3 Players the Bruins Should Target From the Senators

With the Boston Bruins currently sporting a 14-10-2 record, it’s safe to say that they have been underwhelming. They weren’t expected to be in jeopardy of missing the playoffs, so one has to wonder when they will start exploring the trade market. They should certainly be calling the Ottawa Senators, as they have a 9-17-2 record and are destined to be sellers. Although they just so happen to be in the same division, both parties could benefit by striking a deal together. These three Senators specifically should be targeted by the Bruins.

Connor Brown

Although the Bruins certainly need some help down the middle, the same can also be said when it comes to the right wing position. After David Pastrnak, the scoring at right wing drops off dramatically, as Craig Smith is in second place with just seven points in 19 games. Although that can be blamed on his injury trouble at the start of the year, it still wouldn’t hurt to add another potential top-six winger and Connor Brown is an ideal candidate from Ottawa.

Connor Brown Ottawa Senators
Connor Brown, Ottawa Senators (Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

It’s quietly been another very strong season for Brown thus far, as he has four goals to go along with 17 points in 24 games. Although the goal totals are a bit low for him, he still is finding ways to contribute because of his effective passing ability. Furthermore, there’s no question that he’s capable of scoring more, as he just had 21 goals in 56 games last season.

Brown would be more than a rental, however, as his current contract does not expire until the end of the 2022-23 campaign. Yet, he also only carries a $3.6 million cap hit, which is certainly acceptable for what he provides. Not only is he a consistent offensive threat, but he also is an excellent penalty killer with strong leadership skills. If the Senators don’t shop him this year, they could next season when he’s a pending unrestricted free agent. Boston would need to jump on that if so.

Tyler Ennis

Every team looking to make a playoff run needs depth and Tyler Ennis would provide just that for the Bruins. The Senators signed the 32-year-old forward to a one-year, $900,000 contract right before the start of the regular season. Originally, he was signed to a professional tryout contract (PTO) with the Senators for training camp and clearly impressed them enough to earn himself a job. Since then, he’s become a mainstay in their lineup.

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Ennis has been impressive during his reunion with the Senators this year, too. In 26 games, he has a goal to go along with 11 assists. Therefore, like Brown, he isn’t scoring at will but is still contributing well offensively. In fact, the veteran only had nine points in 30 games last season with the Edmonton Oilers, so it’s fair to state that he’s been a nice surprise this campaign.

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Ennis could be a solid addition for the Bruins, but especially when remembering that a Jake DeBrusk trade is looming. He would be a major upgrade over Karson Kuhlman as the team’s 13th forward, at a minimum. Yet, he surely would have to be considered for an everyday spot if acquired, too. If he were on the Bruins right now, he’d actually be sixth in scoring with his 12 points. The lack of secondary scoring is clearly a significant problem for Boston, so it wouldn’t hurt to acquire a player like him.

Chris Tierney

The final player who the Bruins could consider is center, Chris Tierney. The 27-year-old is in the final year of his contract and is a prime rental candidate. Although he isn’t that 2C that the Bruins desperately need, he may be someone they’d be interested in if they strike out on bigger name centers.

Chris Tierney Ottawa Senators
Chris Tierney, Ottawa Senators (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

For the second season in a row, Tierney has struggled, though. In 28 games, he has five goals, two assists and a minus-11 rating. Yet, during the 2019-20 season, he recorded 37 points in 71 games. Before then, he also had two seasons with at least 40 points. Therefore, one has to wonder if a change of scenery could help him find his old offensive production. Keep in mind, this is a forward who is supposed to be in his prime.

When it comes to his potential placement in the lineup, Tierney would make an intriguing option for the third line center position. Erik Haula may benefit from moving to the left wing, as he’s has shown confidence there this season. Yet, when it comes to the former, he also is another player who can be utilized on the penalty kill. If he ends up finding his previous form as the season continues, the Bruins may end up exploring this avenue.

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An honorable mention should also go out to Nick Paul. He is having a down year, as he has just four goals and six points in 28 games. However, he still could be an intriguing add for the bottom six. Out of these three, however, it’s clear that Brown would be the biggest prize. Yet, Ennis or Tierney could still be decent rentals at the deadline, too. Alas, time will tell if these two Atlantic Division rivals make a trade by season’s end.