, the Bruins improved to 7-1-0 and now have the most points in the NHL. Brad Marchand’s surprising return proved to be excellent as well, as the superstar winger scored two goals and added an assist. However, that is not where the night ended. In the middle of the contest, the Bruins traded Jack Studnicka to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for prospects Michael DiPietro and Jonathan Myrenberg.
Seeing Studnicka traded was not too surprising since there wasn’t a fit for him in Boston’s lineup. The once-top prospect will now be hoping that a fresh start with the Canucks can get his game back on track. Yet, in this piece, let’s instead take a look at what the Bruins are getting in DiPietro and Myrenberg.
During the offseason, the Canucks gave DiPietro permission to talk with other teams to help facilitate a trade. The 23-year-old netminder was looking for a fresh start, but, unfortunately, the Windsor native was unable to find himself a new home before the start of the regular season. Yet, now with this trade, things have changed on that front, and he will have the chance to continue his development with the Bruins.
Like Studnicka, DiPietro was once viewed as a notable prospect, but things did not work out for him with the Canucks. Since being drafted in 2017, he has appeared in just three NHL games, where he has a 0-2-0 record, 5.28 goals-against average (GAA), and .771 save percentage (SV%). Yes, those numbers are not good at all, but it’s such a small sample, and there’s reason to believe that he could improve. He is coming off of a decent season with the Abbotsford Canucks of the American Hockey League (AHL) that saw him sport a 15-13-4 record, 2.95 GAA, and .901 SV% in 34 games. Now, it will be intriguing to see what he can do with the Providence Bruins from here.
Given Boston’s strong goaltending, DiPietro will not be in the running for a permanent NHL spot at this time. However, if he performs well and can tap into his potential, perhaps he can blossom into the club’s third-string netminder and get occasional call-ups when injuries arise. Overall, there’s no harm in the Bruins taking a chance on him, as he is a young goalie with upside and will provide the team with more depth.
Myrenberg is a 6-foot-3, right-shot defenseman who the Canucks selected with the 140th overall pick of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. Although the 19-year-old was a late-round draft pick, Bruins fans should not believe that he was simply a throw-in to the deal. His value as a prospect has improved significantly over the last year due to his strong play in 2021-22. In 35 games with Linkoping HC J20 last campaign, he scored eight goals and recorded 31 points in 35 games. That kind of production from a defenseman at any level is quite encouraging and helped him be deemed as one of Vancouver’s top right-handed defenseman prospects.
Myrenberg is currently playing for Mora IK of the HockeyAllsvenskan league in Sweden, where he has a goal and two assists in nine contests. Although his solid offensive totals have not translated to the professional level just yet this campaign, that certainly has the potential to change as he gets used to playing against stronger competition.
Aside from offensive skill, however, Myrenberg also has been noted for playing a fairly physical game. This is an area that the Bruins need to improve, so there absolutely could be a fit here if he continues to develop in the right direction. Furthermore, after Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo, the Bruins’ right side is not particularly strong. Both Connor Clifton and Anton Stralman are pending unrestricted free agents (UFA), and the Bruins do not have too many notable right-handed defenseman prospects. Therefore, getting an intriguing prospect like Myrenberg certainly makes sense for the Bruins. Let’s see if he can become a bottom-pairing defenseman for Boston later down the road.
Although this likely isn’t the return that some Bruins fans expected for Studnicka, it’s important to note that they ultimately had no choice but to trade him. He was the odd man out on the Bruins’ NHL roster all season, and the return of Marchand ruined any chance of him becoming a regular in their lineup. Furthermore, he would have had to go on waivers before being sent down to the AHL, and he surely would have been claimed given his potential. So, at the end of the day, the Bruins getting two prospects for him is a win.
I also personally feel some excitement about DiPietro and Myrenberg joining the Bruins’ system. As stated above, DiPietro was once a pretty strong prospect, so one has to wonder if he can get things back on track with the change of scenery. As for Myrenberg, he is a big-bodied and skilled defenseman who is already making notable strides in his development. Out of the pair, he’s the player who fans should be paying more attention to, as he has the tools to one day become a mainstay in Boston’s lineup.
Nevertheless, we will have to wait and see how DiPietro and Myrenberg pan out with the Bruins. As for Studnicka, I wish him nothing but the best as he begins his tenure as a Canuck.